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In the historic centre of Heraklion, next to the Metropolitan Church of Agios Minas, only the catholicon of the Old Sinaitic Monastery of Saint Catherine remains.

Until 1669, when Crete was sacked by the Ottomans, Agia Ekaterini Monastery was one of the premier religious and intellectual foundations of Orthodoxy. A major monastic centre, it contributed greatly to the education of orthodox Cretans. After the liberation of Crete and at the initiative of the Archdiocese of Crete, it was converted into an exhibition space of religious relics and icons. Exceptionally important icons, utensils and relics were collected from throughout Crete, including the most important works of Michael Damaskinos, which were located at Vrontisi Monastery until 1800. Apart from the valuable collection of icons, Agia Ekaterini also features remarkable relics, such as the renowned four-gospel collection from Apanosifis Monastery and the wood-carved Bishop’s Throen of Kera Monastery.