Timios Stavros Church


Timios Stavros Church at Kalamafka
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Kalamafka is one of the most beautiful mountain villages of Ierapetra and Crete, generally. The village is famous for its rich waters that gush literally everywhere throughout its territory. It is also known for its unique limestone formations that have given it the name ''Meteora' of' Crete. One of these rock formations, probably the most famous of all, is Kastellos, located in the center of the village.

To climb on Kastellos from the square we need to climb about 230 stairs to get to the top of the cliff. On top of Kastellos there is an impressive cave, deep enough, in which there are stairs. Inside the cave there is the cavernous temple of the Holy Cross that celebrates every year on September 14 and a festival takes place in the village. The church interior is very simple reminding of white-brushed Aegean islands. Externally there is a bell tower and a spacious courtyard from where the views to all sides are nice. The cave of the Holy Cross was a sacred cave sanctuary in the Minoan era.

The rock of Kastelli was a peak sanctuary and a citadel of the ancient city Larisa (Larisa = place with plenty of water) which was sited at the edge of current settlement. Even the current name of the village Kalamafka has a great conceptual relationship with the ancient since the word Kalamafka, which is found in numerous places of Crete, always with water sources, is a corruption of the words Kali (Good) Afkla. Afkla in the Cretan dialect is the pipe that carries water. On the western edge of the cliff of Kastelli the lines of rock form a figure with gigantic dimensions called the Stone God. The Stone God is quite impressive and it looks pretty good in the afternoon.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Walking

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