Place search

This early Christian church dating from the second half of the 6th century, situated outside Kato Episcope, near Kissamos, is one of the most important monuments of Crete from the early Christian period.

The church is of great value, from both an architectural and an icon painting perspective. Architecturally, it is a periaptic (pericentric) rectangular building topped with a large cupola. The narthex lies at the west end of the church and then there is an atrium. The exterior of the cupola is formed by homocentric crowns evolving like steps. Inside the church, the mosaic floors, dating back to the 6th century, are decorated with flake like motifs, ivy leaves, fish and intersecting semi-circles. Equally important is the wall decoration, preserved in patches in 4-5 layers. The initial layer dates back to the 7th century. The second one is attributed to the period of Iconomachy, and, therefore, depicts non-iconic motifs of crosses and the third one is an example of great icon painting craftsmanship and it is associated with the 2nd Byzantine period, when the Diocese See of Kissamos was transferred here.