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Cathedral Virgin Mary , the catholic cathedral Trimartiri of Chania

The cathedral  of the presentation of Virgin Mary, also called the catholic cathedral of Chania, or Trimartiri, was build on the location of a small church from 11th century, dedicated to Eisodia of Theotokos. The Venetians demolished this small Temple, building in its place a big storehouse for the needs of their Monastery.

During the ottoman period, the church was turned into a soap factory by ottoman rulers.  Ottoman dignitary Moustafa Pasha decide to keep the architecture of the church and, in respect of Virgin Mary and with some pressure of the cretan population, decided to keep the icone of blessed virgin Mary in a specific place: the olive oil storage room. The Virgin icone received as guardian an always lit candle.

During the short time of the Egyptian domination in Crete (1830-1841), the parishioner  Serafim da Caltanissetta get the license to build a stone single-nave church with a small wooden bell tower. Despite the tensio between the religious communities, when the Chrisitans asked to rebuild the church, the Ottoman ruler of the island decided to help them with some financal assistance.  The church was finished in 1860.  When in 1874 the Catholic Bishopric of Crete was founded, the first bishop Aloisio Cannavò (1874-1889) elevated the church of Chania to the status of Cathedral to serve the entire Catholic population of the region. The cathedral  was build with three aisles (that gave the greek name of Trimartiri): the central aisle, where Eisodia of Theotokos are honoured, the right aisl, where the Three Hierarches, Fathers and protectors of Greek Language are honoured, and the lef aisle, where Agios Nikolaos is honoured. The cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Crete  that was originally created in 1213 and was restored by Pope Pius IX in 1874. The Temple celebrates on November 21, feastday of Eisodion of Theotokos, which is also a holiday for the City of Chania.

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