Church of Saint George


Church of Saint George at Embaros
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The church of Saint George (Agios Georgios) in Embaros, in the center of the village, is the most important Byzantine Monument in the area. The church was built in 1436 and bears frescoes of the palaeologean style by Manuel Fokas, who also painted Saint George church in Ano Symi and, together with his brother Ioannis Fokas, Saint Constantine in Avdou. Manuel Fokas is considered to be the forerunner of the Cretan School of Hagiography of the 16th century, since in the full-size figures of the side walls an analogy with the portable icons has been observed.

On the west wall of the church there is an inscription dating back from 1437 and a reference to the emperor Ioannis Palaeologos. Despite the severe damage caused to it by the Ottomans during the various Cretan Revolutions, most of its frescoes survived fairly well until about 1920. Since then, they have been largely destroyed by moisture from the leaking roof. The iconographic program includes scenes from the evangelical circle with emphasis on the Passion (eg scene of Christ before Pilate, Denial of Peter, Elkomenos, etc.) and six scenes from the life of Saint George.

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Additional Info

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

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