Religious Monuments of Province


Church of Panagia Galatiani at Malia
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The church of Panagia Galatiani or Galeniani is located in Malia and consists of three aisles, as a result of the successive addition of two aisles to the originally single-naved 14th-century temple that today forms the central aisle. The three aisles are dedicated to the Holy Ten Cretan Martyrs (Agii Deka), the Presentation of Mary (Panagia) and Saint Charalambos and date back to 1840, the 14th century and 1898 respectively.

The name Galatiani means milky and comes from the use of milk in the construction of the temple, a technique that enhances the strength of the mud and was widely used in Crete. As a second interpretation, some consider that it is taken after an icon of Virgin Mary, breastfeeding Jesus.

Externally, noteworthy are the bell tower of 1898 and the picturesque well. Internally there are architectural parts that have been removed from the ruins of the Early Christian Basilica from Livadi near Malia. In addition to the beautiful 19th-century wood-carved iconostasis, fragmentary frescoes from the initial single-naved temple are preserved in the central aisle.

Hagiographies include scenes from the Christological cycle (Jesus live) and the life of the Virgin Mary. In the scene of crucifixion we see Christ, Virgin Mary and Saint John, while in other churches there are usually more participants. The Twelve Apostles are depicted holding their initial name character in the great representation of the Second Coming.

Apart from the frescoes, notable are the Byzantine portable icons dating back to the 15th century, exhibited in a small collection. The most important are Panagia (15th century) and two icons following the Cretan School of Hagiography (Cephalophorus Agios Ioannis Prodromos and Deesis).

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Additional Info

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

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