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Heraklion 

Heraklion

The capital of Crete Heraklion is a modern city with places of interest both in its center and surrounding area. It is 174 nautical miles from Piraeus. It also can be reached by plane (40 minutes flight). There connections between Heraklion and the Dodecanese islands, the Cyclades and Cyprus.
 
Built by the Arabs in 824 on the site of the ancient city it was known as Candia (Chandax) after the protective moat surrounding it. Until its liberation in 961 by Nicephorus Phocas the Saracen pirates set sail from here. Heraklion experienced its greatest acme during the period of the Venetian occupation . It was besieged by the Turks in 1684 but did not capitulate until 1669. During the World War II it suffered much damage.
 
Must see: Places of interest include : The cathedral of St.Minas (19th century ), one of the largest churches in Greece with important icons. The Morosini fountain, the church of St.Titus, the Town Hall, the Historical and Ethnographic museum with significant exhibits from Venetian and Turkish times, and the Venetian fortress, on one bastions of which is the tomb of Kazantzakis. 6 km (3,5 mi. ) southwest of Heraklion is Knossos the most important center of the Minoan civilization. Excavations brought to light the labyrinth palace with its chambers decorated with wall-paintings, bathrooms and porticos.The palace is partially restored so that the visitor gains a picture of the wealth and might of Knossos. Heraklion Museum contains some of the finds of Knossos. The palace was built in 2000 BC and destroyed in 1750 BC. A new palace was built at the same site and destroyed in 1400 BC. At Moires 53 km (30 mi.) southwest of Heraklion is the monastery of Virgin Hodigitria and 10 km (7 mi.) west is the archaeological site of Phaistos. The Minoan palace of Faestos was contemporary with those found in Knossos and Mallia.
 

Packages visiting this destination:

Aegean Archipelago, Aegean Breeze, Aegean Fantasy, Aegean Pearl, Aegean Voyager, Athens, Crete and Rhodes, Cycladic Experience, Greece Prelude, Honeymoon Adonis, Honeymoon Eros

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