Religious Monuments of Province


The province of Pediada hosts one of the most important religious parks in Crete, with numerous painted temples and deserted monasteries scattered all around. Prominent in number and aesthetic value of monuments is the area around today's Episkopi, which was the seat of the Diocese as its name reveals.

Church of Saint John at Agios Vasilios

The church of Saint John the Baptist is located next to the Sinai monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa and bears frescoes by the painter Phocas, whom we meet in other churches of Pediada province. An inscription mentions the date 1291, being one of the oldest in the region.


Church of Saint Nicholas in Houdetsi

On the path leading from Houdetsi to the Sinai monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa, we meet the very old church dedicated Saint Nicholas (Agios Nikolaos). It is the only temple of Houdetsi enlisted by Gerola in the catalogue of the 845 decorated churches in Crete. The church was originally a single-nave barrel-vaulted church, later expanded by acquiring additional elongated shape. It's interior bears some traces of frescoes dating back from by the Venetian era.


Saint Paraskevi Church at Houdetsi

At the highest point of Houdetsi village, position Marolliana, we meet the cavernous chapel of Agia Paraskevi. It is a very small temple within a carved room, almost square shape, which was possible carved in a preexisting cave. According to Paul Faure it was a Minoan sanctuary several centuries ago. Agia Paraskevi is celebrated on July 26 by Christian Orthodoxy.


Panagia Kera Church at Apostoli

At the northern end of the plain of Kastelli, between the villages Sklaverohori and Agii Apostoli (Pediada district) we meet Panagia Kera. Access is very easy because it's on the main road. The informative signs tell us that the church dates from the 14th century. This is another single-aisled church, built during the Venetian occupation of Crete, a time when the island was decorated with resplendent temples, most of which carried rich wall paintings.


Panagia Gouverniotissa Monastery

The monastery of Panagia Gouverniotissa is located near the village Potamies, 3km east of Heraklion. Today it operates as a monastery, but the church is used regularly for liturgies. It is built on a small hill with nice views to Potamies valley.


Saint Paraskevi church at Galifa

Near the village Galifa, province Pediada, survives the two-aisled church of Agia Paraskevi and Agios Panteleimon. The temple dates back to the 13th century and bears great frescoes of a provincial painter, in very good condition.


Agios Nikolaos church at Hersonissos

The Early Christian basilica of Agios Nikolaos is located east of Hersonissos town, at the site of the current church of St. Nicholas. The basilica of the 6th century had dimensions 50mx19m. It was decorated with a mosaic floor which is preserved in better quality than the floor of the nearby basilica in Kastri.


Agia Fotini Cave and Agia Anna church

The cave of Agia Fotini is on located on Mount Louloudaki, 7km south of Avdou village, at an altitude of 760m. 35km east of Heraklion is the Avdou village, where a sign "Agia Fotini Cave - 7 km”, shows the direction. From there you enter a dirt road, which leads to a small square below the mouth of the cave. Following the steep path on foot, the visitor arrives at the entrance of the cave.


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