Neratze Mosque

The Neratze Mosque is a building in the Old Town of Rethymno on Titos Petychakis square and is one of the most important monuments of the city.

The building located at the intersection of Eth. Antistaseos and Em. Vernardou originally functioned as a church of the Augustinian monks and was dedicated to the Augustinian Virgin Santa Maria as of 1601.

The Neratze Mosque, or otherwise, the Mosque of Gazi Hussein Pasha, has a rectangular shape and is topped by three small domes, which replaced the tiled roof of the Venetian church. The doorway of the building is considered one of the most impressive in whole Rethymno, along with that of Agios Frangiskos (St. Fransis). The nearby chapel, built in 1527 by sisters Ariadne and Maria Muazzo, was dedicated to the Body of Christ (Corpus Christi). The church was turned into a mosque in 1657, 12 years after the occupation of the city by the Turks, and was dedicated to the conqueror Gazi Hussein Pasha, while the chapel of Corpus Christi was turned into an Ottoman seminary.

In 1890, shortly before the declaration of the independence of Crete and after the decision of the Turkish Elders to build the most impressive minaret of Anatolia, the Neratze Mosque, being 27 meters high, was the tallest minaret of Rethymno with two balconies by the hands of the mechanic Georgios Daskalakis.

In 1925, a year after the Turks retreated from the city by the Treaty of Lausanne, the mosque was made a Christian church again dedicated to Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas), but it functioned as a conservatory.

Until present, the Neratze Mosque has been hosting the municipal Conservatory and concerts.

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