The small river Pantomantris divides the village Fodele in half. By the sign at the bridge turn right to the Dominikos Theotokopoulos El Greco Museum in Fodele and the church of Panagia, both 800 m away and therefore also easily reached on foot.
The road winds through orange and olive groves to a small parking lot. Arrived at the “parental home” of Dominikos Theotokopoulos, which is now transformed into the museum, I ask the museum guard about a much debated topic:
“What makes you believe that El Greco saw the light of day here?”Answer: “El Greco had never mentioned his birthplace and always called the island of Crete as his home. Many years after his death some handwritten notes by the artist were found in Toledo (Spain), in which he mentioned that he grew up in the shadow of a Byzantine chapel from the 11th century, 25 km from Candia (today Heraklion). Scientists from Spain came 1937 to the result that these crumbling walls (today the museum) was the birthplace of El Greco, and donated a labeled memorial stone “from the mountains of Toledo” to the village Fodele, which can be admired next to an ancient plane tree in the square today.”
In the museum copies of the works of El Greco are exhibited in light boxes, and also some of the documents demonstrate that he was from Fodele.
- 2 original paintings of great El Greco can be admired in the Historical Museum of Crete in Heraklion.
Who has some leisure time available, can certainly spend an hour or two in the village itself, the village square on the river under the old plane-trees looks very inviting for a coffee or lunch.
- Don’t forget to visit also the Byzantine church of Panagia next to the parking of the museum
- read more about the village Fodele
- read more about the famous painter El Greco in El Greco – painter of the spirit