Places of Interest

Kastro Koule Heraklion

The fortress was built by the Venetians in the early years of their rule in Candia, in order to better protect the city’s port, which had prominent strategic and commercial importance. The original low building, which had no escarpments, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1303 and later rebuilt. In the early 16th century, in the context of the overall redesign of the city’s fortifications, the old castle was demolished and the fortress that still survives today was built in its place during the period…

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Spinaloga

At the northern entrance of Elounda Bay, at a key-position for the control of the natural harbour, is located the islet of Spinalonga, with an area of 8,5 ha and an altitude of 53 m. The island was fortified in the antiquity, possibly in the Hellenistic period, with a large enclosure. On the ruins of the ancient castle the Venetians built a strong fortress, which was designed according to the bastion fortification system by Genese Bressani and Latino Orsini. The first construction stage of the fortress…

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Phaistos

Phaistos is built on a low hill (altitude of about 100m from sea level), in the south of river Geropotamos (ancient river Lithaios), and dominates the fertile valley of Kato Mesara, which is surrounded by imposing mountains (Psiloritis, Asterousia, Lasithi Mountains). The Libyan Sea extends in the south. Lithaios surrounds the hill of Phaistos in the east and the north and was a source of water supply for the city. The mild and warm climate of the area made the life of its residents comfortable…

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According to tradition, it was the seat of King Minos and the capital of his state. The palace of Knossos is associated with the exciting myths “the Labyrinth and the Minotaur” and “Daedalus and Icarus”. References to Knossos, its palace and Minos are made by Homer (the list of ships in Ilias mentions that Crete sent 80 ship under the command of the King of Knossos, Idomeneus, the Odyssey, T 178-9), Thucydides (reference to Minos), Isiodus and Herodotus, Bacchylides and Pindarus, Plutarchus and Diodorus the…

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Ναός Ασκληπιού στο Λεβήνα

The temple of Asclepios is situated on the northwestern edge of the sanctuary. It has an eastern orientation and the walls of the cella are built with clay blocks and are coated with white marble. They are preserved to a height of 3,40m. With similar marble plates is decorated also the central part of the floor, while the rest of it is mosaic. Inside are preserved two of the column of the Temple (height: 4,70 m.) and bases of worship statues. The temple was built in…

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Ανεμόμυλοι Λασιθίου

The most remarkable set of windmills that survives in Crete today is located in Seli Ambelou in the Lassithi Plateau. It is situated at the northern entrance of the Plateau and it is the “trademark” of the area. Today there are 24 windmills left (originally they were 26). Seven of them are south of the street that enters the Plateau and the rest are on its northern side. All the mills are of the same type. These windmills were used by the people of Lasithi…

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Idaion Andron

The Ideon Andron is situated on the Nida plateau of Mount Psiloritis, 24 km from the village of Anoghia and 78 km from the town of Rethymno. Initially its extraordinary large entrance impresses visitors to the Ideon Andron, which is at a height of 1538 m. The cave itself is of particularly large dimensions, with a vast central hall and a gallery of 22 m in length. The cave, in which Zeus was raised according to mythology, represented an important place of worship in both…

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Tylisos

The houses of Tylisos were built in the Late Minoan I period (16th-15th century B.C.). Extensions were made to House A in the Late Minoan II period (15th-14th centuries B.C.) and to the House C during the Late Minoan III period (14th century B.C.). The site was destroyed by fire in the 14th century B.C. and reinhabited in the Historic times, as attested by ruins of later houses over the Minoan ones. Tylisos was excavated by Joseph Hatzidakis in 1902-1913. In 1954, during restorations, parts…

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Royal villa agia triada

A very important archeological site of central Crete, near Phaistos, on the banks of river Geropotamos, with special natural beauty is Agia Triada. The royal villa or small Minoan palace of Agia Triada, as it was named by the Italian archeologists that brought it to light in the beginning of the previous century, was built in around 1600 B.C. on a hill and it is one of the most important monuments of Minoan architecture, rich in finds. It is located 64 km southwest of Heraklion, in…

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