The Church of Panagia Kera (Greek: Εκκλησία της Παναγίας της Κεράς) is a Cretan Byzantine church, located 1 km (0.62 miles) from the village of Kritsa, in the Dikte Mountains. It contains the finest-preserved Byzantine-era frescoes in Crete, and for that reason, has become one of the most culturally and historically significant churches on the island.
The Late Greek word ‘Panagia’ is defined as ‘Virgin’ in English, and is among the titles of the Virgin Mary in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Although no founding date for the Church of Panagia Kera has been established, historical consensus agrees that the oldest parts of the church, the central nave, its vaulted roof and dome, were constructed and painted in the 13th century.The side-aisles of the church, its western entrance, and the belfry and the buttresses supporting the church, were later built and painted during the early to mid-14th century.The frescoes in Panagia Kera date back to the Paleologian Renaissance, due to their vivid, bright colors.According to local tradition, the church contained an icon of the Virgin Mary, which was believed to have miraculous powers. During the period of Byzantine Iconoclasm, it was removed to Constantinople, but was later returned. In 1498, during the Venetian occupation of Crete, a Greek trader stole the icon, which was later transported to the temple of Saint Alfonso on the Esquiline Hill in Rome.Panagia Kera was later renovated by the Managgaris family in 1722, and in 1732 the icon of the Virgin Mary was repainted in the church by an unknown artist.
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The three-aisled vault with domed church of Panagia Kera is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Cretan products are famous for their quality all over the world. In the links below you will find information about the products that are produced and thrived in Crete.
Venetian castle, the city of lepers. The second place to visit in Crete. A beautiful excursion, from Agios Nikolaos, Elounda or Plaka.
A little further beyond Paxi Ammos is the picturesque settlement of Episkopi with a remarkable tavern.
stron Villas are located in one of the most picturesque areas of Crete. In the area there are several neighboring beaches next to each other. Beach Clay is just 150 meters away from your door.
The cosmopolitan resort of Crete with its large luxury hotels and picturesque coastline can make your day pleasant. In Elounda, visit the canal for a drink or a food, the tavern in Mavrikiano for a simple meal, Plaka for fish
The quiet pebbly beach of Karavostasi is 12 km south of Agios Nikolaos, west of the holiday village of Istro and on the main road leading from Agios Nikolaos to Sitia and Ierapetra.