Monuments & Sights of Crete

Numerous monuments, big and small, can be seen scattered in urban, coastal and inland areas of Crete: Venetian fortresses and castles, Byzantine churches, Turkish mosques, monuments of vernacular architecture and other noteworthy buildings, as well as locations which have left their mark in the history of the island, or others that were marked themselves by the conquerors who ruled in the island, down the centuries. 

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A remarkable Early Byzantine basilica of the 3rd century AD was unearthed one kilometre east of the village of Vizari, in the district of Amari, on the site where a noteworthy town flourished during the Late Roman years. 

  • location Vizari, Amari, Rethymno
  • type Church
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

The Monastery of Varsamonero was one of the most important centres of the Cretan School of Iconography and is related to the Monastery of Vrontisi.

  • location Vorizia, Festos, Heraklio
  • type Abandoned Monastery, Church
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

Spinalonga is a small island-fortress located at the northern entrance to Elounda bay, at a strategic point that secures control over the natural harbour of Elounda. An ancient fortification existed on the site of the fortress that can be seen today, for the protection of the port of the ancient town of Olous.

  • location Spina Longa, Mirampelo, Lasithi
  • type Architecture, Fortifications, Castle
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

A remarkable Early Byzantine church, dedicated to the Archangel Michael, can be seen near the village of Kato Episkopi, in the area of Kissamos. In the early Christian years, it was the seat of a Bishops’ see. In the 6th century AD the church took the form it has today, and it has been in use continuously since then.

  • location Episkopi, Platanias, Chania
  • type Church
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

The church of Panagia Kera (the Virgin) is located on the road that connects Agios Nikolaos with Kritsa, 1 km before the village of Kritsa, and it is considered as one of the most remarkable Byzantine monuments on the island of Crete. 

  • location Kritsa, Mirampelo, Lasithi
  • type Church
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved

A large basilica of the early 6th century AD was excavated in the area of Panormos, in the area of Milopotamos, south of the national road. According to the excavators, it was the Bishop’s see of Eleftherna during the Early Byzantine years. It is believed that it was dedicated to Saint Sofia. 

  • location Panormo, Milopotamos, Rethymno
  • type Church
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved
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