Religious monuments of Crete


The religious tradition at the province of Kissamos, at the westermost part of Crete, is still deeply ingrained in the daily habits of its inhabitants. Dozens of countryside monasteries and isolated hermitages, deserted today, recount the distant past. The wild and remote peninsulas of Rodopou and Gramvousa hosted many such relegious centers.

Gra Kera Monastery at Deliana

The uninhabited Gra Kera monastery by Deliana is dedicated to the birth of Virgin Mary (Panagia). The name comes after Iera Kera i.e. Holy Lady. The monastery in 1632 became a dependency of the larger monastery of Gonia Odigitria at Kolimbari as mentioned in a document, so it was already operating.


Michael the Archangel (Rotonda) church in Episkopi Kissamos

The church of Archangel Michael is one of the finest Byzantine monuments located at village Episkopi, Kissamos province, where it operated as a diocese (episkopi) during the second Byzantine Period. The yard housed a Byzantine cemetery (7- 8th century) and today we see traces of the episcopal buildings.


Church of Saint Marina at Ravdoucha

On the main road leading from the village Ravdoucha to the beach, we meet the Byzantine church of Agia Marina with spectacular sea views, built in a rock recess. The church bears frescoes that have suffered considerable damage. As in many churches of the peninsula Rodopou, so here too we see engravings of the travelers of the era.


Panagia Church at Zachariana

The temple of the Panagia at Zachariana is dedicated to Virgin Mary and dates back from the 10th-11th century. It has a very special architecture, with a free cross with a dome. There are some frescoes surviving in poor condition.


Church of Saint Panteleimon at Nopigia

The church of Saint Panteleimon by Nopigia is a cruciform church of the 14-15th century and is one of the largest pilgrimages in the area of Kissamos. It is dedicated to St. Panteleimon, St Spyridon and St Charalambos.


Saint George at Hamalevri

Hamalevri is one of the 18 villages of Palea Roumata, Chania. It is very small with only 3-4 houses and should not be confused with the larger village Hamalevri in Rethymnon. It is hidden in one of the most beautiful chestnut woods of Crete at a hillside overlooking Apopigadi.


Church of Saint John the Baptist at Deliana

The church of St. John the Baptist at the village Deliana is a single-nave vaulted church that dates back to the Byzantine era. The interior is adorned with frescoes of the 13th-14th century, with the head of St. John 'on table', the Assumption and the depictions of the damned heretics standing out.


Church of Saint Stephen at Drakona

The chapel of Saint Stephen at Drakona (Kissamos province) is a small vaulted church sited in a lush green scenery. The temple dates back from the Byzantine Era (9th century) and bears extremely important frescoes depicting St Stephen (14th century).


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