Byzantine church of Panagia Kera
|Distance||8km to the south of Agios Nikolaos and 1km before Kritsa village|
|Open to the public:||08:30 - 15:00 daily (winter timetable)|
|Entrance fee:||Adults 2 €, over 65 2 €. Below 18 years of age and students free of charge.|
|Parking space:||Available for all types of vehicles|
|Facilities for people with disabilities:||Available|
|Supervised by:||Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports|
|Access & walking difficulty:||Difficulty rating, 1|
The Byzantine church of Panagia is located 8km to the south of Agios Nikolaos and 1km before Kritsa village. Three aisled, arch-roofed Basilica with a dome that was built in two phases. The middle aisle is the older between the three dating from the 13th century. It was built as a single aisled church with a dome consecrated to the Assumption of Virgin. The oldest wall paintings (midst of the 13th century) survive in the sanctuary crevice. The other two aisles were added later one by one. The southern one is consecrated to Saint Anna and the northern one to Saint Anthony. The latter is where the year 1348 and the donor Mazizanis are frescoed.
The entire interior of the church is painted. The paintings are contemporary with the respective architectural additions and alterations. It is one of the few churches that one can see scenes from the apocrypha gospels of Jacob (south aisle), creations of intense naturalism and sentimental expression, which is rare in the Byzantine art. The aesthetics of the north aisle wall paintings are attributed to a probably important artist, possibly from Constantinople. It is one of the most important and better preserved churches in Crete.