Neapolis Crete

Location:  Neapolis, Crete

Neapolis is a beautiful town with reasonably well- laid out streets, a nice public garden and picturesque buildings.

At one side of the main square stands the imposing cathedral of the Virgin Mary. The people of Neapolis pride themselves on their intellectual tradition. Petros (Peter) Philargos (of Philaretos) was born in the settlement of Kares in 1340. The settlement was destroyed by the Venetians some years later, in 1347. P. Philargos was a man of letters and also a distinguished speaker and theologian who became Pope of Rome in 1409-1410. In addition, there are numerous churches dating from Venetian times, as indicated by relief inscriptions on their entrance. The church of Saint George is a point of historical and Orthodox reference. The church operated a secret school during the period of Turkish occupation. In 1770, during the revolution of Daskaloyannis, Turks raided the church and slaughtered the congregation and the priest during the evening prayer. Since then the church of Saint George has been referred to as "Agios Yeorgios the blood-stained". Under the leadership of Ioannis Halis, the rebels besieged the Turkish mosque at Neapolis in November 1827 and burnt the Turks inside. The mosque was destroyed and in its place was erected the church of the Virgin Mary. The town of Neapolis features a significant museum of folk art with rich exhibits, some of which were donated by Mrs. Chryssoula Xanthoudides Koundourou. Today Neapolis is not the prefecture capital any more but still the main courts of the Lasithi prefecture and the archbishop of the Mirabello province reside in it. It has about 4000 habitants and holds a big part of the agricultural economy of Mirabello. It has a Historical and Folklore museum and an Archeological one. It also has a Cathedral, which is one of the biggest in Crete, with many Byzantine style haghiografies. In 1998 the province of Mirabello was split into 2 municipalities by the junction of the villages to the main towns of the province. Neapolis is the name of the joint northwest municipality including the town of Neapolis and the villages Brachasi, Boulismeni, Choumeriako, Bryses, Latsida, Millatos, Sisi, Fourni, Haghios Antonios and many other smaller ones.



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