Pyrgou

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Visit the traditional settlement of Pyrgos and admire the wonderful view to the Krousaniotika Mountains and Mount Psiloritis. Wander the picturesque alleys and admire the stone buildings, which in the past formed the perimeter fortification of the village. Walk to the churches of Panagia (dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary) and of St. Ioannis, the latter previously bearing the emblem of the Franciscan catholic monks. In Skepasta, you will find the church of St. George Mesabelitis, in the courtyard of which there are preserved wine presses, vessels and clay pipes, testifying to the age long, indissoluble connection of the area with the production of wine. Follow the trail to Trialonis’ and Epitidios’ Mills and to the location of Chrysopigi. Do not forget to taste traditional delicacies and wine in the cafes of the village. In fact, if you are in the area in mid-August, go to the traditional festival in celebration of the Virgin Mary (August 14 & 15) or to the events organized by the Cultural Association on August 12 and 13, where traditional fasting-permitted is offered, such as “dolmadakia”, snails, octopus risotto, “hortopites” (=pocket pies with greens) etc.

Scenic Routes

 

Route to Mertzanis Cave

Follow the beautiful route to the Mertzanis Cave located near the village. The entrance of the cave is covered by a large fig tree so it is not easily visible or accessible. According to villagers, the cave was used as a shelter during World War II. However, it should not be overlooked that this is a difficult route, so make sure to be accompanied by experienced walkers!

Trialonis’, Epitidios’ and Koinakis’ Mills

Follow the enchanting route to Xenikado and enjoy the green landscape. As you head towards the mills you will find the small church of Agia Paraskevi which was renovated in 1942. Relax on the stone benches under the shade formed by the climbing grape vine and admire the magnificent landscape and the small river that springs from the Asiatiana Mountains and is a tributary of river Xenikados. Then, after passing a brook, take a closer look at the old mill of Epitideios, which remains in fair condition. The watermills were built on the banks of the rivers and were used in the past for the grinding of grain and the production of flour.

Monasteries – Temples

 

Church of Agios Georgios and the Transfiguration of the Savior

Visit the two-aisled church of Agios Georgios and the Transfiguration of the Savior in the western part of the village, which was built in 1882 according to the inscription at the entrance. The icons inside are iconographed by Alexandrides and between the two aisles you will see a mural depicting David. Externally the temple was decorated with four lions, one in each corner, of which only one survives. According to tradition, they warded off evil spirits.

Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary

Wander the narrow alleys of the village and you will find the church of Panagia (dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary), which suffered significant damage in 1866 by the Ottomans and was later restored. The church celebrates on the 15th of August and a two-day festival is organized in the village (14th & 15th of August).

Church of Agios Ioannis

As you wander the picturesque alleys of the village, you will meet the church of Agios Ioannis which is located a very short distance from Agios Georgios and Panagia. The Italian historian Gerola was the first to photograph the emblem of the Franciscan Catholic monks dating to 1601 AD, which was unfortunately later lost. Right next to the church you will see the house of the lawyer Georgios Vrettakis, who was a fellow student and close friend of Eleftherios Venizelos; the latter took refuge there, after the assassination attempt against him at the General Assembly of the Cretans in Archanes.

St. George Mesabelitis,

Visit the church of St. George Mesabelitis in Skepasta, near the settlement and see the preserved wine presses, the vessels and the clay pipes in its yard. In the past, wine was channeled to wine cellars on the northwestern side of the village, confirming the area’s connection to wine production from the past to the present. The church celebrates on November 3, because, according to tradition, on that day the barrels were opened in the villages and the new wine for the year was blessed in the church.

Chrysopigi Monastery

Head southwest of the settlement, to the place Chrysopigi and you will meet a chapel, where according to tradition existed the Monastery of Chrysopigi, of which the Monastery of Gorgolaini was a dependency. From the three-aisled church dating to 1796, only the two aisles survive, while in the courtyard you will find a wine press and a fountain; the remains of the Fathers of the Monastery are also buried therein. Relax on the stone benches under tall cypress and oak trees and enjoy the truly magnificent view of the vast olive groves and vineyards.

Gastronomy

The main occupation of the villagers is viticulture and olive growing. In fact, the village is famous for the production of wine and “tsikoudia”, while in the area the toponym “Moschato” is preserved, testifying to the production of wine from the past. Visit one of the “rakokazana ” of the area, see up close the traditional way of distilling “tsikoudia” and experience the revelry, with traditional music, baked potatoes, grilled meat and, of course, “raki ”!

Household – Traditional Occupations

In Pyrgou you can meet Mr. Nikos, who still practices the traditional profession of knife maker, maintaining both the technique and the passion of the past.

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