Church of Michail Archangelos

Church of Michail Archangelos in Arkalochori Crete
Church of Michail Archangelos in Arkalochori Crete
Church of Michail Archangelos in Arkalochori Crete
Church of Michail Archangelos in Arkalochori Crete
Church of Michail Archangelos in Arkalochori Crete
Church of Michail Archangelos in Arkalochori Crete

The Church of Michail Archangelos: A Byzantine Monument in Arkalochori, Crete

Located in the old cemetery of Arkalochori, a short distance from the village, the Church of Michail Archangelos stands as a testament to Crete’s rich Byzantine heritage. This cruciform church, likely constructed in the 13th century, features a later addition of a narthex with a unique cone-shaped dome and originally open arches, later enclosed.

Artistic Legacy and Earthquake Damage

The church’s interior boasts a wealth of frescoes, although many are fragmentary. The main church contains 13th-century depictions of scenes from the Gospels and the life of Archangel Michael. The narthex, dating to the mid-14th century, showcases a less visible but still significant collection of frescoes, including a central Pantocrator in the dome and scenes from the Mariological cycle.

The 2021 earthquakes in Arkalochori caused significant damage to the Church of Michail Archangelos. While the structure remains standing, extensive repairs are needed to prevent further deterioration and potential collapse.

Construction Period:

  • Likely 13th century, with the narthex added in the 14th century

Location:

  • Old cemetery of Arkalochori, Crete, Greece

Historical Significance:

  • Rare example of Byzantine architecture in Crete
  • Contains valuable 13th and 14th-century frescoes

Current Status:

  • Standing but severely damaged by the 2021 earthquakes
  • Requires extensive restoration
Access
Paved Road

The church is open to the public, but there are warning signs because of the stability issues of the structure.

ReligionInfo
In a settlement
Venetian
Byzantine period
Ottoman period
Contemporary

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