The impressive church of Saint George in Kamariotes - Ιστορίες, Ρεπορτάζ, Σχολιασμός Κρήτης Blog |

Σάββατο 20 Μαρτίου 2021

The impressive church of Saint George in Kamariotes

The church of St. George, in the mountainous settlement of Kamariotes, (about 30 km. away from Heraklion) is built upon a rock in the architectural three-aisled, (dedicated to St. George, Christ and St. Nikolas) barrel-vaulted basilica plan onto which was added first, a domed narthex, and then, a barrel-vaulted outer narthex.

The church was built as an episcopal one at the beginning of the 14th century, as can be seen from the construction of a synthronon, with three steps, in the central conch of the sanctuary, since the right for the installment of an orthodox bishop on the feuds of the family was granted with the treaty of 1299 between the Venetians and Alexios Kallergis.

The policy of the Kallergi has been stated  characteristically on the western side of the curch on the lintel of the luxurious late Gothic doorframe with the lion of St Mark in Venice in relief between two crests of the family of the Kallergi as well as with a  second depiction of the crest on a two-headed eagle in relief  on the external side of the central apse of the church.

The, rich in sculpted decoration, doorframe was built later during the 15th century. On the western wall of the narthex are two double-light pointed windows which were walled in during the addition of the outer narthex and covered with wall paintings.

In the interior the aisles are divided by three pointed barrel-vaults, a solution which is found in churches of the area around Psiloreites, where the feuds of the Kallergi family were.

In the northern aisle two late Gothic capitals of exceptional art have been incorporated in the pillar, remains of a luxury  grave in the form of an arcosolium , possibly of the founders’ family.

The church preserves a significant part of its wall painting decoration, especially in the area of sanctuary.

The size of the church in relation to the prevailing ones of the period, the high quality of the decoration, the predominance of western influence in architecture, the information from the sources as well as similar examples of churches in the wider area of Psiloreites seem to be connected directly to the efforts of Alexios Kallergis to found a Greek’ small state on Venetian-occupied Crete.  

(Christian Monuments of Crete, Synodical commitee for religious tourism of the church of Crete-N.G.O Filoxenia).