Church of Panagia Chrysafitissa

To the northeast of Sparta, just outside the village of Chrysafa, lies the beautiful, well-preserved church of Panagia Chrysafitissa . The church is one of the monuments that prove the great spiritual flourishing of the area in Byzantine and post-Byzantine times.
It was built in the late 11th century and probably belonged to a larger complex or monastery, as shown by the traces of foundations on its south side.
It is a cross- in square church with a narthex and its dome rests internally on two columns. In later years, probably in the 16th century, the outdoors narthex, the cistern and the imposing fortress tower were added to its western side. The fortification of the church is attributed to monks of the neighboring Monastery of Agion Saranta, who lived here. The interior is painted with quality murals that despite their provincial character are a very interesting iconographic ensemble. They date exactly to 1289/90, according to the founding inscription, which also mentions their sponsors, the local official "respected" Michael and his wife Zoe.

The murals inside the main church are preserved in fragments and those in the narthex, where the owners are depicted, are in better condition. In some spaces there is a newer layer of painting, dating to the 17th century. The church is related to the homonymous church of Monemvasia, as according to tradition the icon of the Virgin Mary which is located today in Monemvasia, was miraculously transported from Chrysafa.