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Evagelismos
Category: Church
Prefecture: Lassithi
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Evagelismos




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Mournies 98 hits

A village of chieftains, a large village, the seat of the former Municipality of Mournies, along with the villages Gdohia, Kato Pano Symi, Mythoi, Myrto, Riza, Parsas and Christos, which in 1881 numbered 2,213 residents along with the settlements Karydi and Minos.
It is a beautiful, historical, picturesque, traditional village with coffee houses, a square and a memorial for the fallen fighters, the old fountain, old narrow streets branching away of the village’s central road. It probably took its name from the mulberry tree (Mouria), although it is not abundant in the region.
The present settlement of Mournies perhaps does not give away its old glory, however during all the years of the revolts against the Turks it has been an important revolutionary and administrational center of the East Province of Viannos, of which it was a part until 1929, since the time of Captain Syggelis Hatzianagnostis or Symiakos, his son Emmanouil Hatzakis and his descendants, who were renowned as national fighters. The Hatzakis family, with their great financial power, armed and sustained guerilla corps and took part in most battles in the Eastern Crete. As they were personal friends with the national leader Eleftherios Venizelos, he often was their guest at their home in Mournies that had 24 rooms.
The village was burnt down during the German Occupation and paid the price of its struggles having 17 of its residents executed.
The now abandoned settlement of Pano Symi, in the north-west of the village, at an altitude of 900 m, on the borders with the Prefecture of Heraklion, belongs to the Local Department of Mournies, of the Municipality of Ierapetra. The largest village, the summer seat of the Municipality of Mournies, numbered 527 residents in 1583. It was a fortified position and a wonderful landscape. The hideout of revolutionaries, it was repeatedly burnt down by the Turks and was blown up to its foundations during the German Occupation. An aerie, wrecked houses, old churches; admiration and a mixture of happiness and sorrow, touring in the abandoned Pano Symi with the legend of the hidden treasure.
The village Mournies, in the north of Myrtos, at 25 km away from Ierapetra, at an altitude of 275 m, is built in an amphitheatric way in the south-east parts of the Lasithi mountains, with a beautiful view to the Libyan Sea and the plain of Ierapetra. Its climate is good, mild, without extremes, ideal for permanent inhabitation and for holidays. It is a semi-mountainous landscape without glasshouses, with olive groves that are sufficiently watered from drills. In 2001,
83 residents were registered in the census. During the 60s it suffered, like all villages, from urbanization, emigration and during the 70s it obtained the elementary infrastructures. However, today, the residents of Mouries come back, renovate the houses of their ancestors, take care of their olive cultivations and revive their village. The village’s distinguished emigrants are the ambassadors of its history, its civilization and its tradition. The old manors, the picturesque churches, the coffee houses with the friendly and hospitable residents and visitors create a picturesque, traditional Cretan environment in Mournies of Ierapetra.

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Riza 57 hits

A small village built at an altitude of 540 m in the south parts of the mountain Dikti at the borders of the province of Ierapetra-Viannos. The imposing mountains above the village, the south horizon among the olive-covered hills and in the lower villages, the cool climate create in you a sensation of bodily and spiritual well-being at this balcony of the Cretan nature.
Five settlements, two of them uninhabited today, constituted the Community of Riza, now a Local Department of the Municipality of Ierapetra.
Sfakoura is in the east, with the church of the Holy Cross, the cemetery, the memorial of those fallen during the German Occupation, and the ruins of Riza’s “Koules”. Here the Greek flag was raised by the guerillas of Captain Bantouvas.
Here the atrocity of the conquerors was manifested, as testified by the sculls of the neomartyrs with the coups de grace, as in Kalavryta. 
Another settlement is Zourva or Riza, as it was renamed, and in the west, the settlement of “Kaimenos”.
Abandoned settlements are Tsikaloudiana, in the entrance of the village, taking its name by the Tsikaloudakis family who lived there, and the Panakiana, a little below the village, taking their name from the Panakakis or Panakomihelakis family.
Riza is an old medieval village, a natural stronghold, with history, civilization, legends and traditions. The settlement “Kaimenos” (burnt) took its name from its first settler, whose inn was repeatedly burned down by the pirates. The legend of Sarantapihos, who lived next to Riza, in the west, in the gorge of Lapathos and its treasure as well as its tomb next to the road, among other traditions, are intense in the memory of the residents of Riza.
The old churches of Riza are also important having an exceptional interest, as well as these of Pano Symi, which belongs to Riza’s parish. 
A heroic, martyric village, it was burned many times since the times of the Venetian rule. A hideout of guerillas, as it was adjacent to the steep Lasithi mountains. In 1881 174 residents were registered in the census. In 1920 it had 217 residents and in 2001 40 residents.
The Riza village is today inhabited by pensioners, a few stock and bee keepers and emigrants of the Riza community in Athens. It is a small but very lively village, with a wide square, a tavern-coffee house, all of them done by the Riza association. Here residents of Riza, coming from the whole area, are gathered every day to drink coffee, raki and declare their love to their village. Riza is the village of the Artist of the Traditional Cretan music Manolis Alexakis, as they all exclaim.
Going to see the sights of Riza, in the routes of immense natural beauty to the plateau of Lapathos, the view to the Libyan Sea and to the surrounding areas, as seen from the observatories installed by the association of Riza, is astounding. Pin trees, hollies, cypresses, the small plateau with the old little church of the Saint Apostles, the cliffs, the gulfs, the gorge offer a unique touring experience.

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Gdochia 47 hits

A stately village built in settlements, 22 km away from Ierapetra, at an altitude of 225 m, next to the Ierapetra-Vianos provincial road. A green landscape, overgrown with olive trees, with an unlimited view of the Libyan Sea, to the surrounding areas Koleitos, Kakon Oros, to the beaches Vatos and Kallikovrechtis.
An almost abandoned village, with old houses built of stone, with chiseled door frames and coats of arms bearing the Christian cross and proving its old glory and history.
Giannis Dimitromanolakis, an author from Gdohia, writes:
“Gdohia sprouted right opposite the beach of the Libyan Sea. Nothing would have been better for the pirates, who, like diabolical ghosts, emerged into the night to kill and prey. The village’s history is dipped in blood, as it often suffered from the raids of the pirates from the Barbary Coast. It took the name Gdohia from the catastrophes, from the verb “gdyno”, to skin, to set fire, to devastate.”
Gdohia’s course in time has evidence of struggles, sacrifices and holocausts to show. It was not only exposed to the pirates but it was situated on the natural south passage going from the Viannos area to the Ierapetra area. This meant that the hordes of barbarous conquerors burnt and devastated it, along with the other Symiana villages, as they are called, in the West Ierapetra.
Gdohia’s settlements are built leaving a distance between each other: Kato Gdohia or Pitropiana, taking their name from the Epitropakis family living there, Pefkiana or Grysboliana, from the Grysbolakis family, Dimitromanoliana from the Dimitromanolakis family, Daskaliana from the Daskalakis family, Papadiana from the Papadakis family. Great stonecutters, stoneworkers, famous for their art, Gdohia’s residents built the mansions of the whole area and the famous bridge of Myrtos using stones from the quarries of Kolleitos.
The miraculous church of Panagia (Our Lady) Evaggelistria of Gdohia, a work of art and a great ecclesiastical monument is also built by Gdohia’s residents.
Gdohia village, once the seat of a Community, today a Local Department of the Municipality of Ierapetra, presents an exceptional sight-seeing interest. It provides natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, picturesque little churches on
the hills, a spacious square with palm trees, seats and a war memorial for the fallen fighters of the liberation wars. In the 1881 census, 296 residents are registered and 73 in 2001. Gdohia’s permanent residents, along with some foreigners’ families who have bought and renovated old houses, struggle for the village’s development which gradually acquires the necessary infrastructures.
A village with rich history and civilization, with vast olive groves, a nice mild climate, both during summer and winter, it hopes to come back to life.
The old mansions, half-wrecked and burned in the German Occupation, stand as if they were sculptures, a painting with the deep blue Libyan Sea serving as a background, narrate the flourishing, the glory and the history of Gdohia and wait to be inhabited again.