Second Byzantine Period
The Byzantine General Nikiforos Fokas liberated Crete from the Arab occupation in 961 AD. Christianity flourished again and Heraklion became the seat of the Archbishop, while churches and monasteries were built. Many churches of this period are preserved throughout the island. Several churches of this period are found in the Minoan Plain, the most important of which are the following:
• The Temple of Christ the Saviour in Kassanoi, built around 1260 at the place of an older church.
• The Byzantine Monastery of Saint Paraskevi, the Archangels and Saint Mark in Demati.
• The Church of St. Panteleimon in Bitzariano, the initial phase of which dates back to the 11th century AD.
In addition, according to unconfirmed evidence, the Monastery of Agarathos was built in the 10th century by Nikiforos Fokas himself.