Aghios Georgios in Mourtzes Fourfouras

Agios Georgios in Mourtzes: A Byzantine Chapel Amidst Ancient Olive Trees

Construction Period: 15th century (early 15th century)

Location:

  • Mourtzes (or Mourtza) area, southeast of Fourfouras village in the Amari region, Rethymno, Crete.
  • Situated within a picturesque olive grove with ancient trees.

Dimensions:

  • Small, single-aisled, barrel-vaulted chapel.

Historical Significance:

  • Built on the ruins of an older church, indicating continuous religious use of the site.
  • Features well-preserved 15th-century frescoes, offering valuable insights into the artistic and religious traditions of the period.
  • The glazed ceramic plates adorning the southern doorway are a unique and noteworthy decorative element.
  • The church’s location in an olive grove adds to its charm and historical context, as olive cultivation has been a central part of Cretan life for millennia.

Current Status:

  • The church is in moderate condition, with some deterioration evident.
  • The frescoes are relatively well-preserved and offer a glimpse into the artistic expressions of the 15th century.
  • The church remains an important cultural and historical landmark in the Amari region.

Agios Georgios in Mourtzes: A Byzantine Gem in an Ancient Olive Grove

Located southeast of the village of Fourfouras in the heart of Crete’s Amari region, the small Byzantine chapel of Agios Georgios (Saint George) stands as a testament to the island’s rich religious and artistic heritage. Situated within an olive grove of ancient trees, the chapel’s picturesque setting adds to its allure and historical significance.

Dating back to the early 15th century, Agios Georgios was constructed on the ruins of an older church, suggesting that this site has been a place of worship for centuries. The chapel’s modest exterior belies the artistic treasures that await within. The interior walls are adorned with well-preserved frescoes depicting biblical scenes and saints, their vibrant colors and intricate details showcasing the skill and devotion of the Byzantine artists who created them.

One of the chapel’s most distinctive features is the glazed ceramic plates that decorate the southern doorway. These colorful plates, a unique decorative element, add a touch of whimsy and charm to the otherwise simple facade.

The olive grove surrounding Agios Georgios is a testament to the long-standing agricultural traditions of Crete. The gnarled trunks and silvery leaves of the ancient olive trees create a serene and contemplative atmosphere, inviting visitors to pause and reflect on the history and spirituality that permeate the site.

Agios Georgios in Mourtzes of Fourfouras Crete
The entrance of Agios Georgios in Mourtzes
Olive tree in the ancient olive grove next to Agios Gergios in Mourtzes in Fourfouras
Olive tree in the ancient olive grove next to Agios Gergios in Mourtzes in Fourfouras
Olive tree in the ancient olive grove next to Agios Gergios in Mourtzes in Fourfouras
Beautiful bark of an olive tree next to Agios Georgios in Mourtzes of Fourfouras
Access
Paved Road

The church is not visible from the road. It requires a small walk into the beautiful olive grove that surrounds the church.

ReligionInfo
Venetian
Byzantine period
Ottoman period
Open to Public
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