Crete, Greece

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Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek Islands. Due to its geographical location between Africa, Europe and Asia Minor, it has been a center of culture as early as Neolithic times.

The capital city, Heraklion, is nestled between two mountain ranges.

Heraklion is a working small metropolis with enough treasures to overcome its first gritty impressions.

Koules Fortress from Venetian times encircles the harbour, along which there is an attractive walkway.

 

The central streets of Heraklion have been pedestrianized and feature cute shops selling olive wood products, sea sponges, honey and candy, and hand-made pastas.

   

Knossos is the largest bronze-age archeological site in Crete and is considered Europe's earliest city and first-known high civilization.

Excavations were begun in 1900 and revealed a palace and surrounding villas that were the heart of a thriving culture between about 1600 and 1400 B.C.

  

The inhabitants were the Minoans, named for legendary King Minos. It is thought that the Minoan civilization was severely damaged by the Santorini volcano and tsunami and eventually destroyed by the Mycenaeans.

Among the archeological findings are thrones, frescoes, huge storage urns, and clay tablets of Minoan writing.

Heraklion's Archeological Museum has a collection of finds dating back several thousand years to the Minoan, post-Minoan and later periods.

Domnikos Theotokpoulos, most widely known as El Greco (the Greek), was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance who was born in Crete.

The artistic spirit remains strong in Crete with numerous musicians, sculptors, potters, wood-carvers, painters and fabric artists.

      

Agios Titos stands where there was an original Byzantine church, a Venetian Catholic Church, and an Ottoman mosque now converted to a Greek Orthodox church.

The Venetian loggia (city hall), Municipal Gallery and Basilica of St. Mark have changing exhibits in their art galleries and performance spaces.

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This site was last updated 07/27/19