Chania Church of Virgin Mary

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Location: Town

The Church of Virgin Mary (alternative name: Panagia Trimartiri) is dedicated to the Annunciation of Mary. It is located in the Old Town of Chania, on Halidon Street and it is the Metropolitan Church of the city. The church celebrates annually on November 21st.

The 14th century main building of the church was constructed on top of the ruins of an older chapel, possibly dating to the 11th century. In 1645, during the Ottoman Occupation period, it was converted to a soap factory, although its bell tower and the icon of Virgin Mary remained unharmed.
According to a local legend, the Turkish Mustafa Pasha fulfilled the command of an apparition of the Virgin Mary and returned the church to the local Christian Community, discontinuing the use of the temple as a soap factory to save his son.

Reconstruction works finished in 1860, leading to the creation of a church that was officially founded in 1861 by the Bishop of Kydonia and it currently functions as the Metropolitan Church. Parts of the church had to be reconstructed after having been damaged during the Cretan Revolution of 1897. This project was funded by the Russian Czar.

The Church of the Virgin Mary is a three-aisled basilica with Venetian-architecture elements. The north aisle (former Dominican church of Saint Nicholas and mosque) and the south aisle of the cathedral are dedicated to Saint Nicholas and the Cappadocian Fathers respectively. Many icons and frescoes inside the church were crafted in the 19th century.

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