History of Crete
Musical Instruments of Crete
Cretan Dances
Rebel Songs (Rizitika)
Folk Poetry (Mantinades)
Legends of Crete


: The Threshing Floor
: Drosoulites
: The Lyre Player
: Virgin Mary of Harakas

: Legends of Fragokastelo

People 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.

The 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 residents.

As 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!

An 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.
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.

There are many more legends like that...


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