The Virgin Mary of the Piazza (Piazza delle Erbe = cereal square, i.e. the main Venetian produce market) or Madonnina stood at the top of 1821 St. and Katechaki St. In inventories of Chandax churches it is sometimes encountered as a Latin rite church and at other times as a Greek church.
In the Ottoman period it was converted into the Reysul Kiutap Hussein Efendi Mosque and later named the "Arastas" or covered market mosque, lending its still well-known name to the surrounding area. After Crete became part of the Greek state, the Virgin Mary of the Piazza was remodeled and used as a covered market. In 1961 it was demolished to make way for the El Greco hotel. During excavations carried out at the time, a church dating to the second Byzantine period came to light beneath the monument.
View of Heraklion. The Madonnina - converted into the Arastas Mosque - is in the foreground, with the Cathedral of St. Minas in the centre and the minaret by St. Catherine's to the right, 1900 (R. Behaeddin, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)
The Madonnina being demolished in 1961 (Liana Starida)