Church of St. Titos

The church of St. Titos located in the center of Heraklion and is one of the most important monuments in the city center. According to the history, Saint Titus was a disciple of the Apostle Paul and the first bishop of Crete. 

The history of the church begins in 961 AD when Nikiforos B Fokas - emperor of the Byzantine Empire drove the Arabs away from Crete and ordered to build the first orthodox church of St.Titos, to rekindle the Christian faith and tradition of the place.

The first church was located in the old capital, Gortys, which housed the metropolis of the island, before the transfer of the capital to Candia, today’s Heraklion. The skull of St Titus was translated, and the miraculous icon of Panaghia Mesopantitissa and other relics from the Church of Gortyn were transfered to this new church. 

Several years later, in 1856, a great earthquake completely destroyed this magnificent church, which was rebuilt in its present form as an Ottoman mosque by architect Athanasios Mousis. He designed the orthodox church of St. Minas and the barracks in Eleftherias Square.

In 1920, the minaret of Saint Titos was demolished and today it operates under the orthodox dogma and is dedicated to equal-to-apostle Titos.  
On St. Titos square, one can also admire the reservoirs of the 2nd Byzantine period which supplied Heraklion with water and date back to around 961 AD.

 

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