CRETE (IRAKLION)

Heraklion is the capital of the prefecture of the same name and the capital of Crete. It is the administrative, commercial, industrial and agricultural center of the island and has a population of about 130.000 inhabitants. It is located on the northern coast of Crete, east of Rethymno.

In 1913 Heraklion, like the rest of Crete, was united to the newly founded state of Greece . After that the town of Heraklion grew in size.

Because of its spectacular development the town has experienced - since the last decades after World War II and its destruction by the German forces -  the usual problems of a quickly built modern town such as chaotic constructions, traffic jams, lack of parking problem and impersonal neighborhoods. 

These elements make Heraklion a busy town that has nothing in common with the beautiful towns of Chania, Rethymno and Agios Nikolaos. However, some fine corners and buildings have been preserved, creating a pleasant atmosphere and bringing back memories of the town’s glorious past.

The fast development of Heraklion has made it a city of many institutes and laboratories. The Science and Technology Park of Heraklion, established in 1993, is an example.

The Old Port is located on the left of the modern harbor and was, during the Venetian period, an important commercial, trade and military center. It is well-preserved and ideal for pleasant evening walks.

The Venetians Walls are one of the most important Venetian fortifications in Greece . Seven ramparts still stand today as well as two of the four gates.

The Venetian Fortress of Heraklion or Koules: this castle was built at the entrance of the old Venetian port as a protection from pirate raids. It is open to public and a beautiful outdoor theatre has been built on its top.

The Loggia: this rectangular, two-storey building is the most elegant of the Venetian buildings of Heraklion town.

The Morosini Fountain: this beautiful fountain is situated in the middle of Venizelos square and was built during the Venetian times by General Morosini. The square is a miniature of the Square of Saint Mark in Venice and was the center of the Venetian city Candia. The water of the fountain was brought by an aqueduct.