© Bishopry of Stagai, © 7th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities
General view
The Church of the Dormition of Virgin Mary is a three-aisled basilica with wooden roof and three apses on the eastern side. The central aisle is higher than the flanking aisles. The building contains sequences of columns and piers (pillars) that divide the space giving the aisles. A three lobed arched opening (trivilon) comprises the main entrance to the central aisle from the inner narthex. The outer narthex is a later addition.

The initial phase of the existing building dates the late 11th or the early 12th century, mainly based on the period, when the first phase of the painted decoration took place. However, later researches suggest that the monument be built circa 1000. Based on the fragments of mosaic found/revealed under the current floor of the church and some architectural details, such as its architectural form, the existence of «trivilon?, «synthronon? and a reconstructed with spolia marble pulpit (or ambo) with two steps of ascension, we come to the conclusion that the Byzantine church was erected above the foundation of an early Christian basilica.

Inside the church is full-decorated with frescoes that belong to two different phases. The older painted layer, which dates the late 11th-early 12th century, has survived in parts on the eastern end of the southern aisle. A great part of the existing frescoes that were painted by the priest Kyriazis and the Cretan monk Neofytos, son of the painter Theophanes, are work of the year 1573. The same period the church underwent extensive repairs. The painted decoration of the narthex dates the 18th century.
Kristalia Mantzana, Archaeologist - Director of the 19th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities