Church of Saint George


Saint George church at Apostoli
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On November 3rd, every year, Cretans celebrate Saint George Methystis (i.e. Saint George that makes people drunk). On that day they first open the barrels and taste the new wine made of the grapes that were collected two months ago. Normally Saint George is celebrated on April 23 every year, but because he was always put in a special place in the hearts of the Greeks they gave him the advantage to be honored twice a year. And because in November, during the feast day, we experience the fresh wine, it sometimes leads to drunk people, hence the name Methystis.

One of the churches of Crete that celebrate the feast day of Saint George Methystis is Agios Georgios at village Apostoli, province Pediada, a village with a long tradition in wine production. The temple is made of stone and externally no plaster has been put. It is a small single-nave church dating back to the Venetian period. The front side is quite beautiful with a round hole and bell tower.

What makes Saint George of Apostoli extremely important is the incredible frescoes that adorn its interior walls. The entire temple is full of impressive frescoes, in terms of colors and style but also because they are kept in really good condition. The church had the rare good fortune to accept life-saving hagiographic maintenance by the authorities, unlike other monuments in Crete. The frescoes of Saint George could be considered among the most important on the entire island and some of the best in the entire prefecture of Heraklion. To protect the site, the church remains locked.

The iconographic decoration includes scenes from the evangelical cycle and the cycle of Saint George, from which the representation of the torture on the wheel on the north wall stands out. The Passion of the Christ, on the north side of the arch, is characterized by the realistic depiction of human suffering, as in the case of the Epitaph mourning.

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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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