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Ταξιδεύω Ελλάδα Travel to Greece путешествие в Грецию

Heraklion

  
  
  
  

Greece Travel Guide|Places to visit

Heraklion is the largest city of Crete, the island capital and is the fifth most populous Greek city.


http://www.welovegreece.org/paphos/Heraklion.jpg

Heraklion is the main gateway for visitors to the island. For the traveler in Crete is more relevant starting point for the archaeological expeditions.

The city holds the primacy of archeology, since it has the important advantage of being within walking distance from the most important archaeological sites in Crete, and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is the second most important post-Athens-museum in the country.


The Prefecture of Heraklion was primarily the seat of the famous Minoan civilization: thousands of tourists from all over the world flock to, throughout the year in Heraklion, to visit the Minoan antiquities in the Archaeological Museum and the ancient Minoan city of Knossos Phaistos, Gortyn, and other interesting places of the city and county.

The city's name -Heraklion- comes from a small harbor that was the position of the city was called Heraklion. This port was a haven of "Greek Knossos." The ports of the "Minoan Knossos" were a little east.

The name "Heraklion" lasted until 824 AD, when the Arabs Saracens founded in the same position a medieval town with the name Khandak (Chandax for the Byzantines, or Candia for Latinos). Named after the deep trench (in Arabic: "khandak") who dug the Saracens, for reasons fortified around the brick wall which surrounded the city.

The port of Heraklion (Gravure of 1897)-
The Byzantines recaptured the "Candia" in 961, to fall, after a half century when the Crusaders overthrew the Byzantine Empire, the possession of the Venetians. During the Venetian rule (1204-1669) the city became a center of political, social, economic and artistic life of the whole island, and became a capital of "Kingdom of Crete" and called Candia. Since then many described as "the Venice of the East".
To ensure the Venetians from the revolutions of the Cretans and the Turkish threat, they built new walls close to 3 km, with bastions and seven gates 4!
Thanks to these walls, which is now among the best preserved fortifications in Europe, could the Candia-today-Heraklion to withstand the siege of the Turks for 21 years, while the rest of Crete has now succumbed.
The city was renamed "Big Castle" during the Turkish occupation. The walls were then retreat of the Muslim population of the successive revolutions of the Christians, while the city within the walls formed by the Oriental pattern, with small houses and narrow alleys.


After the devastation of World War II, Heraklion developed very quickly, but unfortunately built anarchic, without any plan, so because of poor road design, the city falls short of the other picturesque towns of Crete.
However Heraklion is without doubt the most "vibrant city" of Crete, with a rich history and many important archaeological interests, which receives thousands of visitors every year.

The city has thankfully fine examples of medieval grandeur, like the Venetian harbor with its docks, the best preserved Venetian walls (made in recent years in several restorations gates and bastions of the walls), and some beautiful Venetian buildings such as the Loggia , the Basilica of San Marco, the Morosini Fountain.

Once you are in Heraklion do not miss the Museum in Liberty Square, enjoy eating pie in the traditional Lions, see Loggia, stroll the Venetian walls, go up to the fortress Koules and walk to the end of the pier of the harbor, and you might see the city from a better angle.