Visit to Heraklion – Crete

Visit to Heraklion – Crete

The city of Heraklion is the city with the most vivid history on the island of Crete one of the most interesting in the world. 

Let us not forget that the beginning of Greek culture was based on the values ​​that were first started in Crete by the Minoans and their majestic civilization. The history of Heraklion dates back to prehistoric times and is full of emotions.

Επίσκεψη στο Ηράκλειο Κρήτης
Continuing our journey back in time and the history of Crete we will visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion located in the city center.

It houses representative exhibits from all periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a time span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic era to Roman times.

The important Minoan collection includes unique examples of Minoan art, many of which are real masterpieces. The Museum of Heraklion is rightly considered as the most excellent museum of Minoan civilization in the world.

Find out where it all started in the hot spot of culture which is the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

Next stop at Lions Square (Fontana Morosini) located in the heart of the city center.

It was built by the Venetians to solve the city’s water problem providing 1,000 barrels of water per day transporting them to the city center from Mount Juchtas, 15 kilometers away. It is still considered as an amazing achievement for this season.

Opposite the Morosini Fountain is the Basilica of St. Mark, a monument built by the Venetians to honor the patron saint of Venice, St. Mark. Today it houses the Municipal Gallery and is open to the public almost every day, all day long.

The square is the busiest part of the city and a very popular place for every visitor to try traditional bougatsa or cheese pie.

Try a Greek coffee in one of the many cafes in the square and let the flavors travel you back in time

The third attraction of our excursion plays a special role in the heart of the people of Heraklion. The cathedral of St. Minas, patron of the city of Heraklion, was built in 1735. In the square of the church and south of it is the seat of the Archdiocese of Crete and on the north side is the church of St.Catherine.

Urban legend has it that during the bombing of the city of Heraklion in World War II, bombs could not penetrate the temple. Some German pilots who saw this phenomenon changed their beliefs and became Greek Orthodox.
The visitors of the church of Ag. Minas can only be amazed by the grandeur of the cathedral and the tranquility one feels after the visit.

The next visit is to the tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis. Kazantzakis was the most important Cretan writer and contemporary philosopher also one of the most important in Europe.

His books are translated into almost all languages. The movie “Zorbas the Greek” is based on his book. Mikis Theodorakis’ famous composition “Syrtaki” was heard for the first time in this film that won 3 Oscars. Nikos Kazantzakis had been strongly criticized during his lifetime by the Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches.

His book “The Last Temptation” was banned by the Vatican and the Greek Orthodox Church excommunicated him. This is why his grave is not in a cemetery, but right on the walls of his favourite city, Heraklion. His work has been recognized worldwide, both before and after his death.

A place that remains unforgettable to the visitor is the last stop of our excursion. The Fortress of Koule and the old port of Heraklion. The monument is a trademark of the city as well as one of the most beautiful locations to visit.

Koule Fortress was built by the Venetians to protect the city from pirates and the Turks. It was used as a prison and as a place of torture for the Greek. Its walls are haunted by stories of war, insurgency and resistance.

Today it stands proudly next to the old port. The old port nowadays is connected to the new port and plays a very important role, not only for Crete but also for the whole region of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The old port is full of yachts and fishing boats. These fishing boats provide fresh fish to the city of Heraklion and near the entrance of Koule is the main fish market. The fish taverns located on the perimeter of the old port are waiting for you to visit.

Do not forget to try one of the local wine varieties to accompany the fish dish you like.

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