The Lyre Player
: Virgin Mary of Harakas
Legends of Fragokastelo
of our time do not admit very easily the unlikely incidents
of legends. Our age has its own ways, that do not engage with
the magic paths of imagination.
But those who visit Fragokastelo, will feel the shiver that
the stones and the earth spread, the air, the water, the shadows
and the reflection of the rocks! Those who will walk to this
castle will be impressed from the view of Sfakia's landscape
and they will be shattered by the multiple fantastic metamorphoses
that perhaps will take in their thought the living and the
inanimate, mainly the trees, the pines that are raised through
Cyclopean stones, that come out of the ravines, that hang
in mid-air in the chaos of the precipices, they simply strike
as unnatural creations. As you observe you believe that they
have soul, you think whether the warriors that were tied up
eternally with this land and are defended in the stubborness
of all times...
The way they accompany you along the street, resembles as
if they remind you that in this place, what the eyes see,
can be unimaginable less from the others... With experiences
like this, you reach the plain of Fragokastelo.
In passed times this plain was embelished by monasteries and
big churches that today lie in ruins. Only the church of Saint
Nikitas is found in a better condition. During the past, in
this place, there was a big royal church, and each year in
the feast of the Saint, an important religious festival was
held, with athletic events and dances and rewards were given
to the best.
popular poets emphaticly declare it: "you want to see
beautiful men, strong as the lions? Go to Fragokastelo, on
the day of Saint Nikitas, you see blonde and beautiful lads.
They make tremendous exercises that amaze all people".
The festival was big and famous in all over the province...
The prize was special for the winner... The personal value
and bravery had always a big esteem.
There was a year however in some reward, that a misunderstanding
happened, between the locals of two villages and the priests,
in order to make things better, they arranged the residents
of the first village to take part in the celebration the next
year and the residents of the other village to take part in
the celebration the year after.
Several years passed by and later on, perhaps by mistake,
or deliberately, the priests called simultaneously all the
soon as they met in the church of the Saint, the old animosities
lived up and without taking under consideration the saincity
of the place, 40 lads, 20 from each side, they started gunshooting.
However no arm fired...They all misfired...
The elderly managed to make them reconcile. They decided to
celebrate like before. They had fun all together and then
the 40 young persons participated in shooting. They shot with
the same arms, and the same cartridges. All guns shot properly!
other time a shepherd promised to the Saint a newborn goat.
But as the months were passing by and the goat became a grandiose
animal, the shepherd felt pity for the animal, and took in
his place an other thinner one, and went to the festival.
are many more legends like that...
While the festval was going on and were boiling water in the
cauldrons for the meat to be cooked, an approaching sound
from a bell was heard. It was the chosen goat that went down
all alone from the mountain of Madara, approached the church,
jumped the wall, reached the door of the temple and there
collapsed in the ground and died!
The shepherd astonished and frightened, narrated to the people
what had happened and asked for forgiveness.