Chapel of Agios Minas (Saint Minas)

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The small chapel next to Agios Minas Cathedral was built in the 17th century, and was initially consecrated to the Virgin Mary Pantanassa (Queen of All). Following the conquest of Crete by the Ottomans (1669), the chapel was abandoned for many years until 1735, when it was renovated in order to serve as the city’s cathedral, pursuant to a firman issued by the Sultan. It was at that time when its two transepts were consecrated to the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (Candlemas) and Agios Minas (Saint Minas). Its interior decoration was particularly elaborate and featured votive offerings from believers from all over Crete. Its wood-carved gold-plated iconostasis and many icons are of exceptional beauty. In fact, the chapel was closely associated with the legend suggesting that Agios Minas (Saint Minas) had intervened to protect the Christians of Heraklion from Ottoman retaliation during the turbulent and violent 19th century. The chapel is still in operation, despite the extensive damage caused by earthquakes, thanks to maintenance and renovation works by the Archaeological Service.

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