The Traditional Village of «Tsikalaria»
Tsikalaria is built amphitheatrically at the foot of the mountain "Malaxa" and consists of the districts of "Tsikalaria", "Ag. Foteini", "Alona" and "Metohia". There are many theories about the origin of name of the village. The most dominant assigns the name "tsikalaria" to the clay-made pots, which used to be a local product. Until a few years ago, there were still remains from the clay factories in the region. According to tradition, technicians from the region migrated to the island of Sifnos and transmitted there the art of clay. Furthermore, according to tradition, the village of "Tsikalaria" was also known as "Arhontohori".
The name of the "Metohia" district originated from the names of the first Turkish rulers, who lived there and built their villas, still preserved today. The name of the village "Ag. Foteini" originated from the church of St. Foteini, which still exists and was a former monastery. At the village's center, there is a preserved Turkish mosque, which was formerly a church dedicated to St. Nicolas.
The central spring water fountain of the village is located at the mosque, which was used by the Turks for cleansing themselves before entering the mosque. At the entrance of the mosque there is also a well preserved Turkish coffee shop.
The church of St. Antoine is a remarkable attraction for visitors, with its recently renovated bell tower and its imposing entrance, built on a panoramic location. To the west, the famous Byzantine church of Virgin Mary is located, with its beautiful 16th-17th century cupola.
In the district of "Alona" (Turkish fortress) there is a deep well, where many local revolutionaries were thrown to their death by the Turks. The revolutionaries themselves were forced to dig and construct this well.
The district of "Metohia is still inhabited by the descendants of refuges from Asia Minor who came to Crete with the population exchange that took place between Greece and Turkey, after the tragedy in Asia Minor. These refuges brought with them unique cultural traditions of Asia Minor, blending it with local traditions. In "Metohia" there is the church of St. John "the Rigologos".
Every year in Tsikalaria, many cultural events and festivals are organized by the local Cultural Organization. The most important are:
- The St. Antoine festival
- The St. John "the Rigologos" festival
- The "rosewater festival" in spring, is a festivity that revives the traditional way of producing rosewater.