The village of Fodele in Crete
Fodele is a picturesque village located on the north coast of the prefecture and lies 29km to the west of Heraklion. With a population of 642 inhabitants the village nestles in a lush valley full of plane trees and orange groves. Historians suggest that Fodele Bay was the original site of the ancient town of Astali which was the port of ancient Axos. Here, too, the famous Greek painter, Dominicus Theotokopoulos (better known as El Greco) was born in 1545. He spent most of his life in Spain but his paintings were deeply influenced by the techniques established by the Cretan School of Art. Places of interest to visit at Fodele include the ruins of the house where it is believed El Greco was born; the 14th century church, Panaghia and the 11-12th century church, Theotokos Eisodia (the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary) which belongs to the post Byzantine period and boasts a cruciform plan with a large domed roof. Close to the village, at an altitude of 450m is the Venetian monastery of the Order of the Sabbath.