Christian Art Museum

Christian Art Museum: Saint Catherine church, a cultural jewel in heraklion

Nestled in the heart of Heraklion, next to Saint Minas Cathedral, lies a cultural treasure waiting to be discovered: the Christian Art Museum, housed in the church of Agia Aikaterini (Saint Catherine). This historic site is a testament to the rich heritage and artistic legacy of the island, offering visitors a glimpse into the spiritual and artistic tapestry of Heraklion.

a journey through history

Located in the old town of Heraklion (Candia) , the Christian Art Museum of St. Aikaterini, housed in a 16th-century Venetian church, offers a glimpse into Crete’s rich history and artistry.

This architectural gem, once a renowned center of education and art, is known for its Byzantine icons dating back to the 14th century.

The church, originally a part of the Saint Catherine of Sinai Monastery, has a unique cross-in-square design.

During the Venetian era, it hosted a prominent school of education, shaping the minds of luminaries like Vitsentzos Kornaros and Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco).

After Ottoman rule, it became a mosque and later an ecclesiastical museum.

Today, it boasts Crete’s most extensive collection of Byzantine icons, rare manuscripts, religious relics, and artwork by renowned painters like Michael Damaskinos.

The Christian Art Museum of Saint Catherine provides a captivating window into Heraklion’s spiritual and cultural heritage, making it a must-visit for those seeking to explore Crete’s past and appreciate its artistic legacy.

The Church of Agia Aikaterini is dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, who is shown on the painting in the picture.
Spiritual Significance and Cultural Heritage

The church has served as a center of Orthodox worship for centuries, while its architecture reflects the influence of Venetian and Cretan Renaissance styles, characterized by ornate facades and intricate detailing.

The interior of the Christian Art Museum is adorned with stunning frescoes and religious icons that narrate stories of faith and devotion.

These artistic treasures are not only a testament to the skill of the painters but also windows into the spiritual life of the community.

What is there to see

What sets the Church of St. Aikaterini apart is the adjacent museum, which houses a remarkable collection of religious artifacts, manuscripts, and historical items.

As you explore the museum’s exhibits, you’ll have the opportunity to delve deeper into the religious and cultural history of Heraklion.

Frescoes and Icons:

The museum boasts an impressive array of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, some dating as far back as the 14th century. These icons are not merely works of art but also sacred objects of veneration, each with its own story and significance.

Rare Manuscripts:

One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of rare manuscripts, including illuminated religious texts and documents. These manuscripts provide insights into the religious practices and intellectual pursuits of the time.

Religious Relics:

The museum also houses a selection of religious relics, such as ornate chalices, censers, and vestments worn by clergy during religious ceremonies. These items offer a tangible connection to the traditions of Orthodox worship.

The Christian Art Museum is a testament to the fact that religion is an inseparable part of Greek culture.

Additional informations about the museum

At the heart of Heraklion next to Saint Minas Cathedral.

No caffeteria or Parking

Adults 4€, over 65 2€. Youth up to 18 and students, free.

Summer 09:00-14:00 & 17:00-20:00 daily.

Winter 09:00 - 13:00 daily.

Usually visitors stay in this area up to 45 minutes.

Available Wi - Fi.

Phone Number: +30 2810 336316

Infrastructure for the handicap available.

Photos featuring the Christian art museum (saint catherine)

How to Get There

The Christian Art Museum of Saint Catherine is located in the city center, inside the old town of Heraklion (Candia), which is surrounded by the Venetian walls. Acessing there by foot is the most convenient way because of the lack of parking space at Saint Minas Square. If your accommodation is within the walls, it will take you 10 to 15 minutes to walk there.


The Christian Art Museum of Agia Aikaterini (Saint Catherine) in Heraklion is more than just a site of prayer and historical preservation; it is an entrance to a world where faith, art, and culture collide. A visit to this cultural gem is likely to leave a lasting impression and a deeper understanding of the rich fabric of Heraklion’s past and present, whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or a traveler looking to connect with Crete’s heritage.


(saint catherine)

Plan Your Visit!
Check the museum's operating hours and any admission fees in advance to ensure a hassle-free visit.
Confirm the museum's policy on photography and respect any restrictions on taking photos inside.
Quiet Reflection!
Take a moment for quiet reflection in the church. Many visitors find solace in the serene atmosphere.
Learn About the Art!
Familiarize yourself with the Byzantine iconography and artistic styles beforehand to appreciate the artwork better.
Respect Rules and Regulations!
Abide by any posted rules and regulations within the museum to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience for all visitors.
Visit Nearby Sites!
Since the museum is centrally located, explore nearby attractions like the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Minas.
Saint Minas Cathedral

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