Heraklion Crete: The significance of the largest city in Crete
Autonomous Cretan State was created in 1898 and after the name of the Roman port, Heracleum, the city was named Heraklion. Although the city of Heraklion,Crete is filled with traumatizing history of invasion, it gives quite a different picture today. It was in 1914 that Crete and Heraklion were included in the Greek map.
The climate in the prefecture of Heraklioin, Crete is very pleasant with sunshine available almost throughout the year. This city has many places of breathtaking beauty and is a paradise for nature lovers. Mysterious caves like the Kamares in Zaros, sandy beaches in Kali Limenes are some of the examples.
Welcoming summer resorts and beaches where you can enjoy the sand and water sports like windsurfing or skiing makes this place even more exciting.
Sights to visit in Heraklion, CreteThe wonders of Heraklion, Greece includes
Knossos: Until it was burnt down in 1400 B.C., the Minoan civilization had extensively used the ancient town of Knossos as its hub. Today the remnants of this town is said to be just 5 kms away from the city of Heraklion. One of the attractions is the remains of the most significant Minoan Palace . Archaeologist Arthur Evans has substantially restored this ancient palace that now displays a maze of living spaces, workrooms, and storerooms. The images on the walls of this Minoan Palace depicts the type of Cretan life that existed in the Bronze Age.
Apart from Knossos, the other places to visit are:
Koules Fortress: This fortress stands tall at the entrance of the port and looks down at the Venetian harbor. Under the rule of the Ottomans till the 19th century, the fortress underwent many changes although it was built in the 13th century by the Venetians.
Phaestos Minoan Palace: After Knossos this palace is the second most significant Minoan site in Heraklion, Crete. The palace resembles Knossos but has lesser networking of structures and is smaller in size.
Caves: Just above the beach, you will find the Matala caves - nature's artwork in the form of rock formation. Before being used as a grave during the Roman and the Hellenistic period, they were used for living in.
Venetian Loggia: This striking building that was once used as the meeting point of the nobleman in the 17th century lies close to the port of Heraklion. The Venetian Loggia has impressive architecture that draws tourists to it.
These are just few of the many intriguing sights seen in and around Heraklion and are waiting to be discovered by every tourist.