Next to the small church dedicated to Saint Minas and the Presentation of Christ to the Temple (now known as "small Saint Minas"), a new imposing church dedicated to Saint Minas (Agios Minas), patron saint and protector of the Grand Castle, was built in 1895, combining legend with tradition and the town's history. Works on the church started in 1862, and lasted more than 30 years.
To this day, the new cathedral is one of the grandest and most imposing churches in Greece. The church is a place of reference for all the religious and historical celebrations of the city of Heraklion, especially on November 11, with the great feast on the day of Saint Minas.
The plans were drawn up by architect Athanasios Mousis and the costs were covered by contributions from monasteries and donations from hundreds of Christians. In architectural terms it is an inscribed cruciform church with dome resting on a high pedestal, while the interior bears some features of a three-nave basilica. It has two bell towers on the northeast and southwest corners. The iconostasis and the episcopal throne, which are made of white and green marble of Tinos, were designed in the early 20th century by Anastasios Orlandos and adorned by F. Skaris. The frescoes of the hagiographer Stelios Kartakis date back from 1960.
On the north side of the church (outside) you will see a bomb dropped next to the church during the bombing of Heraklion by the Germans in 1941. The bomb never exploded and it was considered a miracle.
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