Heraklio city

Heraklion is the 4th largest city in Greece, and has the largest port in Crete, as the largest airport. Heraklion Airport is also known as Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport, having named the most famous writer of Crete internationally.
In Heraklion there are two large hospitals (University Hospital and Venizelio Hospital). Also here are the Faculties of Sciences and Health Sciences of the University of Crete (with 8,000 students) here based Research and Technology Institute (ITE-FORTH) one of the largest research centers in the country, and the Technological Educational Institute of Crete (with 6,500 students). Overall, there are eight university colleges and 11 technical colleges (TEI).

Heraklion history
In 3,000 years of its existence, Heraklion boasts important  historical facts. . Besides, in antiquity the main urban center was Knossos.
As for the name Heraklion, it probably comes from the Hercules, the mythical father of the Olympic Games.

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

 The current building was constructed between 1933-1937 designed by P. Karantinou in place of imposing Venetian Franciscan friary destroyed by an earthquake in 1856. The museum brings together archaeological finds from all over Crete, covering the island’s history for more than 5500 years. Prominent among them possess the treasures of the Minoan civilization, which here can be admired throughout its historical continuity. The collection of Minoan antiquities the most important in the world and the museum is fairly considered the pre-eminent museum of Minoan civilization.


The Loggia surviving in Heraklion, was built in 1626-28 by Francesco Morosini, he also built the fountain with lions (Morosini fountain) in Eleftherios Venizelos Square. This is the fourth and final Loggia built in the Venetian period. Today it houses the City Council and part of the Municipality of Heraklion services. The Loggia, which was the Club of the Duke and Officers of Crete, decorated with coats of arms sculpted trophies, with 82 risers, etc. For centuries, the princes were gathered there  for recreation and  for  their official ceremonies. The galleries date from the 14th century but it took  the final form in the 17th century. It was built in the PIAZZA DEI SIGNORI (Board of Supervisors). Considered the finest Venetian monument, which in 1987 took the first prize EUROPA NOSTRA, as the best renovated and preserved European monument of the year.

Cathedral St. Minas

Agios Minas is the patron saint of Heraklion and its memory is celebrated on November 11, day off in Heraklion (patron). The imposing church of Agios Minas is one of the largest in Greece, was founded on March 25, 1862 as an expression of gratitude by the Herakleoton for the protection offered by the Saint in the city. The position in which it was built, had been indicated by a monk to whom St Minas appeared in a vision. Architect of the temple was Moussis Athanasius, who had also undertaken Saint Titus and the barracks in Eleftherias Square, the building  now houses the Prefecture and the Courts. The cathedral’s construction  was interrupted during the revolution of 1866 and continued in 1883. The effort to build the church in such difficult times was supported by all the locals enthusiastically. In front of the church of Saint Minas is a large paved square. On the right side, is the building of the Archdiocese of Crete, while on  the left is the first (small) church of Agios Minas. The first church of Saint Mina, the small Saint Minas as locals call it today, was built in 1735 and  housed, after the Turkish conquest, the homeless.


The Venetian fortress Koules dominates the entrance of  the Venetian harbor of Heraklion. The Venetians called it “Fortress at Sea” (Castello a Mare), but today retains its Turkish name, Koules from Su Kulesi. It is one of the most familiar and beloved monuments, symbol of Heraklion.

The construction of Koules lasted until 1540. The exterior walls are almost 9 meters thick, while the inner walls are 3 meters thick in some places.Damage has occurred in the foundations of the sea, which were viewed at times. Also the fort exhibited many weaknesses in the  fortification, which is because it was built in a transitional phase when fortification architecture was still experimenting with appropriate solutions. Top sculptures are three marble reliefs depicting the winged lion, symbol of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, crowning each of the three entrances and two of them are kept until today, clearly weathered by salt air.

Venetian Walls and Tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis

The tomb of Kazantzakis is located in Martinengo tower in the southern part of the wall at the end of the road 1821, which starts from the Lions. The Venetian walls of Heraklion were built in the 16th century by Michele Samikeli, one of the most famous architects of his time. about 4 km in length, thickness of approximately 15 meters and have 12 towers in length, and four large gates.

The walls were so well built that it took 21 years of siege to surrender the city to the Ottoman Empire and to end the Venetian Crete pccupation after 450 years. Finally, in 1669, Morosini governor negotiated the surrender of the city and left the majority of residents and city archives. Many of the fugitives remained in the Ionian Islands. The tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis is situated in the tower Martinengo.