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Agios Spiridonas
Category: Church
Prefecture: Lassithi
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Agios Spiridonas




Places near Agios Spiridonas


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Gdochia 2682 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.

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Riza 2650 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.