Church of Panagia


Panagia Evangelistria church at Avdou
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In Avdou, province Pediada, we meet ten Byzantine churches that make Avdou stand out from the surrounding villages. At the eastern end of the village we meet one of the most important, the church of the Annunciation (Evangelismos), which celebrates on March 25. The church of the Annunciation dates back from the 14th century and belongs to the architectural type of free cross with a dome. It is located next to the old primary school of the village which in earlier times hosted 180 children, while today it remains closed. Next to the school there is a memorial for the victims of the village during the liberation struggles.

Outside the church there is a large courtyard that in recent years has experienced days of glory as it is the place where most of the summer concerts and events of the active cultural association of the village take place. In the yard there is an old stone well, while the nearby church of Saint Anthony hosts an identical one.

Inside, the church of Panagia Evangelistria preserves fragments of paintings of the late 14th century, but most of them are covered with salts and are indistinguishable. The visitor can observe part of the Dormition of Mary with the mourning Daughters of Jerusalem.

Its dome has four small openings that serve as small windows which for years remained open and half-destroyed, as a result of which rainwater penetrated for years, intensifying the destruction of the paintings. In the year 1912, a stone bell tower of unique beauty was added to the church with relief plant decoration and the representation of the Annunciation of the Virgin.

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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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