“Agios Titos” – The temple-ornament in the center of Heraklion

On August 25th street, in the center of Heraklion, there is the church of “Agios Titos” (St. Titus), which is one of the most important monuments in the city. Around the church lies a beautiful square with cafes and restaurants, the so- called “Saint Titus Square”.

It is believed that the first temple of Saint Titus must have been built in 961 AD., when Nikiphoros Fokas expelled the Arabs from Crete, in order to revitalize the Christian faith that was in recession because of the conquest of the island by the Arab pirates.

Saint Titus was a disciple of Apostle Paul and the first bishop of Crete. The first church dedicated to his name, which had been destroyed by an earthquake, was in the old capital of the island, the ancient Gortyna. In the new temple they carried the head of Saint Titus, and other sacred relics from the temple of Gortyna, which then, during the enslavement of Heraklion to the Turks were transferred to Venice where they exist to this day with the exception of the head of Saint Titus returned to Heraklion.

The minaret of Saint Titus was demolished in the 1920s when the last muslims left the city by the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey. The church now operates under Orthodoxy and is dedicated to the apostle Titus, after renovations in 1925 by the Church of Crete.

Saint Titus, is a magnificent temple and definitely worth a visit.