Attractions In Heraklion

Explore The Attractions Of Heraklion
Aghia Photini Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Aghia Photini Cave, can be found 7 KMs south of the village of Avdou, on the mountain of Louloudaki, and at an elevation of 760 metres. It is 44 metres deep, and has paths covering close to 700 metres. It is still used as a church, hence the name of the feminine saint, Photini.

Aghia Triadha
Crete / Herakleion

A splendid site, a couple of kilometres to the west of the “palace” of phaistos, Aghia Triadha is known to have had a history dating back to the middle of the 4th milennium BC.

Aghios Markos Church
Crete / Herakleion

Unsprisingly, given the name, this church was built by the Venetians in reverence towards their city’s patron saint, Mark. One of many churches adopted by the Ottomans for use as a mosque, addeding a minaret. It can be found on Venizelos square in the city.

Aghios Minas cathedral
Crete / Herakleion

One of Greece’s largest cathedrals the cruciform building has a domed roof, and twin towers. Heavily damaged in the 1866 revolution, it was restored some 30 years later. Located on Aghia Ekaterina square in Herakleion next to the church of that name, which was built in 1555.

Aghios Titos Cathedral
Crete / Herakleion

Whilst Mark was the patron saint of Venice, the Cretans paid homage to Titos (or Titus), the first bishop of the island, and the recipient of epistles from St Paul, in the first century AD.

Agios Matthaios of Sinai
Crete / Herakleion

Collections of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art, including icons from the 15th century painter Angelos and no fewer than six icons painted by Michael Damaskenos, second only to ‘El Greco’ in fame.

Amnisos
Crete / Herakleion

One of the two ports of Knossos, Middle Minoan (c1900 BC) artifacts have been found here. Mentioned on Linear B tablets as A-Mi-Ni-So, and connected with the cults of Zeus and Eileithya. The hill above (known as Palaichora) has uncovered the finds of the ‘Villa of the Lillies’. The area was occupied all the way through to later Roman times (2nd C. AD), and again during the Venetian period (1204-1669) before being destoyed during the Ottoman period (1669-1898). An incredibly important Linear B tablet, has offerings of honey to Eileithya at Amnisos, confirming the names of both the port, and the goddess.

Anemospilia, Ano Archanes, Tourkogeitonia
Crete / Herakleion

There are three sites here, all of enormous importance. The so-called “Summer Palace” of Archanes, is visible in parts, though the exceptionally pleasant modern town covers most of it.

Archalochori
Crete / Herakleion

Archalochori lies 4KMs south of the palace of Galatas. A number of bronze artefacts were found here, though many more were lost, as locals finding the site and its booty in the 1950s, understandably melted them down for more pressing needs, such as modern agricultural us.

Arkalochori Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Located south west of the village of the same name, and 400 metres above sea-level, is yet another cave of tremendous archaeological importance (see archaeology).

Bembo Fountain and Ottoman pumping house
Crete / Herakleion

On Plateia Kornarou (Kornaros Square) a Venetian fountain can be found the Bembo Fountain which predates the Morosini fountain by some 40 years. Built by Zuanne Bembo in 1588 (though some sources have it as being built 66 years earlier than this). It is adorned with columns, Venetian coats-of-arms and a statue of a figure, lacking a head and feet, which dates back to Roman times, and was brought here from Ierapetra on the south coast. The whole is surrounded by columns and a plinth, and by where the statue’s feet would be, a tap in the shape of a lion’s head. There’s an Ottoman hexagonal “pumping house” adjacent, which is now a coffee shop.

Castel Nuovo
Crete / Herakleion

Also known by the Greek words for “new castle”, ‘Kainourio Kastelli’, can be found on the Mesara Plain, close to the Minoan “palace” of Phaistos.

Charakas Castle
Crete / Herakleion

Built upon a rock, 35 metres in height, Charakas castle can be found some 50 Kms south-west of Herakleion, in the Mesara plain. Built during Venetian rule, one can still see the central buildings and tower, a well, and the attached church of Christou.

Eileithyia Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Lies a kilometre south of Amnissos. Once again the archaeological importance cannot be overstated, and is mentioned on a Linear B tablet in association with offerings of honey to Eileithyia, at Amnisos.

Galatas
Crete / Herakleion

Galatas is the most recently discovered palace, and lies some 30KMs south of Herakleion, near to the village of the same name and not far from the site of Arkalochori. Originally settled as far back as 3,000 BC, Galatas became a “palace”, with its tell-tell central court, built during the new palatial period. There is no evidence of a first palace period, and the site was already on the wane before the destruction of the other palaces in about 1450BC. Well worth visiting – perhaps in conjunction with Arkalochori – just to get a feel for the place, the site itself is not open to the public at the time of writing.

Gortyna
Crete / Herakleion

The “caves” here are actually quarries, probably channelled by children, given their size, and are inaccessible. They are worth mentioning here, as the openings can still be seen, and for many years, this was thought to be the site of the Labyrinth, now accredited to Knossos.

Gortyna (Gortyns/Gortyn), Agioi Deka
Crete / Herakleion

A splendid multi-period site, many in the past believed to be Knossos, due to its labyrinth of tunnels. Gortyna has always been associated with important discoveries, from an engraved law-code which can still be seen, to the church of Aghios Titos.

Goumenospilios Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Some 80 KMs south of Herakleion, in the 3KM long Agiofarago gorge, which is situated close enough to Matala to be easily accessable from there. A small opening leads into a large area beneath ground.

Herakleion Archaeological Museum
Crete / Herakleion

In terms of artefacts, this is one of the world’s great museums, though at the time of writing, it’s housed in a temporary building which is far too small to display the richness of Crete’s extraodinary past.

Herakleion Fortress
Crete / Herakleion

Built upon the Saracen site of rabdh-el-Khandak (fortress of the moat), and a later Byzantine castle, this walled city’s fortifications stretched for some three 3Kms. Four gates allowed people access, or kept them out.

Herakleion Municipal Art Museum
Crete / Herakleion

Can be found next to the Loggia and opposite the Morosini fountain. Housed in the old Basilica of Saint Mark (see landmarks) Cretan artists’ – such as: Christos Sarakatsianos, Maria Fiorakis and George Manousakis – works are displayed here.

Historical Museum of Crete, Herakleion
Crete / Herakleion

Founded in 1953, this Museum includes amongst its wealth of Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman displays, the only painting in Crete of its favourite son, Domenicos Theotokopoulos (or El Greco), called, “View of Mount Sinai and the Monastery”.

Kamilari Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Located near the Minoan site of Tylissos, and in common with many other caves had been used in the past as a place of worship. Large rooms with stalagmites and stalactites, make this a great place to visit for even those with no great interest in speleology.

Kastelli Bonofatsi
Crete / Herakleion

This is one of Crete’s Genoese built castle (there are 15 of them, in all), though the name, often associated with the Genoese castle Benifacio in Corsica. May have got its name later, from the Venetians in recognition of Boniface de Monferatt, who sold them the island in 1204. It was abandoned by the Venetians at quite an early stage, as revolutionaries constantly sought to break down its doors, and very little remains to be seen toda

Kazantzakis Museum
Crete / Herakleion

First editions of Nikos Kazantzakis’ works can be found here, along with newspaper reviews of his books, andsome of his personal belongings. Well worth visiting if you’re a fan of Greece’s most famous novelist.

Knossos
Crete / Herakleion

Excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, for the British School of Archaeology, throughout the early decades of the 20th century, Knossos is amongst the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Kommos
Crete / Herakleion

On the south coast, Kommos was a port used by Phaistos, Gortyna and Aghia Triadha. Beutifully situated, the excavation is ongoing, and has been expertly supervised by Joseph Shaw, of the American School of Archaeology at Athens. The site itself, is currently inaccessable to visitors to walk upon, but one can get a very clear impression of its magnificence, from several vantage points, and a number of different angles. Its importance as a Minoan port cannot be overstated, but its continuing existance in the post-Minoan period is equally important, and includes the earliest temple in Greece, and a quite possibly Phonecian built shrine, which would be the only one discovered in the Aegean.

Lychnostatis Open-air Museum, Chersonisos
Crete / Herakleion

Originally the private collection of Georgios Markakis, this is a museum in which the organically-constructed buildings constitute most of the display.

Lyttos
Crete / Herakleion

Situated in the province of Kastelli Pediados, northeast of the modern village of Lyttos, this is an extremely important post-Minoan site, known for its associations with Sparta during Classical times.

Malia
Crete / Herakleion

Some 3 Kms east of the resort of the same name, Malia, with an area of 7,500 sq metres, is Crete’s third largest ‘palace’, and great for wandering around. Far less visited than Knossos or Phaistos, one can really get a feel for what it might have been like in Minoan times.

Monastary of Vrondisi
Crete / Herakleion

Situated between the villages of Vorizia and Zaros the monastery, has a double aisled church, dedicated to the apostle Thomas, and a beautiful fountain with water issuing-forth from lions’ heads. The original monastery dates back to the second Byzantine period (961-1204 AD), though most of what can be seen now, is 16th century. It currently has two monks residing within its walls.

Monastery of Aghios Nikolaos
Crete / Herakleion

Close to the village of Zaros, near the Rouvas gorge, the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos, has superb frescoes painted upon its walls, and a famous icon painted by Michaelis Damaskinos, of The Last Supper.

Monastery of Valsamoneron
Crete / Herakleion

This was a very important monastery, during the Renassaince period, when the growth of art and culture was being stifled by the Ottoman Turks.

Monestary of Epanosiphis
Crete / Herakleion

Situated close to village of Aghios Vassilios, itself 32 Kms from Herakleion, this monastery flourished at the very time that Christianity was threatened most, i.e during the Ottoman occupation, and after 1669.

Museum of Agia Aikaterini
Crete / Herakleion

Collections of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art, including icons from the 15th century painter Angelos and no fewer than six icons painted by Michael Damaskenos, second only to ‘El Greco’ in fame.

Museum of Cretan Ethnology, Voroi, Tymbaki
Crete / Herakleion

A museum focusing on the uninterrupted nature of traditional Cretan lifestyle, through the centuries of foreign domination by Venetian and Ottoman overlords (1204-1898).

Neraidospilios Cave
Crete / Herakleion

It is found some 25 km from Herakleion, not far from the village of Myrtia. Situated by a river, with highly mythological associations, for the ancients, who believed this to be the dwelling place of nymphs and fairies.

Palaiokastro
Crete / Herakleion

Situated on the road to Aghia Pelaghia, a few Kms northwest of Herakleion, and a short distance from the charming village of Rogdia, the name means “old castle” and this is one of several so-named castles on the island. Another which was originally Genoese built, and of especial interest to the historian, as it was here that Enrico Pescatore left the island in 1211, having come to an arrangement with the Venetians, which saw him, considerably richer, and Venice at last gain control of the island they’d bought in 1204. What we see now is almost all from the last century of the Venetian period, having been rebuilt on three levels by Latino Orsini, as the ever-increasing threat from the Ottoman empire, became ever so increasingly real.

Phaistos
Crete / Herakleion

This is a wonderful spirit-of-place site situated in the Mesara plain and second behind Knossos in importance in Minoan times, mythologically home of Rhadamanthys, Minos of Knossos’ brother (Sarpedon, another brother in Greek myth, was probably a later addition).

Profitis Ilias
Crete / Herakleion

The castle at Profitis Ilias (also known as Roka) dates backs to the early part of the second Byzantine period, i.e. shortly after 961 AD.

Sarhos Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Also known as ‘Nychteridospilios’ (The original ‘Bat Cave’?), is an extremely large cave close to the village of the same name, and a height of 276 metres. As with others, it was used as a refuge by the Greeks during the 298 year Ottoman occupation and has a exceptionally complex interior.

Skotino (or Agia Paraskevi) Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Lies at altitude of 225 meters just north of the village of Skoteino near Gouves. Findings here include votive offerings and an inscription dating back to the 4th C BC, but now thought to be fake. There is a Byzantine church close, hence the alternative name of Saint Paraskevi. Skotino means “dark”.

The Church of Saint Catherine
Crete / Herakleion

Originally built as early as the 10th century, though what we see now is at least 600 years younger dating back to 1555, and built during Venetian rule. Within the church, are icons painted by the great Michail Damaskinos are dislayed, and it’s more of a museum than a functioning church, as there’s only one service a year, on Ekaterina’s nameday, 25th November

The Church of the Archangel Michaelis
Crete / Herakleion

A lovely Byzantine church, not far from the village of Arkalochori, some 34 Kms south-east of Herakleion. A cruciform shaped building built of stone, with a tiled roof, it contains some original Byzantine frescoes.

The Venetian Loggia
Crete / Herakleion

This is a beautiful building, situated a few yards away from the Basilica of Saint Mark, on 25th of August Street. It was completed in 1628, and designed by Frencesco Morosini (the same year as the fountain bearing his name).

Tylissos
Crete / Herakleion

A series of houses built during the 16th C. BC, with further additions and alterations made in the following two centuries, before being destroyed in the 14th century BC, and re-occupied later. House A is both the oldest and largest of the the three main houses, though some of the enlargements took place during the following centuries. Originally excavated by Joseph Chatzidakis in the early years of the 20th century, a further excavation was undertaken in 1954, revealing areas of a paved court, and a stoa with five columns

Aghia Triadha
Crete / Herakleion

A splendid site, a couple of kilometres to the west of the “palace” of phaistos, Aghia Triadha is known to have had a history dating back to the middle of the 4th milennium BC.

Amnisos
Crete / Herakleion

One of the two ports of Knossos, Middle Minoan (c1900 BC) artifacts have been found here. Mentioned on Linear B tablets as A-Mi-Ni-So, and connected with the cults of Zeus and Eileithya. The hill above (known as Palaichora) has uncovered the finds of the ‘Villa of the Lillies’. The area was occupied all the way through to later Roman times (2nd C. AD), and again during the Venetian period (1204-1669) before being destoyed during the Ottoman period (1669-1898). An incredibly important Linear B tablet, has offerings of honey to Eileithya at Amnisos, confirming the names of both the port, and the goddess.

Anemospilia, Ano Archanes, Tourkogeitonia
Crete / Herakleion

There are three sites here, all of enormous importance. The so-called “Summer Palace” of Archanes, is visible in parts, though the exceptionally pleasant modern town covers most of it.

Archalochori
Crete / Herakleion

Archalochori lies 4KMs south of the palace of Galatas. A number of bronze artefacts were found here, though many more were lost, as locals finding the site and its booty in the 1950s, understandably melted them down for more pressing needs, such as modern agricultural us.

Galatas
Crete / Herakleion

Galatas is the most recently discovered palace, and lies some 30KMs south of Herakleion, near to the village of the same name and not far from the site of Arkalochori. Originally settled as far back as 3,000 BC, Galatas became a “palace”, with its tell-tell central court, built during the new palatial period. There is no evidence of a first palace period, and the site was already on the wane before the destruction of the other palaces in about 1450BC. Well worth visiting – perhaps in conjunction with Arkalochori – just to get a feel for the place, the site itself is not open to the public at the time of writing.

Gortyna (Gortyns/Gortyn), Agioi Deka
Crete / Herakleion

A splendid multi-period site, many in the past believed to be Knossos, due to its labyrinth of tunnels. Gortyna has always been associated with important discoveries, from an engraved law-code which can still be seen, to the church of Aghios Titos.

Knossos
Crete / Herakleion

Excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, for the British School of Archaeology, throughout the early decades of the 20th century, Knossos is amongst the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Kommos
Crete / Herakleion

On the south coast, Kommos was a port used by Phaistos, Gortyna and Aghia Triadha. Beutifully situated, the excavation is ongoing, and has been expertly supervised by Joseph Shaw, of the American School of Archaeology at Athens. The site itself, is currently inaccessable to visitors to walk upon, but one can get a very clear impression of its magnificence, from several vantage points, and a number of different angles. Its importance as a Minoan port cannot be overstated, but its continuing existance in the post-Minoan period is equally important, and includes the earliest temple in Greece, and a quite possibly Phonecian built shrine, which would be the only one discovered in the Aegean.

Lyttos
Crete / Herakleion

Situated in the province of Kastelli Pediados, northeast of the modern village of Lyttos, this is an extremely important post-Minoan site, known for its associations with Sparta during Classical times.

Malia
Crete / Herakleion

Some 3 Kms east of the resort of the same name, Malia, with an area of 7,500 sq metres, is Crete’s third largest ‘palace’, and great for wandering around. Far less visited than Knossos or Phaistos, one can really get a feel for what it might have been like in Minoan times.

Phaistos
Crete / Herakleion

This is a wonderful spirit-of-place site situated in the Mesara plain and second behind Knossos in importance in Minoan times, mythologically home of Rhadamanthys, Minos of Knossos’ brother (Sarpedon, another brother in Greek myth, was probably a later addition).

Tylissos
Crete / Herakleion

A series of houses built during the 16th C. BC, with further additions and alterations made in the following two centuries, before being destroyed in the 14th century BC, and re-occupied later. House A is both the oldest and largest of the the three main houses, though some of the enlargements took place during the following centuries. Originally excavated by Joseph Chatzidakis in the early years of the 20th century, a further excavation was undertaken in 1954, revealing areas of a paved court, and a stoa with five columns

Castel Nuovo
Crete / Herakleion

Also known by the Greek words for “new castle”, ‘Kainourio Kastelli’, can be found on the Mesara Plain, close to the Minoan “palace” of Phaistos.

Charakas Castle
Crete / Herakleion

Built upon a rock, 35 metres in height, Charakas castle can be found some 50 Kms south-west of Herakleion, in the Mesara plain. Built during Venetian rule, one can still see the central buildings and tower, a well, and the attached church of Christou.

Herakleion Fortress
Crete / Herakleion

Built upon the Saracen site of rabdh-el-Khandak (fortress of the moat), and a later Byzantine castle, this walled city’s fortifications stretched for some three 3Kms. Four gates allowed people access, or kept them out.

Kastelli Bonofatsi
Crete / Herakleion

This is one of Crete’s Genoese built castle (there are 15 of them, in all), though the name, often associated with the Genoese castle Benifacio in Corsica. May have got its name later, from the Venetians in recognition of Boniface de Monferatt, who sold them the island in 1204. It was abandoned by the Venetians at quite an early stage, as revolutionaries constantly sought to break down its doors, and very little remains to be seen toda

Palaiokastro
Crete / Herakleion

Situated on the road to Aghia Pelaghia, a few Kms northwest of Herakleion, and a short distance from the charming village of Rogdia, the name means “old castle” and this is one of several so-named castles on the island. Another which was originally Genoese built, and of especial interest to the historian, as it was here that Enrico Pescatore left the island in 1211, having come to an arrangement with the Venetians, which saw him, considerably richer, and Venice at last gain control of the island they’d bought in 1204. What we see now is almost all from the last century of the Venetian period, having been rebuilt on three levels by Latino Orsini, as the ever-increasing threat from the Ottoman empire, became ever so increasingly real.

Profitis Ilias
Crete / Herakleion

The castle at Profitis Ilias (also known as Roka) dates backs to the early part of the second Byzantine period, i.e. shortly after 961 AD.

Aghia Photini Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Aghia Photini Cave, can be found 7 KMs south of the village of Avdou, on the mountain of Louloudaki, and at an elevation of 760 metres. It is 44 metres deep, and has paths covering close to 700 metres. It is still used as a church, hence the name of the feminine saint, Photini.

Arkalochori Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Located south west of the village of the same name, and 400 metres above sea-level, is yet another cave of tremendous archaeological importance (see archaeology).

Eileithyia Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Lies a kilometre south of Amnissos. Once again the archaeological importance cannot be overstated, and is mentioned on a Linear B tablet in association with offerings of honey to Eileithyia, at Amnisos.

Gortyna
Crete / Herakleion

The “caves” here are actually quarries, probably channelled by children, given their size, and are inaccessible. They are worth mentioning here, as the openings can still be seen, and for many years, this was thought to be the site of the Labyrinth, now accredited to Knossos.

Goumenospilios Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Some 80 KMs south of Herakleion, in the 3KM long Agiofarago gorge, which is situated close enough to Matala to be easily accessable from there. A small opening leads into a large area beneath ground.

Kamilari Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Located near the Minoan site of Tylissos, and in common with many other caves had been used in the past as a place of worship. Large rooms with stalagmites and stalactites, make this a great place to visit for even those with no great interest in speleology.

Neraidospilios Cave
Crete / Herakleion

It is found some 25 km from Herakleion, not far from the village of Myrtia. Situated by a river, with highly mythological associations, for the ancients, who believed this to be the dwelling place of nymphs and fairies.

Sarhos Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Also known as ‘Nychteridospilios’ (The original ‘Bat Cave’?), is an extremely large cave close to the village of the same name, and a height of 276 metres. As with others, it was used as a refuge by the Greeks during the 298 year Ottoman occupation and has a exceptionally complex interior.

Skotino (or Agia Paraskevi) Cave
Crete / Herakleion

Lies at altitude of 225 meters just north of the village of Skoteino near Gouves. Findings here include votive offerings and an inscription dating back to the 4th C BC, but now thought to be fake. There is a Byzantine church close, hence the alternative name of Saint Paraskevi. Skotino means “dark”.

Aghios Markos Church
Crete / Herakleion

Unsprisingly, given the name, this church was built by the Venetians in reverence towards their city’s patron saint, Mark. One of many churches adopted by the Ottomans for use as a mosque, addeding a minaret. It can be found on Venizelos square in the city.

Aghios Minas cathedral
Crete / Herakleion

One of Greece’s largest cathedrals the cruciform building has a domed roof, and twin towers. Heavily damaged in the 1866 revolution, it was restored some 30 years later. Located on Aghia Ekaterina square in Herakleion next to the church of that name, which was built in 1555.

Aghios Titos Cathedral
Crete / Herakleion

Whilst Mark was the patron saint of Venice, the Cretans paid homage to Titos (or Titus), the first bishop of the island, and the recipient of epistles from St Paul, in the first century AD.

Agios Matthaios of Sinai
Crete / Herakleion

Collections of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art, including icons from the 15th century painter Angelos and no fewer than six icons painted by Michael Damaskenos, second only to ‘El Greco’ in fame.

Monastary of Vrondisi
Crete / Herakleion

Situated between the villages of Vorizia and Zaros the monastery, has a double aisled church, dedicated to the apostle Thomas, and a beautiful fountain with water issuing-forth from lions’ heads. The original monastery dates back to the second Byzantine period (961-1204 AD), though most of what can be seen now, is 16th century. It currently has two monks residing within its walls.

Monastery of Aghios Nikolaos
Crete / Herakleion

Close to the village of Zaros, near the Rouvas gorge, the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos, has superb frescoes painted upon its walls, and a famous icon painted by Michaelis Damaskinos, of The Last Supper.

Monastery of Valsamoneron
Crete / Herakleion

This was a very important monastery, during the Renassaince period, when the growth of art and culture was being stifled by the Ottoman Turks.

Monestary of Epanosiphis
Crete / Herakleion

Situated close to village of Aghios Vassilios, itself 32 Kms from Herakleion, this monastery flourished at the very time that Christianity was threatened most, i.e during the Ottoman occupation, and after 1669.

The Church of Saint Catherine
Crete / Herakleion

Originally built as early as the 10th century, though what we see now is at least 600 years younger dating back to 1555, and built during Venetian rule. Within the church, are icons painted by the great Michail Damaskinos are dislayed, and it’s more of a museum than a functioning church, as there’s only one service a year, on Ekaterina’s nameday, 25th November

The Church of the Archangel Michaelis
Crete / Herakleion

A lovely Byzantine church, not far from the village of Arkalochori, some 34 Kms south-east of Herakleion. A cruciform shaped building built of stone, with a tiled roof, it contains some original Byzantine frescoes.

Aghios Markos Church
Crete / Herakleion

Unsprisingly, given the name, this church was built by the Venetians in reverence towards their city’s patron saint, Mark. One of many churches adopted by the Ottomans for use as a mosque, addeding a minaret. It can be found on Venizelos square in the city.

Bembo Fountain and Ottoman pumping house
Crete / Herakleion

On Plateia Kornarou (Kornaros Square) a Venetian fountain can be found the Bembo Fountain which predates the Morosini fountain by some 40 years. Built by Zuanne Bembo in 1588 (though some sources have it as being built 66 years earlier than this). It is adorned with columns, Venetian coats-of-arms and a statue of a figure, lacking a head and feet, which dates back to Roman times, and was brought here from Ierapetra on the south coast. The whole is surrounded by columns and a plinth, and by where the statue’s feet would be, a tap in the shape of a lion’s head. There’s an Ottoman hexagonal “pumping house” adjacent, which is now a coffee shop.

The Venetian Loggia
Crete / Herakleion

This is a beautiful building, situated a few yards away from the Basilica of Saint Mark, on 25th of August Street. It was completed in 1628, and designed by Frencesco Morosini (the same year as the fountain bearing his name).

Herakleion Archaeological Museum
Crete / Herakleion

In terms of artefacts, this is one of the world’s great museums, though at the time of writing, it’s housed in a temporary building which is far too small to display the richness of Crete’s extraodinary past.

Herakleion Municipal Art Museum
Crete / Herakleion

Can be found next to the Loggia and opposite the Morosini fountain. Housed in the old Basilica of Saint Mark (see landmarks) Cretan artists’ – such as: Christos Sarakatsianos, Maria Fiorakis and George Manousakis – works are displayed here.

Historical Museum of Crete, Herakleion
Crete / Herakleion

Founded in 1953, this Museum includes amongst its wealth of Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman displays, the only painting in Crete of its favourite son, Domenicos Theotokopoulos (or El Greco), called, “View of Mount Sinai and the Monastery”.

Kazantzakis Museum
Crete / Herakleion

First editions of Nikos Kazantzakis’ works can be found here, along with newspaper reviews of his books, andsome of his personal belongings. Well worth visiting if you’re a fan of Greece’s most famous novelist.

Lychnostatis Open-air Museum, Chersonisos
Crete / Herakleion

Originally the private collection of Georgios Markakis, this is a museum in which the organically-constructed buildings constitute most of the display.

Museum of Agia Aikaterini
Crete / Herakleion

Collections of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art, including icons from the 15th century painter Angelos and no fewer than six icons painted by Michael Damaskenos, second only to ‘El Greco’ in fame.

Museum of Cretan Ethnology, Voroi, Tymbaki
Crete / Herakleion

A museum focusing on the uninterrupted nature of traditional Cretan lifestyle, through the centuries of foreign domination by Venetian and Ottoman overlords (1204-1898).

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Aghios Minas cathedral
Crete / Herakleion

One of Greece’s largest cathedrals the cruciform building has a domed roof, and twin towers. Heavily damaged in the 1866 revolution, it was restored some 30 years later. Located on Aghia Ekaterina square in Herakleion next to the church of that name, which was built in 1555.

Bembo Fountain and Ottoman pumping house
Crete / Herakleion

On Plateia Kornarou (Kornaros Square) a Venetian fountain can be found the Bembo Fountain which predates the Morosini fountain by some 40 years. Built by Zuanne Bembo in 1588 (though some sources have it as being built 66 years earlier than this). It is adorned with columns, Venetian coats-of-arms and a statue of a figure, lacking a head and feet, which dates back to Roman times, and was brought here from Ierapetra on the south coast. The whole is surrounded by columns and a plinth, and by where the statue’s feet would be, a tap in the shape of a lion’s head. There’s an Ottoman hexagonal “pumping house” adjacent, which is now a coffee shop.

Castel Nuovo
Crete / Herakleion

Also known by the Greek words for “new castle”, ‘Kainourio Kastelli’, can be found on the Mesara Plain, close to the Minoan “palace” of Phaistos.

Herakleion Archaeological Museum
Crete / Herakleion

In terms of artefacts, this is one of the world’s great museums, though at the time of writing, it’s housed in a temporary building which is far too small to display the richness of Crete’s extraodinary past.

Kazantzakis Museum
Crete / Herakleion

First editions of Nikos Kazantzakis’ works can be found here, along with newspaper reviews of his books, andsome of his personal belongings. Well worth visiting if you’re a fan of Greece’s most famous novelist.

Knossos
Crete / Herakleion

Excavated by Sir Arthur Evans, for the British School of Archaeology, throughout the early decades of the 20th century, Knossos is amongst the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Neraidospilios Cave
Crete / Herakleion

It is found some 25 km from Herakleion, not far from the village of Myrtia. Situated by a river, with highly mythological associations, for the ancients, who believed this to be the dwelling place of nymphs and fairies.

Phaistos
Crete / Herakleion

This is a wonderful spirit-of-place site situated in the Mesara plain and second behind Knossos in importance in Minoan times, mythologically home of Rhadamanthys, Minos of Knossos’ brother (Sarpedon, another brother in Greek myth, was probably a later addition).

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