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THE VILLAGE OF DELIANA AND THE BYZANTINE AGIOS IOANNIS CHURCH ON CRETE
Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete.
Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete.
Nederlands map of Crete

Deliana is a small village in the northwest of Crete, not far from Kissamos and at 36 kilometer distance from Chania. If you drive from Kissamos to Kolimbari (or vice versa) take the exit at Nopigia and keep driving south. The village lies at the beginning of the Deliana Gorge, which is the beginning of a hike surrounded by high cliffs and unspoilt Cretan nature. There are interesting flowers and herbs in this gorge, which is easy to walk. There are also plenty of sheep. At the bottom of the gorge on the left hand side there is the small church of St, John the Theologian where you can have a rest in the shade of the cypress trees that surround it.

The village of Deliana itself is very quiet, but it does come with a couple of tavernas and a café. A lot of the houses in Deliana are in ruin, but the Byzantine church in the village, the Agios Ioannis church, is in good shape. It is a pretty church from the outside and on the inside there are beautiful frescoes on its walls. This church is open for the public and in my opinion this is one of the nicest Byzantine churches in this area (and maybe even in the whole of Crete).

Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete.
Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete.

The oldest part of the Agios Ioannis church dates back to early / mid 1300 and another part dates from around 1400. The oldest part is the part where the altar stands. Currently there are still pieces of frescoes brought out. This is done by curators and is a time consuming job. It is expected that it will be finished in 2012. This is because some 50 to 60 years ago a priest had the interior of the church all painted white because he felt that the faithful had more attention for the frescoes than for him.

Deliana Gorge, Kreta, Crete. Deliana Gorge, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete.
Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete.

The difference in style of the frescoes is not necessarily a difference in time, but rather because there were different painters. There was a beautiful tile floor, some tiles are still outside, the rest gradually disappeared and now the church has a concrete floor. Originally there were several tombs under the floor, the stones of which are now incorporated in the front door! The current entrance was formerly a side door, the old front door was facing the new door.

To Faragi Taverna - Deliana
Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete.
Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete. Deliana, Agios Ioannis Church, Kreta, Crete.

This cute and pretty popular taverna is located in the village of Deliana, not far from the beautiful church of the village and the Deliana gorge (faragi meand gorge). We ordered the house white there, the boureki (a vegetarian oven dish with cheese), stuffed zucchini flowers, tzatziki and spinach pies. Everything tastes good and the food is satisfactorily. The waiter is very friendly. Unfortunately the white wine was not cold when it was served.

Our verdict: an 8,5 out of 10


© Hans Huisman, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2014
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