Agia Ekaterini and Genessio tis Theotokou (St. Catherine & Nativity of Mary) (Armenoi)
The church of Saint Catherine is located in the abandoned village of Etia, close to the impressive Venetian mansion Dei Mezzo.
It is a two-aisled church dedicated to Saint Catherine and the Virgin Mary. The original aisle was adorned with murals. The church’s architecture and sophisticated decorative elements betray Renaissance influence, and its relief-decorated belfry is particularly impressive. In all likelihood, the church has served as both Catholic and Orthodox.
Places near Agia Aikaterini
Agia Sofia Monastery is located close to Armeni village, Sitia region by Handras plateau, not far away from the historical site of the Venetian town of Etia. This interesting monastic complex survives in its largest part in ruins. The catholicon, however, is preserved well. It belongs to the type of single-nave barrel-vaulted church with two transverse reinforcing arches. In a second construction phase the church was expanded westward with a slightly elevated arched narthex, which, following the usual practice prevailing in eastern Crete, is openly connected to the main church.
No frescoes are preserved inside the church that could contribute to the dating of the monument, but it seems that both the Catholicon and the rest of the monastic complex should be dated to the Ottoman period. The monastery is currently inactive and belongs to the Parish of Armeni.