When exactly were Anogeia founded and by whom, is not accurately known. Many[who?] believe that the original settlement was founded by villagers from the village Axos, which is located west of Anogia, at the location where the Minoan city Oaxos was situated.
According to a legend, a shepherd from Axos found one day on one of the slopes of Psiloreitis an icon depicting Saint John the Baptist. Pious as he was, he picked it up carefully, wrapped it in a towel, took it to his home and placed it there alongside the other icons. On the following day he was astonished to find out that the icon had disappeared. Terrified, he went back to the place he had found it on the day before, where he was exhilarated to discover that the icon was exactly at the same location. This inexplicable phenomenon was considered to be an order from the heavens, to build at that exact location a temple dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.