Trimartiri Cathedral, Chania
The present Cathedral temple of "Eisodion" was built on the place of an older temple of "Theotokos" (Virgin Mary) Trimartiri, dating back to the 14th century.
When the city of Chania was occupied by the Turks in 1645, the temple was converted into a soap-factory without altering its initial design. Until 1868, the temple functioned as a soap-factory and belonged to the Turkish dignitary Moustafa Pasha Giritli (= the Cretan). In the area of the olive storage room, Moustafa had ordered the protection of the icon of Virgin Mary with a vigil candle.
According to tradition, the soap-factory business failed and was abandoned, and the icon of Virgin Mary was taken by the last technician. When Moustafa became Prime Minister, during the reign of the Sultan Metzit, the Christian Community requested the re-construction of the temple in the place of the soap-factory. Moustafa assigned the area for this purpose and the Sultan and Veli Pasha (the Commander of Crete) provided monetary support. Despite the hostility between the Christians and the Ottomans, this contribution was appreciated and the church was finally re-built.
The construction of the Cathedral of Chania, dedicated to the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was completed in 1860, as a three-aisled basilica, with a raised middle aisle.
The three aisles gave the name “Trimartiri” to the church.
The Cathedral celebrates the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 21st.