Panagia Kera

The most popular Byzantine monument in Crete (13th- 14th A.D.), it is located in Logari, one kilometre east of Kritsa. This triple-nave Byzantine church is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, to Saint Anthony and Saint Anna. It is adorned with superb wall paintings on particular themes like the representation of Saint Anna, other icons of the saints, and the fourteen scenes depicting the secret life of the Virgin Mary.

Characteristic of all the wall paintings is their vividness, expressiveness and aesthetic perfection. Their existence had been hidden for hundreds of years by earlier Christians to avoid their destruction by the Turkish occupiers. It also has three aisles and a dome construction.

Each aisle contains paintings from a different period, representing a different religious theme. The central aisle, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, contains the oldest paintings which reflect a mixture of styles. The other two aisles were added on in later periods. The south aisle has the best-preserved paintings. In contrast to the more stylized paintings of the period, these paintings display a tenderness and humanity in their rendering of the story of Anna, the Virgin Mary’s mother. The north aisle is dedicated to St. Anthony and has pictures representing the Second Coming. Although the Venetians occupied Crete during the period, they allowed the Cretans to decorate their churches as they desired. The rare fresco techniques used and the subject matters make the Panagia Kera particularly interesting to visit.

Gallery

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