Ten Saints at Agioi Deka
In the centre of the settlement of Agioi Deka is a large three-aisled basilica with a narthex and two domed outbuildings to the east, dedicated to the homonymous saints. The church, which has multiple construction phases, was erected inside the Roman amphitheatre of ancient Gortyna where the saints were martyred in AD 250 during the reign of Decius. Its foundation, possibly atop the ruins of an early Christian basilica according to certain morphological features, such as the ceramoplastic decoration with the herringbone band on the north and central cross arm, is placed in the middle Byzantine period. Extensive reconstruction work was carried out on the church in the early Venetian period when the superstructure was rebuilt but also in the early 20th century when the present narthex was formed. The aisles that are roofed, the nave by a pointed barrel-vault, the lateral ones by half barrel-vaults, are divided by colonnades of three monolithic columns which have inverted bases of columns as capitals. Only a few figures of martyrs survive in the intrados of the arches from the wall decoration of the church, likely dating to the beginning of the 13th century. Related to the place of burial of the saints is the homonymous church on the southwest corner of the settlement, in the location of “Agia Limni” [Holy Lake]. This recently built church (1915 – 1917) was founded, according to tradition, above the tombs of the saints which are visible in a catacomb beneath the narthex. The tombs were revealed at the beginning of the 20th century after the draining of the lake due to the many miracles that were taking place in this area.