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#About Crete's Capital

Heraklion, Crete's capital, is a modern, bustling city. It's not as interesting or beautiful as Chania or Rethymno. Some even deem it ugly. However, it is still worth a visit for two reasons. The ancient quarter surrounded by a wall built during the Venetian rule of the island is a sight worth experiencing.

The second attraction of the city is the impressive archeological museum, where important artifacts of the Minoan civilization - the ancient culture which ruled the island for about 1,200 years - are presented. Most of the artifacts in the museum were brought from the excavations of Knossos, an ancient Minoan city, 5 kilometers away from Heraklion.

This is one of the largest cities in all of Greece. The nightlife is superb. Many tourists come to Heraklion and access the rest of Crete by renting a car and reaching other accommodation and the rest of the sites.

A View from Above:

Heraklion Port
Heraklion Port
#About the Harbor in Crete's Capital

The capital Heraklion is a vibrant and fun place. For tourists, this is a reminder of the mystical Greece much more than the actual city. There is a Victorian Fortress filled with small stores, fisherman and fishing boats, and the pier is a great place for a walk at night.

For many years the harbor in Heraklion has been the center of town for culinary delights. There are a lot of great tavernas grouped here, bars, cafes, and different attractions. From this island, it is possible to sail to the Cyclades Islands and to the Port of Piraeus.

As a favorite place for culinary enthusiasts, there are many great restaurants here. These restaurants specialize in seafood dishes. These are considered the most popular restaurants that can be found in Heraklion.

Heraklion Port is more than enough for the local population. There are also places with souvlaki gyros, and some of the best local baked goods in Greece.

#A Closer Look:
Ammoudara Beach
Ammoudara Beach
#About Heraklion's Popular Beach

Ammoudara Beach is recommended to those vacationing in Heraklion. Ammoudara, Heraklion's suburb, is a 6-minute drive from the center of Heraklion, and its beach is considered one of the best on the island. Though popular, it is spacious enough due to its large expanse- 7 kilometers.

The sandy beach is located on the western side of Heraklion. Easily reached from the city, though walking by foot is not recommended. The waters are shallow, but sometimes a little wavy. The beach has full services and water sport activities for those interested.

Ammoudara Beach also has high-quality hotels and the atmosphere in the area is very pleasant.

A Closer Look:

Knossos Palace
Knossos Palace
#About the Famous Palace of the Minoan Civilization

Knossos Palace is a large archaeological site that is located a few kilometers south of Heraklion. It was built in the ancient city of Knossos, generally known as the central city in the Minoan culture of the Bronze Age.

The construction of the palace began about 4,000 years ago, however after approximately 300 years the original palace was destroyed. A much more magnificent palace was built upon its ruins, which was also destroyed around the year 1450 BC. This occurred during a violent earthquake, which hit not only the island of Crete but also the island of Santorini.

Before it was destroyed, this palace covered an area of about two square kilometers. It was developed around the famous legend of the labyrinth built by King Minos. The labyrinth was built to hold the Minotaur - a human being with the head of an ox born to the king's wife. In this labyrinth, the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus were imprisoned and from there the two took off to the sky.

#The Legend of Icarus and Daedalus in the Heavens

One of the most famous legends in Greek mythology took place in this palace. It is the story of Icarus.

According to Greek mythology, Icarus was the only son to Daedalus. He was a reckless, clumsy child, whose father was an artist and an inventor. When King Minos of Crete asked him to build the labyrinth, a maze designed to hide from the world and hold the monstrous Minotaur, the son of Minus's wife, Daedalus did so willingly. He managed to create a labyrinth form which the Minotaur could not escape.

However, once Dedalus finished building the labyrinth, he was surprised when King Minos imprisoned him and Icarus in a tower so that no one would discover the secrets of the labyrinth.

Daedalus and Icarus managed to escape from the tower and decided to flee the island of Crete. But the island was surrounded by ships and guards, so the two decided to make wings of birds' feathers, which were connected by wires of wax.

Before they began to fly, the father warned Icarus not to fly close to the sun, for fear that the hot sun would dissolve his wings. But when they began to fly, the impulsive Icarus was excited by the flight and began to rise up, forgetting his father's warnings. As Daedalus feared, the heat of the sun quickly melted the wax of his wings, and Icarus fell down from the sky, plummeting into the sea to his death.

Since then, the story of Icarus has been a warning sign for people, not to be reckless adventurers who take unnecessary risks, forgetting all precautions.

#The Antiquities of Knossos

Knossos Palace is the most important site of the many remains in Crete. The Minoan civilization developed and flourished on the island of Crete during the Bronze Age, and has remnants worthy of exploration.

Knossos probably served as the political and commercial center of Minoan culture. The antiquities that remain to this day provide an exciting site for the island's visitors.

At the beginning of the last century, the archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered this vast palace. In March 1900, barely a month after he began the excavations, he uncovered the throne hall where Evans then found King Minos' original throne.

Later on during the excavations, the palace, shaped like a complex labyrinth, was discovered, with halls and living rooms alongside warehouses and workshops where former craftsmen, jewelers, and potters, worked in the past.

The walls of the palace that Evans discovered were covered with paintings depicting life in Crete during the Late Bronze Age. These impressive frescoes, like most of the important artifacts discovered here at Knossos, were transferred to the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, which contains the world's largest collection of Minoan art.

Apart from exciting and important archaeological discoveries, Evans did something else for which he was less appreciated. He began to reconstruct the palace and created a great deal of controversy over this activity. With great creativity and imagination, he literally rebuilt many parts of the palace. The construction was done with concrete, which is now considered a serious alteration to the findings.

In addition, Evans brought painters artists who "renovated" the frescoes discovered on the walls of the palace. In so doing, it made the place much more impressive and colorful but significantly damaged its authenticity.

It is important to note that renewal of the painting is not a reconstruction of it, at least not according to today's accepted standards. There are also some scholars who claim that some of the renewed paintings were not accurate in the original subjects that were painted on the wall.


The palace can be reached by bus departing from Heraklion every 15 minutes.

A Closer Look at Knossos Palace:


The Original Structure:



Heraklion Archeological Museum
Heraklion Archeological museum
#About Crete's Archeology Museum

The Heraklion Archeological Museum is a great archeological museum, hosting many treasures and remains of old civilizations, near Hellenistic and Roman exhibits from later periods.

Here you can see the Phaistos Disk, which has symbols that no one has been able to decipher yet.

At a different area of the museum, you can see a replica of a 4,000-year-old carriage with 4 wheels. This is the earliest proof for the use of the wheel on the Island of Crete.

The museum features beautiful Minoan figurines. Pay attention to the statues of snake goddesses from the Minoan period, and an acrobatic statue of a bull, all made of gold and ivory.

There are also findings that were discovered at the Minoan harbor of Kato Zakros. These findings are very important to researchers, as they are proof of the trade relations between Crete, Phoenicia, and Egypt. There is jewelry from Egypt and ivory artifacts from Syria.

Also, pay attention the frescoes found in the ruins of Knossos. Among these, you can find the "Prince of Lilies" wearing a crown of feathers. There are also frescoes of dolphins, acrobats riding bulls, and elegant women.

A Closer Look at the Heraklion Archeological Museum:

Historical Museum of Crete
Historical Museum of Crete
#About the Historical Museum of Crete

The Historical Museum of Crete lays next to the beach in the city of Heraklion, the capital of the Island of Crete.

Frescoes, statues, religious designs, jewelry, clothes and coins - the museum showcases many artifacts from Crete's rich history. There are many cultures who are exhibited here who were conquered, those who came to rule the city, including findings from the periods of Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman, and modern times.

The permanent exhibits are displayed on the third floor by category. There is a collection here of the Middle Ages and Renaissance that are shown through the times of the Bynzantine, Venetian and Ottomans.

There are also more modern displays here, cultural folk art, paintings and copies of the paintings of artist El Greco, there is even a space that was devoted to the Greek poet and philosopher, Nikos Kazantzakis.

#El Greco in the Museum

At a very respectable spot, the Historical Museum of Crete places the famous painter and artist, a Crete local - Domenico Teotocopoulos, better known for his nickname - El Greco.

In a certain way, El Greco, who is considered one of the important artists of the Renaissance, found his fame only after leaving Crete and going to Spain, learning to paint, and becoming an artist.

Ironically, the only painting by El Greco that is displayed here is the "View of Mt. Sinai and the Monastery of St. Catherine." This painting was painted during El Greco's stay in Venice, when he was studying under the famous artist Tiziano.

A Closer Look at the Museum's Displays:

Paralia Tavern
Paralia Tavern
#A Popular and Successful Taverna in Heraklion

Often restaurants with beautiful views are unsuccessful restaurants, as the demand for them is almost guaranteed, even when the food is mediocre. Therefore, it is satisfying to discover that the Paralia Tavern in Heraklion, a tavern with a perfect view of the port of Heraklion, is a restaurant that does not compromise the quality and flavor of the food. This tavern offers excellent local and traditional foods.

The menu offers stuffed vegetables and muskah, along with fish, seafood and grilled meats, and other delicacies of the fresh and authentic Greek cuisine.

Alongside the pleasant and courteous service, generous portions are served in both quantity and size, allowing diners to share dishes and eat with great pleasure from the variety offered by Paralia.

Have fun!
lligo krasi ligo thalassa
lligo Krasi Ligo Thalassa
#Fantastic Seafood Restaurant in Chania

The title "lligo Krasi Ligo Thalassa" is one of the longest names for the restaurant, but it is a temple worth visiting. It is a restaurant located at the entrance to the old port of Heraklion, at the center of the city.

The dishes are traditional Greek meals, with high quality and fair prices. Try the excellent sardines on the grill and the great oyster dishes.

All these are accompanied by the everchanging service, which some complain of its sluggish pace and others indicate its effectiveness. This changes depending on the crowds. This can be avoided if one comes at a less stressful hour.

Alongside the food,one can enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the tasty restaurant. After a delicious meal, when not too crowded, it is customary to indulge in a barbecue or dessert on the house. However, if you did not receive it, order the famous loukoumades. This is a kind of donut, a ball of dough, dipped in syrup. Many people on the island say that the loukoumades of lligo Krasi Ligo Thalassa are the most delicious in all of Greece.

Bon Appétit !

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.