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The church of Agios Nikolaos

The church of Agios Nikolaos (St Nicholas) in Splantzia square (nowadays known as 1821 square) was built by the Venetians as a convent of the old Dominican friary.
The building of the church commenced in 1205 and was completed in 1320.

After the predominance of the Turks in Chania, in 1645, the church was converted into main mosque of the city and was named Chiougkar Hassan, in honor of Sultan Ibrahim.
During the Ottoman rule it served as a place of prayer and a barracks of the Turkish Janissaries.
The church housed the sacred sword of the Turkish dervish, stored in a luxurious gold case adorned with precious stones, as it was used for healing the sick or in difficult cases of child births.

In 1918, after the conquer of the Orthodox Christians, the mosque turned into a Christian basilica church, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors.
The impressive minaret features two circular balconies which during the Ottoman rule were called “serifiedes” and was recently restored according to the original Venetian construction technique.
It celebrates on December 6.

On the northeast corner of the square there is the Venetian church of San Rocco who was the protector against the plague and all contagious diseases.
The church dates back in 1630, but is no longer in use.

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