Sfakia report, April 18 - small churches near Frangokastello Everything you want to ask, read or write about Sfakia, southwest Crete, or Crete island in general.

jean h
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Joined: 15 Sep 2020, 21:28

Sfakia report, April 18 - small churches near Frangokastello

by jean h » 19 Apr 2022, 05:25

The sky was somewhat clearer in the morning, and the wind had changed to a westerly. The ferries were allowed to go yesterday, which was a relief to many people.

Wiltrud and I decided on an easy day and drove to the Frangokastello area to look at a few old, small churches with frescoes.

The first one we walked to, the church of Profitis Elias, is above the main road near the eastern junction with the Frangokastello road. We approached it up the western slope to look for flowers, finding the usual assortment of small plants such as dwarf iris, white star-shaped ornithogalum, pink silene, yellow crepes and rayless chamomile on the way up to the church. The church looks like it is still used on the saint’s day, and the old frescoes are worth a look, as is the view down to Frangokastello.

Profitis Elias church.JPG

frescoes.JPG

frescoes behind the screen.JPG


We looked around above the church for flowers and found a nice patch of Arum concinnatum - they are common, but the first ones we’ve seen blooming, and they always remind us of candles with a sconce. The flowers appear after the leaves have started to die down. There were also many dragon arums coming into bloom there.

Arum concinnatum.JPG

Dracunculus vulgaris.JPG


We walked back down following a dirt road, suddenly finding ourselves standing in shallow pools of water from a spring running down the slope. And the pools were filled with tadpoles! Alongside were large patches of blue Echium vulgare and purple and orange pimpernels, and some yellow ranunculus. The small stream followed the dirt track on both sides, so we were accompanied down by the delightful sound of water cascading through the landscape. The stream followed the main road east for a short distance, but then disappeared.

lamb in stream.JPG

tadpoles.JPG


We next parked just above the western exit of the Frangokastello road, before Patsianos, and crossed an olive grove and dry stream bed to reach the ruins of a very small very ruined church. The cracks over the entrance have gotten bigger, the church is tilting visibly, but the north-facing wall which is open to the elements still has brightly coloured frescoes.

ruined church.JPG

frescoes open to the elements.JPG


There was a fresh westerly wind all evening, and many people chose to eat indoors.

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