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.

Panagia Church at Kato Astraki

The Church of Panagia (Our Lady) at the ruined village of Kato Astraki is a single-aisled 16th century church which bears traces of frescoes. Also on the west side there is a coat of arms depicting a double-headed eagle with the date 1555. Inside the church we see a tomb with a coat of arms on it (possibly from Kallergis family).


Archangel Michael church at Kato Astraki

The small single-aisled Venetian church of Archangel Michael is located at the ruined village of Kato Astraki. Its interior bears impressive frescoes. Out of them stands out the representation of St. Francis.


Church of Agia Kiriaki at Vorrou

The end of the 19th century, the monk Georgios Kostantoulakis, also known locally as Moyses, took refuge in a secluded location near the village Vorrou, where he lived in a small cave. Over time he built the church of Agia Kyriaki, a cell and some auxiliary rooms. According to the inscription we see even today over the church door, the temple was built in 1901.


Panagia Church at Galipe

At the small and picturesque village Galype at province Pediada we meet a very remarkable church dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary (Panagia). The church of Panagia celebrates on August 15 and it is a good opportunity for someone to visit the interior of the temple (as it is locked all yaer round for its protection).


Church of Saint George at Embaros

The church of St. George at center of the village Embaros is the most important Byzantine monument in the wider area. The church was built in 1436 and bears frescoes drawn by the painter Manuel Fokas in the 15th century.


Agia Anastasia Cave at Galipe

In the short gorge between Galipe and Kenourgio Horio villages, we find the small cavernous chapel of Agia Anastasia. It is one of the 265 cavernous chapels of Crete and one of the most interesting. It is surrounded by pines and cypresses of a small artificial grove. There is water leaking from the roof, therefore it is considered miraculous.


Church of Saint John Pezetis

A passable dirt road that starts from the cemetery of village Gournes and heads south, leads us to position Xevigli where there is a temple of the former monastery Saint John Pezetis, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist (feast day is August 29th). The small church interior bears frescoes in fair condition, dated in two phases.


Church of Saint Paraskevi at Episkopi

A small, single-nave, barrel vaulted church that is located on the south side of the square, which has the same name. The church dates back to the period of the Venetian Rule, more specifically to the 15th century. There are two entrances, one on the west and one on the north, with ornate Venetian aedicules. On the monolithic lintel of the north entrance, there are two elaborate spirals. Just in front of the Altar, there is a tomb, whose owner is unknown.


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