In the valley south of Apíranthos, close to the hiking trail that leads to Danakós, lie two old Byzantine churches from the 10th century with comparatively well preserved murals.
The two churches of Agios Georgios and Agios Pachomios are located in the middle of the cultivated plain.
Agios Georgios, the larger of the two churches, consists of two naves. Here the two apses from the outside.
The roof of the northern ship is covered in the traditional way with stone slabs.
The dome of Agios Pachomios resembles the hull of a windmill.
the church complex from the southwest side
The walls, as with most Byzantine churches on Naxos, are built of rough, unhewn stones in a rather negligent way.
The low door of the northern nave is covered by a disproportionately large lintel stone.
the northern nave from the inside
Here in the southern nave, one can see how poorly the whole church is built: the walls and half-columns are askew, and the dome is only roughly round.
The apse of the southern nave is decorated with murals from the 13th century, some of which are comparatively well preserved.
The lower part shows a number of saints.
As usual, the godfather (Pantokratoras) is depicted in the middle of the apse, with two other figures to the right and left of him.
To the left of him stands a female figure, presumably Mother Mary.
Some particularly delicate parts of the murals have been covered with a special cloth to protect them.
To the right and left of the apse lie small niches, also with pictures of saints.
The figure in the left niche is particularly well preserved.
In the northern part very rare fragments of non-figurative murals from the 10th century, the time of the iconoclasm, have survived.
In a gap in the masonry a bird has built its nest.
The very small church of Agios Pachomios dates from the 12th century, so it is slightly younger than the other.
a curious donkey
This church is still in use and has a typical wooden iconostasis.
Here the murals in the corners above the pillars below the small church dome are best preserved.
The murals are more carefully crafted than in the church of Agios Georgios.
The ornaments are executed in fine detail.
On the south wall below the dome a large angel is depicted.
This mural looks younger than the other figures.
View from the south towards the churches with Apiranthos in the background