The grand two-nave-church of St. Demetrius and the Annunciation is located in the centre of Malia. Initially, exactly at the same spot, there was the small single-nave-church of St. Demetrius. According to tradition, it was built by the first dwellers in the area, around 1590-1600, only a few years before the Ottoman conquest, while, apparently, its owner was Hajji Zachary Vlachos.
Almost nothing is known about the small church of St. Demetrius during the Ottoman Rule. After the Revolution in 1866, a part of the church was totally destroyed and rebuilt in 1868, with the current iconostasis. Twenty years later, the community, along with the Church Committee and the locals, decided to demolish the old church and build a bigger one that could serve the needs of the believers. On October 5th, 1914, the consecration of the new church was held by Evmenios, the Archbishop of Crete.
The north nave of the church is dedicated to St. Demetrius and it still preserves the 1868 iconostasis. The south nave is dedicated to the Annunciation and has a newer iconostasis. The two naves are connected to each other with two big arched openings. Both iconostases are woodcut, but if a little more attention is paid, the different styles can be made out quite easily. The iconostasis in St. Demetrius’ nave is decorated with the icons of Galaktotrofoussa (Madonna breastfeeding) (1880), Pantocrator (Almighty) (1880), and St. Demetrius (1884), while in the lower part there are the icons of the Cappadocian Fathers, St. Konstantin and St. Helen, St. Andrew and St. Barbara. In the nave of the Annunciation, the iconostasis is decorated with the icons of John the Baptist (1914), Vrefokratoussa (1914), Pantocrator (1914) and the Annunciation (1914) on the upper part, while on the lower part with the icons of the Creation of the World, the Creation of Adam, His Sacrifice and the Delivery of the Ten Commandments (Decalogue). In each nave there are two supporting arcs with finials.
Architecture: two-nave barrel vaulted
Dating : 1868
Location: Old Town of Malia
Celebration: October 26th
Access : Easy
Visit options: Closed. Visitors are advised to contact the parish office 28970 – 31533, or the priests on the following phone numbers:
Petsalakis Demetrius: 6944246645
Vassilakis Emmanuel: 6944141724
Raptakis Joachim: 6973264265