Anogeia Anogia Crete

Anogia Crete

Beyond Gonies lies Anogeia or Anogia, nestling in the foothills of Mt. Psiloritis and close to the boundary between the two prefectures of Heraklion and Rethymno. Anogeia has a strong tourist connection, being the centre of stock-breeding and production of authentic Cretan textiles. Anogeia has a rich tradition and picturesque customs.

The charming village of Anogia is located on the border of the Prefectures of Heraklion and Rethymno and its inhabitants have an idiosyncratic character making them quite different from the rest of the Cretan population. Their dialect, food, costume and customs are unique on the island and this tradition is very much kept alive by the villagers. This distinctiveness is almost certainly linked to their particular history which goes back to the dawn of civilization and, in their local dialect, traces of ancient Doric expressions and language can be identified. The villagers of Anogia have also played a crucial part in the struggles to resist conquerors and occupations. To this end, the village has twice been destroyed. Firstly, by the Turks in 1822 and again, in 1944, by the Germans. Interesting places to see in the immediate vicinity are Idaion Andron and Mount Ida (Psiloritis). It is not at all uncommon to see the men of Anogeia wearing the traditional baggy Cretan trousers tucked into their boots and the typical Cretan head covering. Throughout the summer traditional Cretan music concerts are held in the open air theatre, as well as various festivals during the first couple of weeks in August. Anogeia has its own cultural club which organises events attracting visitors from all over Greece. In July, a popular artistic event Yakinthia takes place and is well worth seeing.

The history of Anogia is peppered with tales of great bravery and tragedy. Its people have long held a revolutionary outlook and a refusal to bow their head to anyone. They played a strong role in 1822 fighting the Turks in Messara, and whilst away their village was destroyed. Forty years later they resisted further attempts to be taken over by the Turks and drove them out of the village. During the 2nd World War, the villagers of Anogeia put up a strong resistance to the occupation of German troops and the men folk refused to take part in forced labour.

This was to their detriment, over a period of two and half years, they suffered the beating of their women and children, the theft and destruction of their livestock, and the murder of their comrades. It culminated in the second week of August 1944, when having been tipped off, many of the men secretly left the village. The following day, the Germans arrived and ordered any remaining villagers to leave. They then destroyed the village, burning and blowing up the houses. Any elderly, infirm or crippled villagers who had been unable to flee, were simply murdered. This pillage and carnage continued from 13th August to the 5th September. The official number of executions of the villagers of Anogia is 117 . 

street in anogeia