Religious monuments of Crete


Church of Saint Barbara in Latziana
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The small neighborhood Latziana in the village Voulgaro, province Kissamos, was the seat of a patriarchal monastery dedicated to Saint Barbara (Agia Varvara). The temple of the monastery is preserved in ruins near the newer church of Saint Barbara. The old church was built around the 11th century in the architectural type of a cruciform domed temple with a narthex added later. It bears many elements of the Constantinople architecture. The gothic gate and arcosolium date back to Venetian era.

The church was adorned with fresco decoration dating back to the middle of the 11th century and, from its few remaining parts, is attributed to a skilled painter who came from Constantinople. Parts of the decoration have been unmounted and stored in the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Collection of Chania and the Benakis Museum in Athens. The paintings include frontal saints in the lower layers, saints and scenes of the gospel in the arches. In the central conch of the sanctuary are depicted hierarchs and deacons, on the south wall, below an arched frame there is Saint Barbara with the founder of the temple kneeling at her feet. The figures of Saints Mamas, Merkourios, Arethas, Christ and the scenes of the Samaritan, Betrayal and Restoration are preserved in relatively good condition.

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Additional Info

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

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