The Cathedral of Agios Titos Church in Pictures

At the Temple of the Apostle Titus, the Founder of Christianity in Crete

 The Cathedral of Agios Titos, one of the most majestic and well-known historic buildings in Heraklion lays in a beautiful square, very close to the Morosini Lions Fountain and Loggia (the City Hall). Initially erected in the 10th century after the reconquer of Crete by Byzantium from the Arab domination, the church is probably the oldest in Heraklion, dedicated to St. Titus the Greek Christian missionary, the disciple of the Apostle Paul. Titus was deputed by Paul to preached the gospel in Crete, thus becoming the first bishop of Crete.

 Like most of the historic religious sites in Crete, the building has undergone major destruction, reconstruction, and architectural changes over time. It was converted to a Catholic church by the Venetians, it passed through two earthquakes and a devastating fire in the 14th and 15th century,  and was turned into a mosque by the Ottomans, who used the bell tower as a minaret, and demolished it In 1920 when the last Muslims left the island forever. The current appearance of the cathedral is from 1925 when the Orthodox Church of Crete repaired it accordingly and dedicated again to Agios Titos.

 At the fall of Heraklion to the Turks, in the XVII century, all the church's holy relics and ecclesial art objects were moved to Venice, for safekeeping. After almost 300 years, in 1966, the skull of St.Titus was returned to Heraklion citizens, now being displayed in a silver reliquary in the chapel on the north wing of the church. The miraculous icon of the Virgin Mesopanditissa is also an attraction for believers and, on the choir's balcony which is accessible to visitors, there is a small exhibition of icons on wood and canvas, more than half a century old.

 This sacred and monumental space, disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, it's like a gateway to the unseen world. As soon as you step outside, city life pulsates. The square is a playground for kids, a nice place to rest for the tourists visiting the old town, and the locals' favorite venue to grab a coffee with friends, at one of the cafes or pubs around. If you are in Heraklion, it is worth taking a walk through the center, at nightfall, to admire the ornamental lights that surround the cathedral, completing the beautiful multicolored spectacle of the city.


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