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Fodele is located 30 kilometers west of Heraklion in the middle of a ferile valley. It is well known for the centuries-old production of citrus fruits. Its oranges are famous throughout Crete and are among the tastiest on the island. Fodele got its name from its first inhabitant in the 13th century. The village has been mentioned in censuses continuously ever since:

The village is associated with the great painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos. Domenikos Theotokopoulos, also known by the Spanish nickname EL GRECO, was born in Fodele in 1541. He was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. Initially, his art belonged to the Cretan School of Hagiography that developed in the 15th century. The iconographers painted mainly portable icons based on earlier Byzantine models with Western influences. In Venice he adopted the art of oil painting, now painting on canvas, abandoning the wood. In Rome, his paintings followed the 16th-century Renaissance standards, particularly in the rendering of light and the emphasis on color. In Spain, in Toledo, he excelled for his religious compositions and portraits. The inventory compiled by his son after his death, in 1614, mentions 143 completed paintings, 45 plaster or clay models, 150 drawings, 30 plans for altarpieces and 200 engravings. Although for a period of 400 years after his death, his work was not appreciated, today he is considered a forerunner of expressionism and 'not only modern but several steps ahead.'

The museum of Domenikos Theotokopoulos is located just one kilometer from the center of the village and is housed in the house that is said to be the one where the great Cretan painter was born. It is a restored stone building and is one of the most popular museums in Crete. The bust of the great Cretan dominates the entrance. Inside the museum, there are 24 copies in the form of slides, a painting workshop and two original works of the artist, the only ones in Crete. The museum offers information brochures to the public in 5 languages and operates every day from 9 am to 7 pm.

In the forecourt of the Museum there is a small cafe where the visitors can relax under centuries-old trees. They can also observe the stone-built well with the post-Byzantine water-pumping mechanism.

Opposite the museum, there stands the Church of the Entrance of the Virgin to the Temple. It is a beautiful church built on an earlier Christian Basilica of the 6th century from which a section of external walls, two pessaries and the baptistery are preserved. Inside the church, the frescoes on the west side date back to the 11th century, on the south to the 14th and on the north side, in a dense formation, there is the fresco of a series of full-length saints and martyrs with Saints Constantine and Helen standing out.

(More articles about Crete on www.gomega.gr)