Churches of Heraklion city
The religious history of Crete and particularly of Heraklion begins early on, as Saint Paul visited the city twice in his efforts to establish Christianity on the island. Ever since, thousands of churches, monasteries, temples and worship grounds have been built, demolished, rebuilt, reused as mosques, museums, even storage houses, leaving the city today with almost 140 remaining churches. Here we cite some of the most notable churches of Heraklion city, the ones that no visitor should leave without paying a visit to.
The metropolis of Saint Minas: situated in Agias Aikaterinis square, it is considered one of the most majestic temples in Greece
The temple of Saint Minas and Pantanassas: situated next to the Agias Aikaterinis Temple is divided in two parts, one in honour of Saint Minas and one in honour of Mother Mary Pantanassa. The woodwork inside the church is a true wonder of craftsmanship, whereas the remaining paintings are the works of famous Cretan iconographers of the 18th century.
The Sinaitic Temple of Agia Aikaterini: a spiritual and artistic centre from the 15th to the17th century, today it houses a museum with momentous religious artifacts and the works of some of Crete’s most renowned iconographers.
The temple of Saint Matthew: a second byzantine era church, maintained through the Ottoman Empire by monks of the Mount Sinai. Today it hosts a significant historical collection of Cretan school paintings from the 18th century,
The temple of Saint Marcus: this Venetian church, situated across the street from the famous “lions”, the Morosini fountain, was the most beautiful church of Heraklion city during the Venetian era. Today it houses the Municipal Art Gallery, where you can admire the Venetian Gate of Ittar, as well as some replicas of 13th and 14th century byzantine murals.
The temple of Saint Titus: Another of Heraklion city churches that has passed through hail and snow. Burned down, rebuilt, demolished by an earthquake, rebuilt once more only to be turned into a mosque during the centuries of the Ottoman Empire. Today it hosts the remains of Saint Titus, Saint Lucia, Saint Stefan and Saint Martin. The temple is located in 25th August str.
The aforementioned churches and countless others along the way compose the scenery for a grand tour around Heraklion’s christianic history, a route for the devout, promising to travel you through distant times and places, mesmerizing stories of miracles and heroes, through the history of this mystical island.