Churches in Heraklion City

St Matthew

Saint Matthew church
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The Sinaitic dependency of Saint Matthew was built in 1508 on the ruins of an older Byzantine temple in Heraklion. The complex includes the temple, two neoclassical buildings and an newer building. The oldest part, to the north of the two-aisled church with a transverse narthex, is the single-aisled vaulted church of Saint Matthew (Agios Mattheos), which according to the founding inscription was built in 1600.

After the occupation of Crete by the Ottomans,this church served the needs of all the Christians of the city, as the Ottomans turned Saint Catherine into a mosque. The church then came under the jurisdiction of Saint Catherine of Mount Sinai after the intervention of the interpreter of the Sultan, Nikosios Panagiotakis. At the end of the 17th century, the existing church was expanded and the southern aisle of Saint Paraskevi was added. In the 18th century, the flat-roofed narthex was rebuilt, at the northeastern end of which a chapel dedicated to Saint Charalambos was added.

Today the church hosts a collection of icons that include important works of the Cretan School, such as "The Crucifixion" by Georgios Kastrofylakas (1752), "Saint Catherine" by Jeremiah Palladas, "The Crucifixion" and "Saint Titus and Scenes of the Lives of the 10 Martyrs" by Ioannis Kornaros (1772 and 1773), two unsigned icons by Michael Damaskinos (Saint Symeon and Saint John the Baptist - 16th century) and more.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Church
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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