Panagia Trimartiri Cathedral

Panagia Trimartiri Cathedral: Chania's Crown Jewel

Located in the vibrant heart of Chania’s Old Town, the Panagia Trimartiri Cathedral stands as a beacon of history, faith, and architectural splendor. More than just a religious landmark, it’s a tapestry woven with centuries of stories, Venetian whispers, and artistic treasures waiting to be explored.


Its origins trace back to the 14th century, when a chapel stood on its foundations during Venetian rule.

The architectural characteristics can be spotted in its sculpted columns, graceful arches, and the bell tower that stands tall in the sky.

During the Ottoman rule (17th century), the church was turned into a soap factory in 1965–1868. The interior of the church was altered to function as a factory.

Under the rule of Moustafa Pasha Giritli, who was a Cretan, the icon of the Virgin Mary was protected in the olive storage, always with a vigil candle lit.

According to some, after the soap industry went bankrupt, the church was abandoned, and the icon was taken by the last worker.

When Mustafa became prime minister, the Christian community during that time requested a renovation of the church, which was done despite the hostility between the two worlds. 

Mustafa granted the renovation with the support of the Sultan and raised a three-isled basilica, earning the name Trimartiri, meaning three-martyred. This act was appreciated by the local community.

Today, it proudly serves as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Chania, a symbol of resilience and enduring faith.

Architectural Grandeur

Panagia Trimartiri Cathedral is a testament to the architectural legacy of the island, boasting a blend of Venetian and Ottoman influences.

The three-aisled basilica, with its elevated middle aisle, exudes an air of timeless grandeur, adorned with intricate architectural elements that reflect the diverse epochs of its existence.

Step inside and prepare to be mesmerized. Sunlight streams through stained-glass windows, illuminating the intricate details of the interior.

Gaze upon the awe-inspiring dome, its curves reaching towards the heavens. Admire the walls adorned with magnificent frescoes by renowned Cretan artists, depicting scenes from the Bible and the lives of saints.

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How to Get There

Panagia Trimartiri Cathedral is located in the city center, inside the old town, which is surrounded by the Venetian walls. Getting there by foot is the most convenient way because of the lack of parking space. If your accommodation is within the walls, it will take you 10 to 15 minutes to walk there.


Open daily and welcoming visitors with open arms (and respectful attire), Panagia Trimartiri offers a unique experience. Take your time to soak in the serene atmosphere, marvel at the architectural intricacies, and delve into its fascinating history. Combine your visit with a wander through the charming labyrinthine streets of the Old Town, uncovering hidden gems and savoring the authentic spirit of Chania.

ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR AN ENJOYABLE VISIT TO panagia trimartiri cathedral

Respectful Behavior!
Maintain your composure and behave nicely while visiting the cathedral, especially when a religious ritual is taking place. Keep silent during conversations and turn off your phone.
Dress Modestly!
Dress modestly when entering the cathedral, covering your shoulders and knees because it is a place of prayer.
Explore the Interior!
Take your time exploring the cathedral's interior, which has breathtaking paintings, mosaics, and sacred artwork. These complex features provide insight into the region's cultural and artistic past.
Respect No-Entry Areas!
Be aware of any portions of the cathedral that are designated as off-limits to tourists. These areas could be designated for religious ceremonies or contain sensitive religious items.
Festival Participation!
If your vacation coincides with a religious festival or celebration, consider joining to learn about local culture and traditions. Respect the worshipers throughout these ceremonies.
Donate if You Wish!
Many religious sites rely on donations to fund their maintenance and upkeep. If you want to help the cathedral, consider making a little donation.
Explore the surrounding area!
Panagia Trimartiri Cathedral is located very close to many other attractions in the old town of Chania! Take your time and explore!
La Canea- Chania's Old Town

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