The dragon of Saint Anthony


The Dragon of Saint Anthony at Kalamitsi
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The village Kalamitsi in Apokoronas province consists of two separate settlements, Kalamitsi Alexandrou and Kalamitsi Amigdali. The settlements host two churches dedicated to St. Anthony. One of these, near Kalamitsi Alexandrou, hides a small not well-known treasure. Agios Antonios, like most churches and chapels in Crete dedicated to St Anthony, is cavernous and has been built in a rock shelter on the edge of a slope.

The view to the green valley of the river Vryssanos and the cypress woods of Vamos is very nice. The interior of the temple is very simple and the exterior is adorned by an orchard with fruit-bearing and cypress trees. The treasure however of Agios Antonios that makes this insignificant little temple unique in Crete is outside on the south side of the yard. There 's a carving in rock of the mountain forming an artificial mantel.

At the end of this rocky sofa, there is a fairly large carved head of a dragon that was obviously carved by a hermit. The head of the monster is mistakenly attributed to aliens, as dragons are very common in Greek Orthodox tradition. The mythical monster resembles the monsters killed by the rider Saints (e.g. St George) that adorn many wooden iconostases (icon shrines) and icons. What really impresses is the detail of the sculpture with which it has been sculpted.

St Anthony celebrates on January 17th.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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