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Agios Ioannis en Krimno (Saint-John on the cliff)

Kapsali

The church of Agios Ioannis en Krimno is in a cave north of Kapsali, in a steep slope, at a 60 meter altitude. It has a single room, which is divided by an artificial wall. The first section is 7-meter long, 3-meter wide and 2,5-meter high. The altar of Agios Ioannis o Prodromos was located here. The inner part is 13-meter long, 3-meters wide and 2-meters high. The natural stalactites and stalagmites decorate the place. There are also ceramic ponds that collect the water used for holy water and from which the worshippers drank to heal diseases. In the shrine one can see the icon of Agios Ioannis o Prodromos, which was created by the famous Cretan painter Aggelos Akotantos in the 15th century and was commissioned by the Cretan Petrios Kastrofylakas. In the shrine, there is also the icon of the Birth of Agios Ioannis o Prodromos, with the coast of arms of the Kaloutsis family and the inscription: “Obsecration of the Lord’s servant Georgios Kaloutsis”.

A marble tablet adorns the entrance, with the name of the monk Ioannikios Saninos. He renovated the chapel in 1725. Around the temple there are buildings in which monks could stay. According to tradition, Saint John conceived the Apocalpyse in this cave. Unfortunately there are no historical sources confirming such a claim. It is thought that the chapel was initially dedicated to Saint John and after its collapse Saint John was no longer worshipped there.

The church celebrates mass on the 29th of August. According to historical sources, monks lived on the premises in the previous centuries.

The Church of Agios Ioannis en Krimno (as well as the Panagia Myrtidiotissa church in the west of the island and of Agia Moni in the east), are the property of the people of Kythira, which are exclusively managed by the Domestic Property Committee of Kythira and Antikythira.

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