Church of Panagia at


Church of Panagia at Skepasti
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The village Skepasti takes its name after the double-aisled Byzantine church of Panagia Skepasti and Saint Nicholas. There is legend about the church worth mentioning. Once, pirates landed in the area and captured many girls, which were later sold as slaves to a Turk from Izmir. Among them was the wife of the priest of Skepasti. The priest traveled to Izmir to find his wife, but could not find her and started begging for his living. One day, the poor beggar accidentally knocked the door of the Turk. Then, his wife recognized him but didn’t speak to him. Instead, she took a bread and filled it with gold coins and a note saying “Go back to Skepasti and build a church on my behalf”.

Indeed the poor priest took the bread, and later realized that his wife was living there. He tried to see her again, but with no success. Thus, he decided to return to his home place, where he built the church. There is still an inscription on one wall, that tells this story (in Greek)

Continuing our story, one day the wife was sighing and the Turk asked her what was wrong. She replied “today is the feast of Holy Cross and tomorrow is the feast of Saint Nikitas. Our village used to celebrate that”. The Turk responded “if the Holy Cross and Saint Nikitas are miraculous, then you will find yourself at home with whatever you hold”. The wife, who held a golden basin and was preparing to wash him, suddenly disappeared and returned to the village. It is believed that the story is partially true, but the Turk just released her.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Rethymnon Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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