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Churches

Before the Saracens’’ invasions in the area, there were the churches of Evangelism at the north and St George’s or St Nicholas at the south part of the ancient village. Furthermore there was the church of St Barbara 1km north-east of the village and a monastery at the location where is today the church of St George. These churches were destroyed by the Saracens in 823 A.D.
Nowadays there are 8 churches in the village area. There are no records for the history of the churches and what is known today is known from narrations.

1. Holly Mother the Evangelist

It is an early era Christian Temple, 100 roughly metres south-east of the village, it was destroyed by the Saracens initially in 823 A.D. and then twice from the raid of Turks in 1471 and the years when they occupied the island of Crete. It is also said that the temple was destroyed by an earthquake in 1612. The first restoration is said to have taken place by the Byzantine settlers of the village. For the destructions by the Turks it is not known when and who did the restoration, but probably it was restored by residents who survived.

The restoration after the earthquake is said that it became from a woman who is reported with the name “Maria”. She was killed by the Turks when they made their last destruction. She is buried in the Temple in a grave under arc-shaped vault that she had made by herself. For this woman it is said that she was very rich and benevolent. Her house was built 500 metres south-east of the temple at the end of a bluff and remaining of her house can still be seen in that location.

2. Church of St George of Samakidis

South-east of the village in a distance of 3,5 kilometres and another so long from the settlement of Analypsis is found the little church of St George which in the past was known as Monastery of Samakidis.

It is built under a cavernal precipice at the point where history reports that there was a hermitage of nuns. Writings regarding the Temple or the monastery have not been found. Probably any writings were disappeared at the long-lasting possession of Turks. Tradition and history report that in 1471 A.D. by the raid of Turks most villages of Sitia province and Abbeys were destroyed. «…»

3. Church of St Konstantinos, St Helen and the Three Hierarchs

The church of Three Hierarchs is the parish church of the village. The church has two aisles with the south one being dedicated to St Konstantinos & St Helen and the north aisle is dedicated to the Three Hierarchs.

From local history and the dates written on the pictures it is known that the first aisle was built between 1840-1850. The second aisle was built between 1897- 1902 from the locals as an offering after their victory against Turks during the night of 29th - 30th of January which is the Saints’ day. It is said that the temple of the Three Hierarchs is made of the remaining of three cypresses that were set on fire by the Christians against the Turks during the battle in Pilalimata in 1897.


4. Dormition of the Theotokos church

Two kilometres of East of the village on the way to Lithines the temple of Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) is found. History reports it to have been built by Byzantines during the years of their sovereignty (961-1204). Was a monastery dependency of the monastery of ‘Kera’ – Virgin Mary in Pilalimata and it was destroyed from Turks invaders. The temple of Virgin Mary was restored unknown from who and when but it was destroyed once again by Turks from unknown cause. It is said that Turks of Daphne who had their flocks ranging in the area, did not allow the restoration of the Temple. In 1935 again the temple was restored by Mrs Maria Santimpantaki from the village Katsidoni of Sitia and the opening ceremony was held in the same year.

5. Holy Cross and St Panteleimon

North of the village on the top of the mountain is built the small country church of Holy Cross and a little outer and eastern of the village by the street the little church of Saint Panteleimon. Both were built in the decade 1880-90 by Mr Stavros Kassotakis who is reported as ‘Kasotostavris’.

The place of Temple of Holy Cross offers a scenery view that impress the visitor as the village of Pefki, the slopes form a magnificent landscape ending at the Makry Gialos area and Libikon Sea.

6. Temple of Ascension

On the road that passes from the settlement of Analypsis is built the little church dedicated to the Ascension of Jesus. Its construction began in 1908 from residents of Pefki at a location that had the name “Big piece or Chani”. Its completion was delayed up to 1930, due to the long-lasting wars from 1913 until 1922 and other unfavourable situations. Then a villager, who was retired officer of police force and tradesman in the town of Ierapetra, Charilaos M Manoysakis sponsored its completion which took place in 1933 from the craftsman Stefanos E Karamanolakis from the Krya village. The opening ceremony of the Temple became the 1934. In 1983 suffered damage due to arson, the repair then was sponsored by the ship-owner Antonios Lelakis from the town of Sitia.

7. Church of St James (St Dimitrios)

In Pilalimata, in the decade of 1980 Mr Georgios Dermitzakis from the village of Lapithos and his spouse Ekaterini Ioannou Chatzakis from Agios Stefanos offered a big part of their land and a respectable amount of money for building the temple of Saint Dimitrios. After their death construction of the temple was carried out by the residents of Pilalimata and others from the nearby areas, with the priest Emmanuel Chatzakis being the organizer of their endeavour. Finally the opening ceremony was held on the 26th-10-1993.

Πηγή:

«Πεύκοι “Τόπος και Ιστορία”», Γεωργίου Θ. Καναβάκη (Καναβογιώργη), Έκδοση Κοινότητας Πεύκων, Ιούλιος – Αύγουστος 1994

Address: Pefki Village, Makri Gialos, Siteia Crete, Greece PC 72055

Email: info@pefkivillage.gr

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