Kritsa Crete - a tradional village
Kritsa, Crete is a lovely village known for its local arts and crafts, particularity its hand-woven woolen textiles and clothes. Kritsa was also the location of some of the scenes from Jules Dassin's film Christ Recrucified.
Despite the current spread of contemporary lifestyles into Kritsa, the genuine local traditional way of life is still sustained by its 2000 inhabitants. It survives in the traditional production of both agricultural and garden produce, in daily nutrition, local habits and customs, in its celebrations and festivals, as well as in the lifestyle and dress code of the older generation.
During a ten year period the representation of The Kritsan Wedding was curtailed, the old traditional Cretan wedding with the wedding party, the wedding celebration to the accompaniment of the lyra, but this is now almost the first choice of couples today. During festivals and religious celebrations, the local dances and the old ceremonies of worship are eagerly brought to life again and performed with verve and earnestness. Kritsa is the typical paradise of living local tradition in Crete, and moreover, the village still maintains a significant proportion of older unchanged architectural facades.
The "Kleftohori" of the Turkish Occupation: Since at least pre-Minoan times, the village of Kritsa has been continuously inhabited. It was reckoned to be in its prime during the Byzantine years. The Arabs devastated it in 823 AD and it was rebuilt in 961 AD. Its peak growth was reached during the Frankish period in the 13th and 14th century. It used to be the largest village in Crete during the middle ages. In 1867, it became the headquarters of the municipality which included Krousta, Prina, Kalo Horio, Mardati, Agios Nikolaos, Mesa Lakonia and Tapes. In 1925 it had its own community, but since 1998 it has comprised one of the 14 precincts of the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos.
The battle of Kritsa – Kritsotopoula: The people of Kritsa made a huge contribution to the battles for the freedom of Crete. Amongst them, the battles against the Turkish leaders Alexomanolis Koziris, Father Pothos and Captain Tavlas are particularly remembered. In the two-day battle of Kritsa which took place near Lato, the Kritsans suffered heavy losses; the village was set on fire as recorded in January 1823. It was during this battle that the brave female warrior Thriliki Kritsotopoula was killed.
1 km before the village, in an area called "Logari" is the old Byzantine church of "Panagia Kera", with Byzantine frescoes from the 14th and 15th century which are unique in technique and importance.From Kritsa there is also an interesting and spectacular climb to the plateau of Katharo. It is possible to go by car or on foot following an old path (3.5 hours walk).
How to get there:
Either by car or by public bus from Agios Nikolaos.