Villas in Heraklion
The harbor fortress of Koules from the 16th century at the Venetian harbor, where the Venetian arsenals (warehouses) are preserved, long protected the access to one of the most important ports of the Republic of Venice.
The 5.5-kilometer ring of Venetian fortification walls with its bastions and moats, which withstood the Turkish siege for 21 years, is almost completely preserved, lined with greenery.
Other notable architectural testimonies of the Venetian past are concentrated in the city center:
The two-storey Venetian loggia, built in 1626-1628 in Italian Renaissance style, was the center of social life with its arcade in Venetian times. In the rear part is today the town hall.
The Agios Titos church, dedicated to the first bishop of Crete, was built from 1869 during the Ottoman period as a mosque and consecrated in 1925 as an Orthodox church. It houses a gold-plated skull of St. Tito’s a highly revered relic.
The Morosini Fountain (also known as the Lion’s Fountain) (built in 1628) on Platia Venizelou, surrounded by numerous sidewalk cafés, forms the heart of the city. The fountain, consisting of eight embossed water basins with a water bowl supported by four stone lions in the middle, was fed by a 15 km long aqueduct from the sources of Archanes.
In the market street Odos 1866 there is a lively morning crowd at the market stalls selling food and utensils of all kinds. In the alleyways there are numerous restaurants.
On the Martinengo Bastion on the southernmost point of the Venetian city wall lies the grave of the born and raised in Iraklio poet Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957), the creator of “Alexis Sorbas”, who was denied burial in a church because of his unorthodox views.
It bears the well-known grave inscription chosen by the poet himself:
“Δεν ελπίζω τίποτα. Δε φοβʊμαι τίποτα. Είμαι λέφτερος. “
“I hope nothing. I’m afraid nothing. I am free.”
The Archaeological Museum on Platia Eleftherias, the transportation hub in the city center, offers a unique overview of Minoan culture throughout the world.
The Historical Museum (Odos Sofoklis Venizelou) offers insights into the Cretan culture from the early Christian (eg Zou calendar) to modern times. Focal points are the Byzantine-medieval collection (with the only painting El Greco on Crete), the exhibition on the Cretan uprisings and a folkloristic collection. In a Nikos Kazantzakis hall, there are memories of the writer. Also, the German attack on Crete and the occupation will be treated.
The icon museum in the church of Agia Ekaterini in the square of the same name shows icons and frescoes.
The Natural History Museum located on the Sofokli-Venizelou, provides an insight into the flora and fauna of the eastern Mediterranean u. a. with a life-size exhibit of a Dinotherium and an earthquake simulator