City Religious monuments



Church of Saint Barbara in Rethymnon
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The church of Saint Barbara is located near the tempe Megali Panagia in Rethymnon and celebrates on December 4th. The church was founded in 1885 on the site of an older temple, probably dedicated to the same saint, which appears on maps of 1613. The present church belongs to the architectural type of the free-domed cross with Gothic elements. Inside there is an imposing chandelier, a tribute of the Russian army that used the temple during the Russian administration of Rethymnon from 1898 to 1907.

Due to the connection of the church with various miracles for the city of Rethymnon and its inhabitants during the Turkish occupation, Saint Barbara is the patron saint of the city of Rethymnon. Even the founding of the temple is linked to a miracle: In 1883 the Christians persuaded the Turkish Agha Ali Efendis Tsitsekakis, who had turned the ruined temple into baths, not to proceed with the planned demolition of the remaining temple, and to give it for the erection of a new temple. Initially the Turkish Agha did not give his consen and then a smallpox epidemic overwhelmed the Muslim families of Rethymnon, while the Christians remained healthy. At that time, Muslims, believing that the epidemic was caused by Saint Barbara, persuaded Ali Efendis to hand over the church complex to the Christian community in 1885.

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