Basilica di San Marco

Basilica di San Marco: One of the first Venetian buildings in Heraklion was founded in 1239, dedicated to the patron of Venice Saint Mark.

The Basilica of Saint Mark is located in Heraklion Center, opposite to the Lions Fountain and just a few meters away from Loggia (Heraklion Municipalitiy)

This three-aisled timber-roofed basilica, was constructed to fulfill the religious needs of the ducat and the Venetian authorities.


In this building, the Venetian nobles where buried in sarcophagus and official ceremonies took place.

There used to be a high bell tower on the corner, which often would forewarn for bombs, being used as a bomb alarm. The Turks tried to destroy it many times and it was demolished when the Ottomans managed to invade the city. Then, the Basilica was converted into a mosque, named after Defterdar Ahmet Passa. It is unfortunate that the new conquerors destroyed the frescoes and the Christian graves.


After the big earthquake of 1304, the original building was repeatedly restored. The mosque functioned until 1915, when the building was undertaken by the National Bank and subsequently by Heraklion Municipality.

For a short time it functioned as a cinema under the name Minoa, run by a local civilian.

During the German occupation the Basilica was turned into a warehouse, until in 1956 the monument was restored in its present condition by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies.

From the bell tower, which was quite tall, only a part of its Venetian base is saved today with a small part of the later Turkish mosque.

Very often and especially at the evening, the Basilica stairs are a gathering spot for youngsters, sitting and relaxing while eating souvlaki or having a beer.

Today the Municipal Art Gallery is housed in the building, and it is open to the public every day.

You can read more information here and here

Find Basilica of Saint Mark on Google Map

Here’s what the visitors mention about Basilica Monument (via TripAdvisor)

By molly215 Auckland New Zealand


We watched a choir singing in the church…..very beautiful and lovely atmosphere..VERY lovely old church .

By Sarahellen M

Lovely archetecture

The archetecture is so lovely in Crete. Every place you go is full of it. So worth the visit to see its history if you can get around if not there is the bus or taxi that can help. It was closed when we went but even the out side is lovely. A tibute to its keepers.

Gwgw K

An amazing place

I’m one of Heraklion residents who visit this site more than 2 times per month. It is one of the city’s “jewels”, but also hosts really interesting exhibitions.

Xaris S

αξιζει να πας!!

Η Βασιλική του Αγίου Μάρκου είναι από τα σημαντικότερα Ενετικά κτίρια – μνημεία στο Ηράκλειο. Η Βασιλική του Αγίου Μάρκου βρίσκεται απέναντι ακριβώς από το σιντριβάνι με τα Λιοντάρια, στην Πλατεία Ελευθερίου Βενιζέλου στο κέντρο του Ηρακλείου. Σήμερα στεγάζει τη Δημοτική Πινακοθήκη της πόλης και είναι ανοιχτή στο κοινό καθημερινά σχεδόν όλη τη διάρκεια της μέρας.

Visitors comments in Google

By Amir Ali Khan

a former basilica, then a mosque and now a gallery. do step in.

by Ελένη Μπρεδάκη

Εξαιρετικό Μνημείο στην πλατεία των Λιονταριών, στην καρδιά του Ηρακλείου. Συνήθως φιλοξενεί εικαστικές ή φωτογραφικες Εκθέσεις. Προσφέρεται ιδιαίτερα ως χώρος για Συνέδρια και Εκδηλώσεις Λόγου και Τέχνης.

(Translated by Google)

Excellent Monument to Lion Square, in the heart of Heraklion. It usually hosts visual or photographic exhibitions. It is especially offered as a venue for Conferences and Logos and Art Events.

By Yannis Samatas

Ναός που κτίστηκε από τους Ενετούς για να τιμήσουν τον προστάτη-άγιο της Βενετίας, τον Αγιο Μάρκο.
Εδώ λάμβαναν χώρα οι επίσημες τελετές της ενετικής διοίκησης ενώ επίσης εδώ τάφονταν οι ενετοί άρχοντες.
Επί Τουρκοκρατίας μετατράπηκε σε τζαμί, αλλά το 1956 αποκαταστάθηκε στην αρχική του μορφή.
Σήμερα, η Βασιλική του Αγίου Μάρκου χρησιμοποιείται για διάφορες εκδηλώσεις, όπως εικαστικές εκθέσεις και συναυλίες.

(Translated by Google)

Temple built by the Venetians to honor the patron-saint of Venice, St. Marco.
Here took place the official ceremonies of the Venetian administration while also here tafontan the Venetian rulers.
Under Turkish rule was converted into a mosque, but in 1956 was restored to its original form.
Today, the Basilica of St. Mark is used for various events such as art exhibitions and concerts.