Fodor's Expert Review Ayios Minas

Heraklion Religious Building/Site/Shrine

This huge, lofty cathedral, dating from 1895, can hold up to 8,000 worshippers, but is most lively on November 11, when Heraklion celebrates the feast of Minas, a 4th-century Roman soldier-turned-Christian. Legend has it that on Easter Sunday 1826 a ghostly Minas reappeared on horseback and dispersed a Turkish mob ready to slay the city's Orthodox faithful. Curiously, few of Heraklion's inhabitants are named after Minas, which is unusual for a city's patron saint. The reason is that many years ago babies born out of wedlock were left on the steps of the church, and were named Minas by the clergy who took these children in and cared for them. Thus, the name Minas came to be associated with illegitimacy.

Religious Building/Site/Shrine Silversea Cruise Free

Quick Facts

Kyrillou Loukareos
Heraklion, Crete  71201, Greece

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