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Ano Kera
Category: Town-Village
Prefecture: Heraclion
Address: Pediada
Telephone:
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Ano Kera


Kera Village is located 23km south of Mallia city on the way to Lassithi plateau. This is spread in the middle of a valley with abundant waters and luxuriant vegetation. Verdant with fructiferous trees, it offers a breathtaking view. The village lies at the entrance of the Lassithi Plateau. Epano Kera Miniti and Kato Kera are situated at an altitude of 680 and 580metres, respectively. Their name comes from the homonymic monastery of Panagia Kera Kardiotissa (Holly Mother). 

This was built between the two villages and is characterized as a Byzantine monument (961 – 1204 A.D.) Its establishment is related to the thaumaturge icon of Virgin Mary, which is kept in the church of Saint Alfonso Escuelino in Rome, nowadays. The work is attributed to Saint Lazarus dating from the 9th century. That historic monastery used to be the point of guard for the Lassithi Plateau, during Cretan combats. The visitor is impressed by the primeval ways of worship while listening to legends of local tradition and observing the wall paintings in the temple. One can relax with the inhabitants’ hospitality, the view and the environment over a glass of the famous raki, relish the palatable, traditional food served in the taverns of the village and buy the famous popular art handcrafts. Moreover, there are the local celebrations of Panagia Kardiotissa on 8th of September and of Agios Ioannis Rigologos on 29th of August, with traditional music and dances.

Places near Ano Kera


Roza
Roza 2717 hits
The gorge of Ampelos is located 1km southeast from Gonies village, 14km south of Malia coastal resort in central Crete. 

This beautiful gorge is crossed by the river of Aposelemis and features impressive rock formations and a beautiful natural environment. The total length of the gorge is 2km and can by crossed by foot or by car. Following the road that crosses the gorge of Ampelos to the south, you will reach three springs (The springs of Agkathariano) with year round water flow.

There is a second gorge close to Ambelos gorge: The gorge of Roza. This gorge is a "branch" of the gorge of Ampelos. Its entrance is next to the provincial road that crosses the gorge of Ampelos. Its route is south-east and leads to Kera Monastery. It is also an ideal gorge for walking and hiking.

Kera Kardiotissa Monastery
Kera Kardiotissa Monastery 2709 hits

The Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa: Female monastery located on a slope of Lasithi mountains, next to Kera village. After the village of Gonia, the road climbs steadily up the western slopes of Mount Dikti or Lassithi Mountains, which are covered with low vegetation (bushes and wild flowers) and with sparse trees. 

Just before the village of Kera, you will see on your right, next to the road, the Monastery of the Virgin Mary of Kera (closed between 1.00-3.30 p.m.).

The picturesque monastery of Kera, which is dedicated to the birth of Mary, the Mother of God and dates back to 1333, is situated among the settle­ments of Ano Kera, and Kera. Initially, it used to be the glebe of the Monastery of Agarathos, but subsequently it became stavropigiaki, which means that it belonged to and came under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Since and during the Cretan revolutions it was a point of assembly for the rebels, it was ravaged by the Turks many times.

The monastery is famous, mainly due an icon of Virgin Mary, which is believed to have performed many miracles.As the legend goes, the icon itself returned from Constantinople by flying, after being stolen by the Turks twice. Desperate of this, they stole it for the third time by chaining it onto a pillar. That time, the icon returned to Crete on the pillar, which is currently enclosed within a rail and it is exhibited in the courtyard of the monastery for worship. As for the chain, it is considered to be working miracles and it is kept in the church.

 

Karfi
Karfi 2689 hits
Karfi, Crete, (also Karphi, Greek: Καρφί) is a little-visited archaeological site high in the Dikti Mountains that is akin to Machu Picchu for the Minoan civilization. When the warlike mixed group conventionally referred to as Dorians arrived in Crete from the Peloponnese after ca 1100 BCE, archaeological reconstructions suggest that they would have found the Minoan people living along with the Mycenaeans, surviving as an underclass. 

No doubt the Minoan language continued to be spoken by the peasants, though inscriptions, now in Linear B, were all in a form of Greek associated with a Mycenaean upper class (BBC).The Dorians seem to have driven the local people up into the hills; the latest towns with Minoan material culture are in more and more inaccessible places, the last one being at Karfi, high in the Dikti Mountains, though the date range for the site is broad. There are house complexes, a tripartite megaron-type building with hearth and a sanctuary, where votive figures were found.

At Karfi the last of the Eteocretan Minoan settlements retreated to the slopes of this barren mountain, from which they had a view of the Sea of Crete, the valley of Pediada, and the plateau of Lassithi with Iraklion, where the finds from Karfi are now displayed in the Archaeological Museum (Room 11). In the mountains of Eastern Crete a non-Greek language was still being spoken and sometimes inscribed into Classical times, and the people who spoke it were still identified as "Eteocretans"— "true Cretans".The peak of Karfi was originally a peak sanctuary, occupying a typical site on a high shoulder (some 1.1 km above sea level) with a wide "viewshed" (Soetens, Driessen et al.) that connected it with sightlines to other sites, typical of the network developed in the "first Palace period" (Middle Minoan IB–II, 1900–1800BCE) onwards, but probably abandoned, perhaps under increased religious centralization, in Middle MinoanIIIA (ca 1650BCE). The rocky site that the last of the Minoans returned to is dominated by a bifurcated stone outcropping that is unmistakably like the carved and shaped crescent horn stone altars known in Crete and Cyprus.

At this high remote ancient sacred site a fragment of Minoan civilization survived intact for about 400 years after the occupation of Knossos. Several clay religious figurines have been found there including the cylindrical skirted goddesses in cylindrical skirts with their hands raised in the epiphany gesture.

J. D. S. Pendlebury and the British Archaeology School extensively excavated the ruins in 1937 and 1939. Some believe only one third of the site has been excavated (Swindale).Jones declares Karphi a peak sanctuary, while other sources suggest doubt (see Swindale). Finds inventoried by Jones include ceramic loom weights, miniature vases, and the clay human and animal figurines that are ubiquitous among peak sanctuaries.The Minoan town includes a shrine with an altar, single story houses and paved streets. Two Minoan cemeteries with tholos tombs are located near the village. The village dates from Late Minoan IIIc, and if the site does indeed include a peak sanctuary, it was of the Middle Minoan period.