October 23, 2016
This Byzantine Monastery of St. John the Divine is located next to the huge Roman Cisterns at the ancient city of Aptera. It is believe to have been built in the 7th. Century AD and remain in use until 1964 when it is abandoned permanently.
The layout is very similar to a traditional Chinese courtyard house and if we take the North as the sitting direction, where the chapel is located, then according to the Bazhai School of Feng Shui, it is a Kan House with the Door at Xun, where the auspicious Sheng Qi Wandering Star is located (see Bazhai map below). I know it is not how the original builder would have envisaged, but I find it interesting to see it from a Feng Shui perspective.
The irregular shape of the courtyard gave a distorted perspective and made the courtyard seem larger than what it is as one enters from the main door. In Feng Shui it is called a “money bag” shape.
It is quite a pleasant surprise when we walked into the courtyard from a harsh landscape, it is cool, calm and welcoming, like entering an Oasis from a desert.
In contrast to other monasteries of later periods in Crete, the chapel is not located in the centre along the East-West axis, but it is located to one side and is quite moderate in size. This made me think may be the idea of a Community of God has given away to a Worship of God over time.
I could not get my camera to work on the day, the last photo is taken from a Crete tourist site.