Church of the Holy Apostles at


Church of the Holy Apostles at Kavousi
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At the neighborhood Ligaras of the traditional village Kavoussi, province Ierapetra, we meet the impressive Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles (Agii Apostoli). Ligaras gets its name after the plant ligaria (chaste tree), as there is a spring (kavousi) that watered the village, and was full of that plant. Ligaras is the oldest neighborhood in Kavousi, which over the centuries developed around this spring.

The church of the Holy Apostles is the most important monument of Ligaras due to its age and the beauty of the frescoes. It is a single aisled vaulted temple with many frescoes dating back between 1200 -1250. Despite the age, the frescoes that adorn every wall are kept in good condition and the archeologists have removed corrosion signs that dull old paintings in most Byzantine churches of Crete.

The subjects include several scenes from the Old Testament, 13 different depictions of the cycle of Christ and a striking frescoe of the Virgin Mary during the birth of the Christ and the Three Holy Children in the Fiery Furnace in the south wall of the sanctuary. There are also scenes with sinners at hell. The temple of Holy Apostles has two layers of murals (first from the 14th century and the newest of the 15th century).

The temple is accessible only on foot, after wandering in the very narrow alleys of Kavoussi. The temple has a spacious yard with views down to the valley of Kavoussi and the sea. A few meters above the temple we see the remains of the Byzantine wall that once protected the village against attacks.


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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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