The secret School of St George

Kato Prina

Saint George Church at Kato Prina
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At position Kato Prina between the villages Prina and Meseleri we meet the church of St. George, nicknamed the “secret school”. The Byzantine church of Saint George is very well hidden in a hillside surrounded by very dense vegetation of shrubs, trees and gardens.

From afar one cannot see the church, but the cypress trees around it. A short distance from the temple there is a spring which irrigates the local fields. The water was transferred through a channel that passes directly in front of the church. A few meters east of the church there is an old olive tree, one of the most unknown of Crete, with remarkably large trunk. This hidden place was, according to tradition, a secret Christian school during the Turkish occupation of Crete. The old church does not bear frescoes but its historical importance makes it a significant monument. Inside the church there is a small passage to a vaulted hidden room, which was the school room.

According to tradition this room had 100+1 arches but one was destroyed, but it is not a true fact (this narration is occasionaly met in Crete). There is a backdoor for escaping in case of a Turkish attack. Around the temple we meet a perennial cypress tree and the ruins of some buildings, maybe monk cells.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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