Church of Saint George at

Episkopi

Church of Saint George at Episkopi
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At the centre of Ieraperta plain we meet the village of Episkopi (i.e. diocese). Its name is due to the fact that the Byzantine period was the seat of a bishop. Almost in the center of the village we find the impressive church of Agios Georgios and Agios Charalambos. This impressive temple is particularly beautiful and claims a global uniqueness of its kind because there is nowhere else church like it.

The left part is the nave of St. George is much older than the right of St. Haralambos, which was added during the 16th century. The nave of St. George was built in the 11th century and it was probably firstly operating as baths before being converted into a church. Therefore it has a very cute shape with a playful dome that resembles the architectural work of Gaudi in Barcelona.

The church is located next to the stream that flows through the village and is surrounded by open space with a well and trees, while the back part is connected to village houses. The interior frescoes have not survived but what immediately pulls the visitor's attention is the wooden iconostasis (icon shrine) with two dragons beneath the Cross, one of the most impressive in Crete with numerous engravings. In the right wall low to the floor there is a vaulted opening from where a gallery started, now blocked by debris. Locals claim that the gallery was very long and led out of the village in times of urgent need.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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