Peza of the Archanes- Asterousia municipality is famous for their agricultural tradition.
Peza is built between many vineyards and olive trees, is 17 kilometers in the south of Heraclion and 310 meters above the sea.
441 people live in the settlement and they are mainly occupied by olive crop, vine-growing, and in building industries or commerce.
In Peza, a very fine olive oil is produced with protected designation of origin and eponymous P.O.P. wine. The standardization of the products is made in industrial facilities, in “Peza Union”. The private wine factories are many in the area and produce also fine vine. For that reason, this area is an important station in wine roads and a part of the wine-tourism.
The built mediaeval wine presses close to the country church of Agios Kontstantinos prove the wine making tradition of the area.
The town hall is located in the village, as Peza is the seat of the Arcahnes- Asterousia Municipality.
Peza always was a link, as it is a middle station between Heraclion and the villages of mesara.
The village is very old. It is mentioned as “Piscia” in records of 1212, while in a contract of 1271 as “Pesee”. It is accounted as “Peza” with 214 residents by Kastrofilakas in the Pediada Province, and also by Vasilikata in 1630.
In the Turkish census of 1881 it is stated to the Agies Paraskies municipality, with 157 Christians and 34 Turkish residents. In 1900 it is in the same municipality with 222 residents and in 1920 it the seat of the rural municipality with 341 residents.
During the German Occupation, the village was the headquarters of the occupants in that area. In particular, the Nazi flag was waving outside stone building, next and south of the unfinished then church of Agios Nikolaos and the German soldiers were living in there, as the proprietors were sent away violently.
According to the tradition, the village was took its name in the Turkish Occupation. It is said that then there was a Turkish petty tyrant who made every horse rider that passed by to get off his horse to whip him. So people were made to pass the village on foot ( “Pezoi”) and that’s why the village was named Peza.
During the Turkish occupation, only Turks lived in the village. So, it was said that a very beautiful girl lived in the village then and a Turk wanted to get married to her. But she preferred to get married to a Greek villager. The day of the wedding the Turk killed the groom and then ordered to take off his liver. The bride was forced to eat the half of it and the other half was thrown in a well which was called “tou Skoti to pigadi” (the well of the liver).
The cathedral of the village is Agios Nikolaos and is celebrated on the 6th of December. On the 26th of November the old church of Panagia of Eisodia is celebrated which is also the patron saint of the village. Other churches of the village are Agios Konstantinos (a Byzantine church), Agios Dimitrios, Agios Georgios.