Outside the village of Fres, inside a ravine at the really beautiful position Koukou we meet the temple Virgin Mary (Panagia) of Two Rocks.
Once a rock detached from the mountain and rolled down the slope. Atop of the rock, the church of Panagia was built. Adjacent there is another rock, both forming an impressive scenery. The church was built in the late 13th century and is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in the region of Apokoronas. Like most churches of that period, Panagia has its own legend denoting people's faith in His power. So, according to legend once a woman took her daughter and came to that place to have their goat grazing. Sometime, while the little girl was cutting greens from the cliff's edge to feed the kid, it slipped and fell down. When her mother saw the child fall she cried out "My Virgin Mary"! Panagia then saved the child and her mother built the church in her honor.
The church was painted by an unknown artist, however the frescoes have undergone serious damage by the candles and the several conquerors of Crete who did not respect Christians. All frescoes were influenced by the apocryphal Gospels and the lives of the Saints.
Text, Photos: Irene Kalaitzaki