Panagia church at

Meronas

Panagia at Meronas
(3 votes)

The church is located at the village of Meronas and it is earliest mentioned in a notary document of 1301. The settlement was named Meronas, from the Greek verb merono (relax, cool down), as according to tradition, at this place Virgin Mary (Panagia) relaxed when the temple was built at this place.

It is a three-aisled vaulted basilica. The nave is dedicated to the Assumption and the north aisle to St. George. The south aisle, which was added later, is dedicated to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. Subsequently, a small bell tower was added to the south side of the church.

The frescoes decorating the temple are some of the most interesting in Crete, dating back to the second half of the 14th century. They are part of a group of monuments, whose decoration reveals a style derived from Constantinople. It is likely that Kallergis family, who controlled the area of Amari (the coat of arms of the family is drawn) invited a hagiographer from Istanbul.

The nave hosts depictions from the Christological cycle, such as the Transfiguration, the Entry into Jerusalem, the Crucifixion and scenes from the life of Virgin Mary. The north aisle hosts scenes from the Life of St. George and the Akathist Hymn. Particularly impressive is the performance of the Tree of Jesse, which occupies the entire west wall of the nave.

It is worth mentioning that during the Ottoman rule, the locals covered with plaster the frescoes in order to save them from the fury of the Turks who destroyed any Christian symbol.

The church houses the impressive icon of the Panagia Hodegetria (Guiding Virgin Mary), which is probably a tribute of Kalliergis family. On the wooden temple icons from other local churches have been positioned.

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Additional Info

  • Prefecture: Rethymnon
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Paved road
  • Entrance Fee (€): Ticket 2€, Reduced 1€

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