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  • One of the "jewels" of the cityOne of the "jewels" of the city© Cretazine
Crete as we Live it

St. Titus (Agios Titos)

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St. Titus, together with the square that surrounds it, is one of the jewels of the city. Already from the second Byzantine period it was considered the most majestic temple of the city, where sacred relics were kept, transferred from the first temple of St. Titus in Gortyna. The "miraculous" icon of Virgin Mary (Panagia Mesopantitissa) was among these valuable relics. After that, the history of the temple follows the history of Crete: the Venetians convert it to a Catholic temple and place a Latin Bishop, and later the temple falls into the hands of the Ottomans. The Venetians transferred the sacred relics to the temple of St. Marco and the temple Della Salute in Venice, as the Ottomans converted the Catholic temple to a Mosque, known as "Vezir Tzami" (Vezir Cami, mosque). Natural disasters (earthquakes and fires) destroyed the temple twice (in 1557 and 1856). The minaret left behind by the Turkish settlers was demolished in the 1920’s, while in 1925 it started working again as a temple dedicated to Apostle Titos. Nowadays, the temple has the form of a Basilica with a vault in its centre and a bell tower in its south-western part. It is surrounded by cafes and restaurants and its elegant structure is highlighted with colorful lights at nighttime.