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“A unique homeland from our childhood”

For us, the historic village of Agioi Deka in Crete is a literal and metaphorical homeland. Here we have spent holidays and summers, had unforgettable experiences, filled our memories and gathered the materials that built the mythology of our childhood years.

And we have returned here to create a warm, welcoming “village” within the village, destined to become a place to create indelible memories for our visitors. 

The st TEN Stone Built Village consists of a private villa and 16 stone houses in three charming neighborhoods around the Byzantine church of St. Ten Martyrs. All the houses were reconstructed with full respect for the traditional architecture of the area and the evocative modesty of the landscape. The interiors and exteriors have been furnished to exude a sense of hospitality and discreet luxury and are equipped with everything one needs to feel at home. To make oneself at home, to relax, to entertain, to explore and to discover the obvious and hidden gifts of a place that is sure to feel like one’s own very soon.

This village can become your village. A special homeland with special beauty and a fascinating centuries-old history.

Agioi Deka - Crete

Το χωριό των Αγίων Δέκα είναι χτισμένο σε μια γραφική τοποθεσία, με θαυμάσια θέα ανάμεσα σε ελαιώνες της καταπράσινης πεδιάδας της Μεσαράς σε υψόμετρο 170 μέτρων από την επιφάνεια της θάλασσας.

Οι Άγιοι Δέκα είναι ένα από τα σημαντικότερα χωριά της Μεσαράς από άποψη αρχαιολογικού ενδιαφέροντος, καθώς στην ευρύτερη περιοχή βρίσκονται τα ερείπια της αρχαίας Γόρτυνας. Στην περιοχή αυτή εικάζεται ότι βρισκόταν το νεκροταφείο της Αρχαίας Γόρτυνας και πολλά από τα παλιά σπίτια είναι χτισμένα με ανακυκλωμένο υλικό από τα ερείπια της Αρχαίας πόλης. Σε πολλές προσόψεις κτιρίων υπάρχουν εντοιχισμένα αρχαία λείψανα, όπως επιγραφές.

Το χωριό οφείλει το όνομά του στους Δέκα χριστιανούς, που μαρτύρησαν κατά τη διάρκεια των διωγμών του Ρωμαίου Δέκιου το 250 μ.Χ. προσπαθώντας να διαδώσουν το Ευαγγέλιο στο νησί. Τον 12ο αιώνα στο σημείο όπου μαρτύρησαν χτίστηκε βυζαντινή εκκλησία όπου φυλάσσεται σε γυάλινη προθήκη κάτω από το εικονοστάσι, το μάρμαρο όπου γονάτισαν για τον αποκεφαλισμό. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι πάνω στο μάρμαρο είναι αποτυπωμένες οι γονατιές των Αγίων. Στην εκκλησία Αγία Λίμνη, λίγα μέτρα έξω από το χωριό, βρίσκονται οι τάφοι των Άγιων Δέκα. Το χωριό πανηγυρίζει στις 23 Δεκεμβρίου, ημέρα αφιερωμένη στη μνήμη των δέκα μαρτύρων.

Agioi Deka is located on a verdant hill on the northern side of the fertile plain of Messara in the southern region of Heraklion, Crete. From an altitude of 170 meters they overlook the vast Cretan olive groves and offer a wonderful view of the villages of the plain and ideal access to the archaeological site of Gortyna.

The village is in fact, built on the outskirts of the ancient city, in a place where it is believed that one of its cemeteries was located. During reconstruction, the first inhabitants used materials from the ancient ruins and, to this day, the built-in fragments of the ancient world are still visible on the facades of the oldest houses including inscriptions, column capitals and carved stones.

This place has been continuously inhabited since the Neolithic period. Here once lived Minoans, Achaeans, Dorians, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans and Greeks, who sacrificed themselves in the struggle for the liberation of Crete from the Sultan.

The present village owes its name to the ten Cretan Christians who were martyred during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Decius in 250 AD. The church around which the St TEN Stone Built Village is developed is their church and was founded in the 12th century on the site where they were tortured and killed. Visitors to the church can see beneath the iconostasis the marble on which they knelt before being beheaded. The marks on the marble are the imprinted kneelings of the Saints. Their remains are buried under the chapel of Agia Lini, at the edge of the village, and their memory is commemorated every year two days before Christmas on the 23rd of December.

Messara and the wider region

Για εμάς, το να κρατάς κομμάτια της ιστορίας ζωντανά, είναι αδιαπραγμάτευτο.
Έτσι λοιπόν, επιλέξαμε να δώσουμε στα δωμάτια /σπίτια λίγο παραπάνω ζωή και να τιμήσουμε τους ανθρώπους που κατοικούσαν σε αυτά.
Η ιστορία με τα ψευδώνυμα στο χωριό κρατάει πολλές δεκαετίες και σχεδόν όλοι οι κάτοικοι του χωριού της εποχής εκείνης είχαν από ένα.

Messara is the largest inland plain of Crete and the main olive producing area of the island. This is where the famous Cretan olive oil is produced along with a large amount of the vegetables that are such an important part of Cretan cuisine.

Based at the st TEN Stone Built Village, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the historical routes that start from the birthplace of Western Civilization. Gortyna and Phaistos are two of the most important archaeological sites in the world, Panagia Kera (or Agios Titus), located just one kilometre from the village of Agioi Ten, dates back to the 6th century AD and is one of the most imposing monuments of Byzantine architecture on the entire island.

Of course, there are also the literal routes. Routes that pass through paths of every degree of difficulty encompassing wild gorges and landscapes of unsurpassed beauty. Routes that end at the sea, on beaches with a charming history, such as Matala, or with captivating archeological features such as Kommos.