Agies Paraskies

Agies Paraskies

Agies Paraskies is built on a 360-meter hummock with a magnificent view. It is 20 kilometers in the south east of Heraclion and, administratively belongs to the Archanes-Aserousia municipality.

In the west of the village, the fountain of Ali Efenti, built in 1728 in the main street and next to the church of Agios Nektarios, embellishes the area. On the fountain, it is written in Arab script: “ Ali Efentis donated it in order the passers-by to drink, in the memory of Chanum Luchuna”. Chatzi ali Efentis was a resident of Megalo Kastro and a high-ranking, financial clerk of the city.

The largest byzantine jewellery treasure was found in the wide area of the settlement, in Porteles and is kept in the Historical Museum of Heraclion. They are some very well-maintained “hyperpyrons” (byzantine gold coins) of Nikiforos Fokas.

Agies Paraskes is one of the largest villages in Archanes-Asterousia municipality and, administratively, their local community includes the small settlement of Kelia.

Kellia is built 360 meters above the sea level and 21 kilometers from Heraclion. According to the 2011 census, 81 residents live in the village. In 1923, during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, many refugees from Asia Minor moved to the village.

805 residents live in Agies Paraskies and their main occupation is agriculture.

From Kolomodi, you can access the cluster of the gorges of Astrakoi and Kunavi and end up to the gorge of Karteros.


In the end of the 16th century the village is stated as Epano Agies Paraskies with 171 residents and Kato Agies Paraskies with 124 residents.

Castro Paraski, found in a contract of 1279, refers to the Mediaeval fortress of Kastelos, the ruins of which are preserved between Agies Paraskies and Meleses. The settlement is also accounted to later records.

During the Muslim occupation, mixed people, i.e. Christians and Muslims lived in Agies Paraskies.

The spiritual development of the villagers was accomplished by the fact that the historical monastery of Agarathos is very close to Agies Paraskies. Meletios Nikoletakis, a monk from Agarathos (born in Agies Paraskies and a Metropolite of Crete at the age of 30) is said to have found the “Krifo Scholio” (Secret School) in Agies Paraskies., in the cell next to the church of Agia Zoni.

After the liberation of Crete, in 1898, Agies Paraskies was chosen as the seat of the Municipality.

During the German occupation, many Germans were moved in the village, built the ammunition dump in the area and converted the schools to recreation rooms. The residents organized resistance groups, in order to fight conquerors.

Kellia, now, are mentioned in 1577 by Fr. Barozzi as Calia in the Pediada Province and, by Kastrofilakas as Chieglia with 52 residents, in 1583. Vasilikata also refers to it with the same name in 1630. In the 1671 Turkish census, it is accounted as Kelia with the 2 amerces and in the 1834 Egyptian census as Kelia with 5 Christian and 5 Turkish families. Chourmouzis Vizantios refers to it as Kelia. In 1881, it is referred to Agies Paraskies Municipality with 8 residents, while in the 1920 census is not mentioned at all.


The place name was given because of the number of churches in the area dedicated to Agia Paraskevi. The ruins of five temples are preserved.


Many water springs were in Pitsouni, in the north of the settlement. According to the tradition, fairies appeared there and, whoever drank water from these springs, lost his/her senses.


The patron saint of the village is Agios Georgios (St George). The church is built on a hummock in the centre of the village. The church has three aisles, the two of them are dedicated to Agia Paraskevi and Agioi Deka. The construction of the church began in 1903.

The church of Agia Zoni is in the village and is an old Byzantine temple of the 11th century. It is said that women, that could not have a child, used to encircle the whole church with cotton and, then, by this, they made a wick of a candle dedicated to the church.

Other churches of the settlement are Agios Antonios in the village and Profitis Ilias in the Kolomodi bridge.

The ruins of five temples dedicated to Agia Paraskevi are preserved in the village. Two of them are in Agies Paraskies.