Top 5 churches and a monastery in Crete

The Church of Agios Minas

The Church of Agios Minas ©taver/Flick

Once you have reached Crete it is impossible not repeating to yourself at every turn that this corner of paradise was gifted and blessed by God to become one of the most exciting and most memorable vacation destinations.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of churches and chapels on the island of Crete. Some of them are more than 1000 years old and many of them still has some wonderful frescoes.

Today we would like to present you the top 5 churches and a monastery in Crete.

 

The Church of Saint Titus

Titus is considered to be the patron saint of Crete. The church dedicated to him in Heraklion is one of the top 5 churches in Crete and was originally a Byzantine temple that was undergoing many changes over the years. The Church of Saint Titus was renovated and modified by the Venetians in the 16th century and was used as the metropolitan church of Christians. During the Ottoman rule it was converted into a mosque, destroyed by an earthquake in 1856 and rebuilt in 1872. Since 1926 it rebecame an Orthodox Church and today holds the skull of St. Titus.

Church of Saint Titus in Heraklion, Crete

Church of Saint Titus in Heraklion, Crete ©currybet/Flick

The Basilica of Saint Mark

The Basilica of Saint Mark in Heraklion was built by the Venetians in 1239 and is one of the oldest buildings in Heraklion. Currently the basilica is used as a reading room, an exhibition hall or a space that holds all sorts of cultural events. The basilica houses the municipal library.

The Church of Agios Minas

The Church of Agios Minas is an impressive place of worship, one of the top 5 churches in Crete  ocated in the Agia Ekaterini market in Heraklion. The church was built between 1862 – 1895 in the shape of a cross with a dome and four equidistant poles. In the western corner of the Church of Agios Minas you will find a lower place, the old church, where you can admire the wood carvings and icons from the 18th century.

The Church of Agios Minas

The Church of Agios Minas ©taver/Flick

The Church of Agia Ekaterini

The Church of Agia Ekaterini in Heraklion dates back from the 15th century and was one of the most important centers of letters and the arts where many scholars of the Cretan Renaissance were educated. During the Ottoman rule, the church of Agia Ekaterina was transformed into a mosque. Currently it is one of the top 5 churches in Crete and houses a permanent collection of Byzantine icons, and objects, wood handicrafts, documents and religious books.

The Cathedral of Chania

The Cathedral of Chania is one of the top 5 churches in Crete and is dedicated to the Virgin of the Three Martyrs, the Patron Saint of the city of Chania. It is also called the three martyrs, because the central aisle is dedicated to Our Lady, the north corridor to St Nicholas and the south coridor to the Three Hierarchs. It is not known with precision the construction date of this building, but the church was already built during the Venetian domination. The Ottoman period was a particularly hard period for Crete and the Chania Cathedral was turned into a soap factory.

Cathedral of Chania

Cathedral of Chania ©taver/Flick

The Monastery of Panagia Chrissoskalitssa

The Monastery of Panagia Chrissoskalitssa is situated on a hill in the south-west of the city of Chania, offering spectacular views over the city and the nearby beaches. The Chrissoskalitssa name means “golden stage”, and legends says that the road leading to the monastery had a gold gear, but only people with pure soul could see it. The monastery was built during the Venetian rule and was dedicated to St. Nicholas. Currently, the monastery can be visited and in the inside is also a folklore museum.

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