Conseils avant de partir aux voyageurs qui visitent la Grèce
informations about the city of Heraklion
Crete is the cradle of the Greek culture. It is on this island, largest of Greece, which was born one from most important civilization, Minoan civilization (2800-1150 av. JC). It is as in Crete as to be born God from the Gods, Zeus. Between 1700 and 1450 av JC the refinement will be with its roof with the construction of many palates such as Phaestos, Malia, Zakros and obviously Knossos. The art of painting and the pottery reached the perfection. But in 1450 it is the explosion of the volcano of Santorin which puts makes with this extraordinary blooming. Then in 69 arrives the Roman occupation which will settle until 330 and in 828 Arabic settles in the Iraklio capital. In 1211 the Venetian ones take in their turn the island but it will be then about a peaceful cohabitation and thus arts and the letters will reach their apogee and the cities become rich will be embellished giving rise to XIVe century with the Rebirth cretan. It is with a new invasion coming from Turkey that this century of gold will die out. To the XVIIe century, the island is attached to the Ottoman Empire and this until the XIXe century when after many fights Crete will become autonomous, it will be then attached to Greece in 1913. Thus all these civilizations which crossed and installed on this island, left so much traces, which Crete is a place which offers thousand faces, its capital is an good example besides.
We advise you to begin your visit with Knossos, since it is in this place that, as we said, was born one from greatest civilizations of humanity. Then it will be necessary to supplement this visit by the archaeological museum of Heraklion, the second most important museum of Greece and which contains to it quasi totality of the lucky finds made in Crete. Thus you will be able then to rove in the streets of the capital, to leave in your turn to its conquest and to discover the multiple facets of this city, left by an at the same time animated and extraordinary past. top of page
While leaving the archaeological museum, see a text and the pictures (in French) you direct towards the street Dedale and go until the center of the city. To begin your visit starting from the Liontaria place, in the center of the city, you will see there the very pretty Morosini fountain of Venetian time, built in 1628. Just opposite you will be able to admire the beautiful Loggia of the same period, today building of the town hall. You will also notice the church St Marc that the Venetian ones dedicated obviously to their patron saint, who was a long time a church of large a richness, decorated splendid frescos. Turkish transformed it into mosque and it is not that in 1915 qu ' it will be restored. It accommodates from now on exposures. top of page
Behind the town hall you will find the church of St Titus, disciple of St Paul, first bishop of Crete and owner of the island. The first church dedicated to this saint was in Gortyna, but it was destroyed by Arabic into 824. It is only at the end of Xe century that this very beautiful church was going to be built in Heraklion and the relics of St Titus transferred. From there, continue the avenue of August 25th on which you are, and direct you towards the Venetian port. Built in the middle of XIIIe century, it was destroyed in 1303. What one can see today date of 1523. Reconsider then somewhat your steps to the Theotokopoulou park, which one knows more under the name of El Greco, from there take the street Minotavrou which will lead you to the museum of history and cretan folklore. This museum elected going residence in a beautiful residence neo-classic and present of the collections of Byzantine art until the second world war. You will be able to also see icons there, but if you have a taste for icons, it will then be necessary to return to you to the church St Catherine, built in XVe century, she belonged a long time to the Monastery of the Sinai Mount. She presents six work completed by the most famous iconographe of XVIe century, Michael Damaskinos. You will find this church on the place Ag. Ekaterinis. It is as on this place as you will be able to visit the church St Minas, seat of the diocese of Crete. It was contruite at the end of the XIXe century and could accommodate, says one, to 8000 people. top of page
After that why not sit you with the terrace of a coffee, history to rest a little. You do not tighten far from the street 1866 and you will be able easily find taverns, you will be able even to refresh you Kornarou place, with the Bembo fountain going back to 1588, in which it was inserted a statue without head coming from the site of Ierapetra. Stop then your visit by what remains the most impressive monument of Heraklion, its Venetian wall. You walk around or directly on the wall and admire gigantic work. top of page
Heraklion is not a big city, its visit is easily and if you are not tired too much, you will be able to always make shopping, the shops do not miss…We thank Mrs Ionna Stratidakis, for information which it had the kindness to provide us
and which has to us allowed to discover this charming capital.
Heraklion hospital: +30 28310 237502-7
Olympic Airways: +30 22810 57701
ANEK Lines (Piraeus) +30 210 4197438
Minoan Lines (Héraklion) +30 28310 22941
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