Church of Saint George at


Church of Saint George at Habatha
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At one of the most isolated and unknown villages of Apokoronas province, called Hambatha we meet the cemeterial church of St. George Methystis (i.e. St George that makes people drunk). Hambatha is a very small village built high on a hillside with a panoramic view, surrounded by woods of ancient cypress trees and very dense vegetation. The church of St. George is the oldest church in the village. The building dates back to the 14th century (Venetian era). It operates as a cemetery church since very old years, as there are remnants of very old graves.

The church, despite being so old and adorned with frescoes, is hardly known to visitors of the area because they mainly visit the church of St. Nicholas Maziotis (one kilometer further west) by village Maza, drawn by the painter Ioannis Pagomenos. Thus, before reaching Hambatha someone sees a big sign that heads to Maza church. However, Saint George has lately attracted the attention of archaeological authorities. Before entering the temple, we see two circular plates (called pinakia) that are embedded into the wall above the front side of the church. Inside the church, we see many folk-style frescoes, partly ruined. In good condition are the Resurrection of Christ, scenes from the martyrdom of St. George, and the co-officiating hierarchs. High in the sanctuary apse, we see the impressive presence of Christ. Inside the temple, floor is covered with stone and the sanctuary with the ground.

The church of St. George at Hambatha celebrates every year on November 3rd, when a traditional Cretan fest takes place and people first open the barrels of wine

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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