The cathedral church of St. Mark of the Venetians, now home to the Municipal Art Gallery, lies at a prominent position on 25th August St in the historic town centre, opposite the Fontana Morosini (Lions' Fountain).
One of the Venetian colonists' first concerns was to erect a church dedicated to St. Mark, their patron saint. Built opposite the Palazzo Ducale, it played an important role in society throughout the period of Venetian rule. This was the place where all dignitaries and officials were ceremoniously sworn into office, and where commoners sought the saint's protection. The Dukes of Crete and members of the aristocracy were interred on the same site, in sarcophagi adorned with bas-reliefs. Two such tombs are still visible in the east end of the church.