Heraklion: Wikis

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Iraklion
Ηράκλειο
The Venetian fortress of Rocca al Mare (1523-1540) guards the inner harbor
The Venetian fortress of Rocca al Mare (1523-1540) guards the inner harbor
Seal of Iraklion
Location
Heraklion is located in Greece
Heraklion
Coordinates 35°20′N 25°8′E / 35.333°N 25.133°E / 35.333; 25.133Coordinates: 35°20′N 25°8′E / 35.333°N 25.133°E / 35.333; 25.133
Government
Country: Greece
Periphery: Crete
Prefecture: Heraklion
Mayor: Ioannis Kourakis
Population statistics (as of 2001[1])
City
 - Population: 137,711
 - Area: 109.026 km2 (42 sq mi)
 - Density: 1,263 /km2 (3,271 /sq mi)
Other
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (min-max): 0 - 33 m (0 - 108 ft)
Postal: 70x xx, 71x xx, 720 xx
Telephone: 2810
Auto: HK, HP
Website
www.heraklion-city.gr

Heraklion or Iraklion (Greek: Ηράκλειον /iˈɾaklio̞/; Turkish: Kandiye; Venetian: Candia), is the largest city and capital of Crete. It is also the fourth largest city in Greece. Its name is also spelled Herakleion, a transliteration of the ancient Greek and Katharevousa name, Ἡράκλειον, or Iraklio, among other variants. For centuries it was known as Candia, a Venetian adaptation of the earlier Greek name Χάνδαξ (Chandax, "moat") or Χάνδακας, which in turn came from the Arabic rabḍ al-ḫandaq. The English form Candy, derived from French Candie, meant the city of Candia or all of Crete (as in Twelfth Night 5.1). Under the Ottoman Empire, it was called Kandiye. In the local vernacular, it is often called Κάστρο (Kástro, "castle") and its inhabitants Καστρινοί (Kastrinoí, "castle dwellers").

Heraklion is the capital of Heraklion Prefecture, with an international airport named after the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The ruins of Knossos, which were excavated and restored by Arthur Evans, are nearby.

Contents

History

The snake goddess in Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Heraklion is close to the ruins of the palace of Knossos, which in Minoan times was the largest centre of population on Crete. Though there is no archaeological evidence of it, Knossos may well have had a port at the site of Heraklion as long ago as 2000 BC.

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Founding

The present city of Heraklion was founded in 824 AD by the Saracens who had been expelled from Al-Andalus by Emir Al-Hakam I and had taken over the island from the Byzantine Empire. They built a moat around the city for protection, and named the city ربض الخندق, rabḍ al-ḫandaq ("Castle of the Moat"). The Saracens allowed the port to be used as a safe haven for pirates who operated against Byzantine shipping and raided Byzantine territory around the Aegean.

Byzantine Era

In 961, the Byzantines, under the command of Nikephoros Phokas, later to become Byzantine Emperor, landed in Crete and attacked the city. After a prolonged siege, the city fell. The Saracen inhabitants were slaughtered, the city looted and burned to the ground. Soon rebuilt, the town of Chandax remained under Byzantine control for the next 243 years.

Venetian Era

Α part of the Venetian walls in Heraklion
The Venetian loggia (1626-28) of Heraklion

In 1204, the city was bought by the Republic of Venice as part of a complicated political deal which involved among other things, the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade restoring the deposed Byzantine emperor Isaac II Angelus to his throne. The Venetians improved on the ditch by building enormous fortifications, most of which are still in place, including a giant wall, in places up to 40 m thick, with 7 bastions, and a fortress in the harbour. Chandax was renamed to Candia in Italian and became the seat of the Duke of Candia. As a result, the Venetian administrative district of Crete became known as "Regno di Candia" (Kingdom of Candia). The city retained the name of Candia for centuries and the same name was often used to refer to the whole island of Crete as well. To secure their rule, Venetians began in 1212 to resettle families from Venice on Crete. The coexistence of two different cultures and the influence of Italian Renaissance lead to a flourishing of letters and the arts in Candia and Crete in general, that is today known as the Cretan Renaissance.

Ottoman Era

The Ottoman Vezir Mosque (1856), built on the site of the Byzantine St Titus, and now the basilica of St Titus

After the Venetians came the Ottoman Empire. During the Cretan War (1645–1669), the Ottomans besieged the city for 24 years, from 1648 to 1669, the longest siege in history. In its final phase, which lasted for 22 months, 70,000 Turks, 38,000 Cretans and slaves and 29,088 of the city's Christian defenders perished.[2]The Ottoman army under an Albanian grand vizier, Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha conquered the city in 1669. Under the Ottomans, the city was known officially as Kandiye (again also applied to the whole island of Crete) but informally in Greek as Megalo Kastro (Μεγάλο Κάστρο; "Big Castle"). During the Ottoman period, the harbour silted up, so most shipping shifted to Hania in the west of the island.

Modern era

An outdoor market in Herakleion

In 1898 the autonomous Cretan State was created, under Ottoman suzerainty, with Prince George of Greece as its High Commissioner and under international supervision. During the period of direct occupation of the island by the Great Powers (1898-1908), Candia was part of the British zone. At this time the city was renamed "Heraklion", after the Roman port of Heracleum ("Heracles' city"), whose exact location is unknown.

With the rest of Crete, Heraklion was incorporated into the Kingdom of Greece in 1913.

Transportation

Port

The port

Heraklion is an important shipping port and ferry dock. Travellers can take ferries and boats from Heraklion to a multitude of destinations including Santorini, Ios Island, Paros, Mykonos, and Rhodes. There are also several daily ferries to Piraeus, the port of Athens on mainland Greece.

Airport

Heraklion International Airport, or Nikos Kazantzakis Airport is located about 5 km east of the city. The airport is named after Herkalion native Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer and philosopher. It is the second busiest airport of Greece, mostly due to the fact that Crete is a major destination for tourists during summer. There are regular domestic flights to and from Athens, Thessaloniki and Rhodes with Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air. Also flying to and from Athens is Athens Airways, whereas Cyprus Airways and Aegean Airlines fly to Larnaca, Cyprus. Furthermore, Sky Express operates direct flights to Aegean islands such as Rhodes, Santorini, Samos, Kos, Mytilini and Ikaria. During the summer period, traffic is intense and the flight destinations are from all over Europe (mostly Germany, UK, Italy and Russia). The airfield is shared with the 126 Combat Group of the Hellenic Air Force. Take-offs in a westerly direction pass directly over the town of Heraklion, making it a very noisy city.

Highway Network

European route E75 runs through the city and connects Heraklion with the three other major cities of Crete: Agios Nikolaos, Chania, and Rethymno.

Public transit

There are a number of buses serving the city and connecting it to many major destinations in Crete.

Climate

Crete has a warm Mediterranean climate. Summers in the lowlands are hot and dry with clear skies. Dry hot days are often relieved by seasonal breezes. The mountain areas are much cooler, with considerable rain in the winter. Winters are mild in the lowlands with rare frost and snow. Because Heraklion is further south than Athens, it has a milder climate.

Climate data for Heraklion
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 14
(57)
14
(57)
16
(61)
19
(66)
22
(72)
26
(79)
28
(82)
27
(81)
26
(79)
23
(73)
18
(64)
16
(61)
21
(70)
Daily mean °C (°F) 11
(52)
12
(54)
13
(55)
16
(61)
18
(64)
22
(72)
25
(77)
25
(77)
22
(72)
20
(68)
16
(61)
13
(55)
18
(64)
Average low °C (°F) 8
(46)
8
(46)
10
(50)
12
(54)
15
(59)
18
(64)
22
(72)
21
(70)
19
(66)
16
(61)
13
(55)
10
(50)
15
(59)
Precipitation cm (inches) 9
(3.5)
6
(2.4)
4
(1.6)
2
(0.8)
1
(0.4)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
5
(2)
6
(2.4)
8
(3.1)
49
(19.3)
Source: Weatherbase[3]

Colleges and universities

Culture

Museums

Sports

The city hosts three football clubs:

Famous natives

Heraklion has been the home town of some of Greece's most significant spirits, including the novelist Nikos Kazantzakis, the poet and Nobel Prize winner Odysseas Elytis and the world-famous Greek painter Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco).

Nicholas Kalliakis (1645-1707) Heraklion born Greek Scholar and philosopher.[4]

Literature

Scientists and Scholars

Painting

Film industry

Music

Sports

Business

Politics

Law

Clergy

Fashion

Local TV stations

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Heraklion is twinned with:

See also

Notes

References

  1. ^ "Δείτε τη Διοικητική Διαίρεση" (in Greek). Hellenic Interior Ministry. www.ypes.gr. http://www.ypes.gr/UserFiles/f0ff9297-f516-40ff-a70e-eca84e2ec9b9/D_diairesi.xls. Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  2. ^ The War for Candia
  3. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Heraklion". http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=45761&refer=&units=metric. 
  4. ^ Lathrop C. Harper (1886). Catalogue / Harper (Lathrop C.) inc., New York, Issue 232. Lathrop C. Harper, Inc. p. 36. OCLC 11558801. "Calliachius (1645-1707) was born on Crete and went to Italy at an early age, where he soon became one of the outstanding teachers of Greek and Latin." 
  5. ^ Rose, Hugh James; Rose, Henry John; Wright, Thomas (1857). A new general biographical dictionary, Volume 5. T. Fellowes. p. 425. OCLC 309809847. "CALLIACHI, (Nicholas,) a native of Candia, where he was born in 1645. He studied at Rome for ten years, at the end of which time he was made doctor of philosophy and theology. In 1666 he was invited to Venice, to take the chair of professor of the Greek and Latin languages, and of the Aristotelic philosophy; and in 1677 he was appointed professor of belles-lettres at Padua, where he died in 1707. His works on antiquities are valuable, and have been published by the marquis Poloni in the third volume of his Supplement to the Thesaurus Antiquitatum." 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Greece : Crete : Heraklion
Koules (Greek: Κούλες) the Venetian castle in the harbour of Heraklion, landmark of the city
Koules (Greek: Κούλες) the Venetian castle in the harbour of Heraklion, landmark of the city

Heraklion (Greek Ηράκλειο, also transliterated as Heraklio, Iraklion or Irakleio) [1] is the major city and capital of the largest Greek island of Crete. Its Archaeological Museum holds the remains of the 3000-year old Minoan civilization, which grew aroud the nearby legendary palace of Knossos (of Minotaur fame), as well as Byzantine churches and a well-preserved Venetian wall and fortress from the 15th century.

Understand

Heraklion (or Herakleion, Iraklio, Irakleion) is the capital of Crete and an industrialised city of around 155,000 residents. The modern city has been disfigured by a lack of any comprehensive planning or any serious commitment to preservation, which has resulted in a traffic-choked urban horror overlaying historical remains of potentially immense interest, but the knowledgeable visitor will still be able to trace the past under the ugly urban sprawl of the present. However, in recent years, things have began to change and efforts are being made to bring out the beauty of the city's rich cultural history. The core of the city is still enclosed and defined by the Venetian wall, which includes seven outjutting bastions. In the southernmost of these, the Martinengo Bastion, is the grave of Nikos Kazantzakis, standing on a windswept hilltop with its moving inscription, "I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free."

Climate

Heraklion has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry with clear skies. Dry hot days are often relieved by a system of seasonal breezes. Winters are mild with relatively little rain and rare frosts. Current weather conditions can be found here: [2].

Get in

Located in the middle of the island, all roads lead to Heraklion. Heraklion has a busy harbour and very busy airport and usually is the starting point of travels to Crete and nearby islands.

By plane

Olympic Airways and Aegean Airlines fly [3]in from Athens and other major Greek cities. The recently established Athens Airways also connects Heraklion with Athens. During summer, Sky Express [4] flies to several Aegean islands.

By bus

Heraklion is connected with the rest of Crete by regular bus lines operated by two KTEL companies [5], [6]. The coaches are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned. Fare is reasonable.

There are two bus stations in Heraklion:

  • Bus station A, (near the Heraklion port), +30-2810-245020. The main station used by lines to/from other prefectures (Chania, Rethymno, Lasithi) and lines to the eastern part of Heraklion prefecture. (35.341179,25.139326) edit
  • Bus station B, (at the Chania Gate (Chanioporta) at the west border of old city), +30-2810-255965. Used mainly by lines to/from the southern part of Heraklion prefecture. (35.336886,25.123394) edit

By boat

There are ferries from Athens (Piraeus) to Heraklion, Minoan Lines [7] , Anek Lines [8] and Superfast Ferries [9] - and also there are normal ferries from Thessaloniki and Dodecanese - G.A. Ferries [10] , and Highspeed Catamarans and normal ferries from Cyclades to Heraklion. G.A. Ferries [11] , Sea Jets [12] , Santorini Maritime [13] and Hellenic Seaways [14]. The frequency is reduced in the winter.

Get around

By Ferry

There are Highspeed Catamaran and normal ferries from/to Heraklion, Athens (Piraeus) to Heraklion, Minoan Lines [15] , Anek Lines [16] and Superfast Ferries [17] - and also from Thessaloniki, Cyclades and Dodecanese to Heraklion. G.A. Ferries [18] , Sea Jets [19] Santorini Maritime [20] and Hellenic Seaways [21]. The frequency is reduced in the winter. Also every summer there is One Day Cruise from Heraklion to Santorini by cruise boat or highspeed catamarans [22]

By bus

You can use public city bus network to get around Heraklion but you have to figure out the line to your destination. There are usually no routes or schedules posted at the bus stops. Buses do not stop at bus stops, unless you signal the driver by raising your arm. Basic ticket costs 0,90 €.

  • Line 1 goes to/from the airport.
  • Line 2 takes you to/from Knossos.
  • The Minoan Palace of Knossos tel: +30 2810 231940, +30 2810 226470, +30 2810 226092, +30 2810 224630 fax: +30 2810 241515 protocol@kgepka.culture.gr. Full ticket: €6, Reduced: €3; Special ticket package: Full: €10, Reduced: €5, valid for: Heraklion Archaeological Museum and Knossos Site, Open Winter: Daily 08.30-15.00 Summer: 08.00-19.30. [23]] Knossos (Greek Κνωσός, the accent is on the second syllable) is the site of the most important and best known Minoan palace complex in Crete. It is located some 5 km (3 mi) south of Heraklion. According to tradition, Knossos was the seat of the legendary Cretan king Minos. The Palace is also connected with further legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, as well as the story of Daidalos and Ikaros. Excavation has revealed that the site was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.) until Roman times.
  • Koules, the Venetian castle in the Harbour (Greek: Κούλες)
  • Venetian Walls (Greek: Τείχη)
  • Loggia (Greek: Λότζια)
  • Morosini Fountain (a.k.a. Lions Square) (Greek: Λιοντάρια)
  • St. Minas Cathedral (Greek: Άγιος Μηνάς)
  • St. Titus Church (Greek: Άγιος Τίτος)
  • St. Catherine of the Sinaites Church (Greek: Αγία Αικατερίνη Σιναϊτών)
  • St. Mark's Basilica (Greek: Βασιλική Αγίου Μάρκου)
  • Dominican Church of St. Peter (Greek: Άγιος Πέτρος Δομηνικανών)
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum [24] 2 Xanthoudidou Street, tel +30-2810-224630, 280370, fax +30-2810-332610, houses the most important and representative finds from Minoan civilisation and excavations across the island of Crete. Highlights include statues of the Snake Goddess, the famous Bull-Leaping Fresco, the enigmatic and mysterious Phaistos Disk, and Minoan seals and jewelery. Also includes a number of finds from Classical Greek and Roman periods. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the world's great museums, embodying a whole splendid vanished culture. At least two hours should be allowed to see it, and it could easily take longer. For those seriously interested in that culture, it will be worth while to make two visits to the museum, one before, and one after, visiting Knossos and other Minoan sites: seeing the museum first will enhance your understanding of the sites, and after seeing the sites, you'll be better able to understand the artifacts in the museum when you return. Note: The Heraklion Archeological Museum closed in November 2006 for renovations. The museum's current status and date of full reopening are uncertain.A temporary, partial exhibit has been opened which is placed at the southern part of the old museum at I. Hatzidaki street, where someone can see the most important exhibits of the museum, among which are the Snake Godess and the Phaistos Disc
  • Museum of the Battle for Crete and National Resistance Recounts the tale of Cretan and Allied resistance against Nazi invaders in World War II.
  • Museum of Natural History, University of Crete, S. Venizelou Ave., Tel./Fax: +30 2810 324366,[25].
  • Historical Museum of Crete, 27, Sofokli Venizelou Ave. /7, Lysimachou Kalokerinou St., Tel: (++30) 2810 283219, 288708, [26].
  • Lychnostatis open-air Cretan folklore museum, Tel: +3028970-23660, [27]. Su-F 9AM-2PM. €4,50.
  • CretAquarium Thalassocosmos open June -September 09:00-21:00 October-May 09:00-19:00 tel Reception: +30 2810-337788 Bookings: +30 2810-337888, fax: +30 2810-337882 [28], the biggest aquarium in the Eastern Mediterranean. Located about nine miles east of Heraklion on the National Road (signposted) or by Cretan Intercity Bus (tel +30 2810 246530); for more information call the Reception number, above.
  • Nikos Kazantzakis Museum [29]. Open daily from 9AM-7PM (Mar-Oct); 10AM-3PM (Nov-Feb), €3, tel +30 2810-741689, in the village of Myrtia (Varvari) 15 km. south of Heraklion, directions on the museum's web site [30] focuses on Crete's most prominent modern intellectual figure.
  • Heraklion Summer Arts Festival - from June to September
  • Amoudara the city's beach area; a three kilometer strip of sandy beach, lots of cafes, bars and hotels and the site of "Technopolis", a modern multiplex cinema and open-air theatre.
  • Horseback riding, experienced and amateur riders can ride at the beach of Karteros, or take riding lessons at Ippikos Omilos Hrakliou, located 6km east of Heraklion, in Karteros.
    Horseback riding at the sandy beach of Karteros -6km east of Heraklion
    Horseback riding at the sandy beach of Karteros -6km east of Heraklion
  • Rock Climbing, localers and visitors can climb on a 50 foot rock at the suburb of Karteros, east of Heraklion. Safety equipment is provided, but one can use his own gear too.
  • Water fun, at the nearby Water City and Aqua Plus water parks.
  • The University of Crete [31] is the leading higher education institution on the island of Crete. The University was established in 1973 and operates under the supervision of the State. The seat of the University is in Rethymno, with Heraklion hosting the School of Sciences and Engineering and that of Health Sciences.
  • Visit the central open market in Meidani square and buy mountain herbs, spices and folk natural remedies.
  • Heraklion Sailing Club (Greek: Istioploikos or Ιστιοπλοϊκός) Heraklion Harbour, GR-71262 Heraklion. Tel: 0030 2810 22 8118 Classic seafood restaurant facing the Venetian Castle, beloved by Heraklion's locals. Specialities include charcoal grilled fish, seafood salads, clams, and the award winning mussel risotto. Located in the harbour and opposite the Venezian castle (Koules)in the former premises of the port refrigeration plant, east of the Port Authority. Sailing Club membership is not required for the restaurant.
  • Pagopieion (Ice-Factory) is a "quirky", very different restaurant and cafe/bar, at St Titus square, by the church. You can sit outside and enjoy the setting, or you might be tempted by the dramatic decor to sit inside. Either way, the food is excellent, the menu different and interesting - Mediterranean with a twist. Good fish too.
  • Raki, also known as Tsikoudia, is the the trademark of Cretan day and night life, a strong clear drink similar to Grappa in Italy or Orujo in Spain. It is made out of the 'must' of grape skins and twigs after the local production of the white wine. It doesn't taste like aniseed, as opposed to the Turkish raki. Most raki is 80 proof, about the strength of most vodkas, but some are much stronger. It's often served in small glasses after dinner with a plate of fruit or other dessert.
  • Cretan Wine: Try the distinctive Cretan wine, produced in the island for at least 4000 years. Labels: Sitia, Peza Union. The Cretans themselves drink so called 'open' wine, straight out of the barrel, like fresh white wine, and the sometimes very old dark rusty red wine, a bit like port.
  • alimeli, alikarnassos (near the main road ikarou), 2813009281. from 7 in the morning to 12 in the night. sweets,crepes,waffles,ice cremes  edit

Sleep

Budget

There are not many hostels available in Heraklion, but if one searches hard he can find a couple of them. Both are situated in the city centre, only a 10' drive from the airport and a 5' drive from the port. One can go there by taxi. Most taxi drivers know where these hostels are. Actually, I can't think of a better way to find them. The taxi fare from the airport to the hostels at the city centre should cost less than 10 euros, and from the port less than 6 euros.

Life Hotel [32]

  • walking distance to port; very close to bus station to catch bus to Knossos Palace, as well as other cities in Crete.
  • Not really a hostel, but a good budget option if staying near the port and walking distance to downtown
  • Address: 50, Ikarou Ave., Heraklion, Crete, Greece Telephone: +30-2810-243090 or +30-2810-343088
  • email: hotelife@hotelife.gr
  • website: www.hotelife.gr or www.irakliohotel.gr
  • Quads for 105 Euros, light breakfast is included
  • Walk down Ethn. Antistaseos Ave from the Port, when you see McDonald's, make a left. Hotel will be on your right.
  • Mirabello Hotel [33]. Very centrally situated in a quiet corner of the city.
  • LATO Boutique Hotel [34].
  • Heraklion Hotels [35]
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

Singular
Heraklion

Plural
-

Heraklion

  1. Alternative spelling of Iraklion.

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