A large, three-aisled dome-roofed basilica, this church was likely built on the site of an Early Christian basilica. The nave is dedicated to the Nativity of Mary, and the aisles are dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and Saint George.
This grandiosely sized basilica is 16.50 meters long and was built on the location of a larger early-Christian church, which was discovered during excavation work when the adjacent streets were widened. The typology of the church in conjunction with the name of the settlement must undoubtedly be correlated with the presence of a bishop. Moreover, the church bears a Venetian Coat of Arms and has been referred to as the summer seat of a Latin Bishop in the years of the Venetian rule. Τhe arkosolium (funerary monument) at the western end of the northern wall appears to be associated with the Middle Byzantine phase of the church, and with the burial of an important person in the ecclesiastical hierarchy inside it. The eastern ends of both side aisles are currently dedicated as chapels to Saint Georgios and Saint John the Baptist.
Places near Panaghia Piskopiani
Byzantine little church
This is a small Byzantine bath of 7.60 x 3.00 m, which has been turned into a church dedicated to St. Vasileios. The establishment and operation of the bath are evidently connected with the Episcopal Basilica of the nearby village of Pano Episkopi. This restored bath does not have the richness of ceramic decorations that is preserved in the other two bathrooms in Episkopi, Ierapetra and in Kato Episkopi, but its construction should not be dated far from the other two.
ΤΜΗΜΑ ΔΟΚΙΜΩΝ ΑΣΤΥΦ. ΣΗΤΕΙΑΣ
is 12 km from Sitia, situated on the main Sitia lerapetra road. In the 1583 census the Venetians Iisted it as Marunea with 120 inhabitants - the local people still pronounce it «Maroonia». According to tradition the first settler here came from Maronia in Thrace, north Greece, so explaining the origin of the name.
This was the birth-place of Captain Sifis Dermitzakis (1821-1866) who was renowned as a fighter for the cause of the revolution in Crete. He also fought in the Peloponnese and was decorated for his action.
Hewn rock tombs were found at Kefala, and a Minoan settlement has been located near the village.
There are two old churches in the village - one dedicated to the Holy Trinity (Ayia Triada) and the other to the Dormition of the Virgin (Kimiseos tis Theotokou). There are also two caves of interest in the vicinity, Spiliara and Ayionero.
From the book "Sitia", N.Papadakis, Arcaeologist,1983