Sitia, Makrigialos, Ierapetra... Everything about East Crete...


Traditional Villages in Eastern Crete :

Sitia :: Palekastro :: Ierapetra

Stavrochori

 

 
 




This is one of the bigger villages of the Sitia District, listed in 1583 by the Venetians as Stavrodoxari with 227 inhabitants. «Stavros» means cross and «doxari» an arch or bow (for archery or for a musical instrument or even the implement used for carding cotton fibres); but why this village was given such a name is unknown. It is 35 km from Sitia and 28 from Ierapetra, in 340m altitude. Το the same community also belong Lapithos and Koutsouras. The first is a small village near Stavrohori, listed by the Venetians as Lapithos with 67 inhabitants.The second is a costal village on the shore of the Libyan Sea and is flourishing nowadays not only as a tourist spot, but also as one of the most important areas in Lassithi for the cultivation of early hot-house produce.

Between Stavrohori and Koutsouras is the deserted hamlet of Tsikalaria. Antiquities have been located at Lenika and Spilaridia; and two false-neck amphorae (stirrup jars) in the Heraklion Museum were chance finds from the Stavrohori district. Certain scholars think that the site of the church «St. Paul the Apostle», described in 1687 by an English traveller, Β. Randolph, as having twelve columns and holy water with healing powers for all kinds of diseases, especially opthalmic disorders, was at a location on the mountain Aori; this belongs to the Stavrohori district, though the settlement that used to be there belonged to Agios Stephanos.

There are many things concerning the church «tis Theotokou Pigis» (the Virgin of the Spring) at the location «tsi Apostolous stin Lygia» which could lead to its being identified as the church described by Randolph, although others believe it to have been at Makrigialos or at Ferma in the Ierapetra district. The famous revolutionary leader loannis Makris, also known as Romnakis or Romanakis, came from Stavrohori. There are two noteworthy caves in the district: «Agii Apostoli» (The Holy Apostles) and «Zoodochos Pigi» (The Spring of Life).

From the book "Sitia", N.Papadakis, Archaeologist, 1983

 
Approaching the square of the village through narrow cobbled roads
The fount in the center of the square. Water flows in a small pond where some goldfish swim
The square is the most beautiful place of the village. Recently it has been paved. All around there are some small traditional cretan cafes
Enjoy your coffee under the thick shade of the huge plane tree
 
 
 
Pictures of desolation which send us back to an older, more glorious time
Stavrochori used to be a large village and a market center in the province of Sitia. Nowadays there are just a few people living there
View of the church of the village through the wonderful gardens
 
 
 
View of the village descending to Koutsouras
 
 
 
 
 

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