Timios Stavros Church


Timios Stavros Church at Kalamafka
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Kalamafka is one of the most beautiful mountain villages of province Ierapetra. The village is famous for its rich water springs 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 (Timios Stavros) that celebrates every year on September 14 and a festival takes place in the village. The church interior is very simple reminding of the whitewashed houses of the 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 means place with plenty of water) which was sited at the edge of the current settlement. Even the current name of the village Kalamafka has a great conceptual relationship with the ancient name since the word Kalamafka, which is found in numerous places of Crete 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 formation, 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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