Saint Mark, Heraklion
|Open to the public:||08.00 until sunset|
|Entrance fee:||Free admission|
|Supervised by:||Holy Archdiocese of Crete and Municipality of Heraklion|
|Access and walking difficulty:||Difficulty rating, 1|
The Venetian Cathedral in Candia was built in the town square, in 1239. Three aisled, wooden roofed, the middle aisle rising higher. The church belonged to the Duke of the island, so all the Dukes that died in Candia were buried there.
The initial building was destroyed twice in Venetian years, by earthquakes. After the Turkish conquest it was converted into a mosque, Defterdar mosque. From that period what remains is the southern part of the church and the lower part of the minaret. The catastrophic earthquake in 1856 left the church - Muslim mosque - in tatters. It was reconstructed meticulously (lighting through slim alabaster plates instead of glass) in 1963 and hosted the sessions of the first Cretologic Convention. Architectural elements from Venetian mansions in Handax have been incorporated. Sadly the rest of the mansions have not survived. Today it operates as the municipal gallery.