Church/ Monastery in Herakleion (Crete)

Hundreds of chuches are scattered across the district of Herakleion, and there are no fewer than 20 monestaries here too.


Whilst Mark was the patron saint of Venice, the Cretans paid homage to Titos (or Titus), the first bishop of the island, and the recipient of epistles from St Paul, in the first century AD.
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Situated between the villages of Vorizia and Zaros the monastery, has a double aisled church, dedicated to the apostle Thomas, and a beautiful fountain with water issuing-forth from lions’ heads.
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This was a very important monastery, during the Renassaince period, when the growth of art and culture was being stifled by the Ottoman Turks.
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Situated close to village of Aghios Vassilios, itself 32 Kms from Herakleion, this monastery flourished at the very time that Christianity was threatened most, i.e during the Ottoman occupation, and after 1669.
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Originally built as early as the 10th century, though what we see now is at least 600 years younger dating back to 1555, and built during Venetian rule.
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Unsprisingly, given the name, this church was built by the Venetians in reverence towards their city’s patron saint, Mark. One of many churches adopted by the Ottomans for use as a mosque, addeding a minaret. It can be found on Venizelos square in the city.
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One of Greece’s largest cathedrals the cruciform building has a domed roof, and twin towers. Heavily damaged in the 1866 revolution, it was restored some 30 years later. Located on Aghia Ekaterina square in Herakleion next to the church of that name, which was built in 1555.
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Close to the village of Zaros, near the Rouvas gorge, the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos, has superb frescoes painted upon its walls, and a famous icon painted by Michaelis Damaskinos, of The Last Supper.
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A lovely Byzantine church, not far from the village of Arkalochori, some 34 Kms south-east of Herakleion. A cruciform shaped building built of stone, with a tiled roof, it contains some original Byzantine frescoes.
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