The city of Heraklion
Heraklion is the capital of Crete and has approx. 200,000 inhabitants, business and administrative center of the island, cultural and historical highlight, chaos and lively activity.
The city has a long history. Minoans, Saracens, Byzantines, Venetians, Turks, they all gave the city a special ambience .
In 1972 Heraklion became the capital of Crete. The coastal region around the capital Heraklions is the largest tourist region in Crete. But the hinterland is mainly used for agriculture. Olive groves and vineyards characterize the hinterland of Heraklion.
Most of the archaeological sites are located in this region around Heraklion.
The large "Freedom Square" (Platia Elefterias) forms the center of the city. This is where Dikeossinis Street, one of the most important commercial streets, goes off.
Odos Delalou, the pedestrian alley with cafes, restaurants and many souvenir shops, runs at the same height. If you follow this street you come to Platia Venizelo, the most beautiful square in the city. Here tourists mingle with locals. Narrow streets with beautiful little places where you can relax and drik your wine under a plane tree. Anyone who has the opportunity to get to the city by public transport is well served, otherwise the search for a parking space can take some time. The one-way streets alone are time-consuming.
In the past, as well as today, Heraklion is an art-loving city. In summer there is the "Heraklion Summer Festival". Events from the thematic area, music, dance & theater take place. Throughout the year Heraklion offers lively night life with many cultural highlights.
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums in Europe.
The most important and most finds of the Minoan culture are here. A visit to this museum is a "must". Finds and pictures of Cretan folk art from all eras are shown (also one from El Greco). The Museum of Ecclesiastical Art is located in the Church of St. Katherina in Heraklion, it shows unique icons of Cretan painting.
The "Morosini Fountain" in the "Platia Venizelou", which is not far from the market square, is also very worth seeing.
The 16th century harbor fortress "Koules" and the 5.5 km long, very well preserved fortress wall. Our city hotel, the Hotel Lato, is above these locations. The museums are also above the harbor fortress.
Important personalities of the city of Heraklion are: El Greco . Domenikos Theotokopoulos known as "El Greco" (* 1514 - +1614), a well-known personality not only in Crete, but worldwide. Influenced by local Byzantine art, icon painting, the painter "El Greco" brought Byzantine art in southern Europe closer. He influenced fresco painting and icon painting during his travels in Italy and later in Spain and worked there as a court painter.
Nikos Kazantzakis (* 1883 - +1957), the great globetrotter and heir to the literary tradition of Crete. Nikos Kazantzakis, born in Heraklion, was world famous for his Roman "Alexis Zorbas", which was later made into a film. This story was actually a kind of biography. Nikos Kazantzakis was a restless person. He traveled to many countries and preferred to write his travel reports. He also worked in politics and worked for UNESCO for 1 year. In 1955 he received the International Peace Prize from the World Peace Council in Vienna. Nikos Kazantzakis lived in Berlin from 1920-1923. His tomb is in Heraklion on the southern bastion of the Venetian city wall. Heraklion Airport bears his name today. The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is located in Myrtia.
Parking is difficult and there are many one way streets so it is better to use public transport and avoid the hassle.
There are souvenir shops and jewellers in the streets named above. Odos 1866 is the interesting market street of the city dealing in fruit, vegetables, meat, herbs and spices and cheese.
In the Archaeological Museum are exhibits from the excavations of Knossos, Malia, Phaestos and Zakros. The outside of the museum is unimposing but inside it is stunning and those interested can spend many hours there.
we´ve selected the best hotels in Heraklion - City.
Our hotel-cooperators provide parking withouth charge.
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