Heraklion City Tour
1The Church of Agia Aikaterini
It is the church of the Monastery of St. Aikaterini of Sinai, established in the 2nd Byzantine period, which became a spiritual and cultural centre from the 15th to the 17th century.
Today it houses an exhibition with representative art work of the Cretan Renaissance, amongst which a special place holds the fine work of Michael Damaskinos.
There is also a collection with ecclesiastical vessels, books, sacerdotal vestments and frescoes brought from other sites.
2The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion
The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, one of the greatest and largest museums in Europe, is the place where almost the whole Minoan civilization is exhibited. The collections of the museum include unique works of Cretan art that cover a chronological span of roughly 7000 years, from the Neolithic (7000 BC) to the Roman period (3rd century AD). The collections are displayed in a chronological and thematic sequence, consonant with the contemporary museological and museographic practices, and are supplemented with explanatory texts, photographs, drawings and models of the monuments.
3Koules Fortress (Rocca a Mare/Castello a Mare)
A magnificent Venetian fortress located at the entrance of the old port.
It was built by the Venetians, before the construction of the new Venetian fortification, in order to protect the port. It took its final form between the years 1523-1540, replacing another construction destroyed by an earthquake. It is built with huge blocks and consists of two floors.
On the ground floor there are 26 rooms that were used to house captains or to store food and ammunition.
On the upper floors, there are battlements for placing canons. The upper parts of the castle and the base of the minaret are changes made by the Turks.
Outside, the main sides of the fortress are dominated by the relief plaques with the winged lion of St. Mark, the symbol of the city of Venice.
For the island of Crete, Knossos has the same significance as the Acropolis for Athens. The most famous and the most impressive palace of the Minoan era, the biggest and the greatest of the decision-making centers of the Minoan Crete. Our tour in the majestic site will travel us through history, getting us to know the Neolithic settlement, the new imposing palace, the four wings of the building with the ceremony chambers, the public warehouses, the Throne Room, the Corridor of the Procession with the amazing murals, the Propylaea with the famous Double Horns of Consecration, the Royal Chambers, the servants’ dormitories, the palace warehouses, the various workshops, the Reservoir Basin, even a stone-built theater.
Nikos Kazantzakis was the most important and most prolific Cretan writer, poet and philosopher and one of the most famous contemporary Greeks, worldwide.
His fame spread in the English-speaking world due to cinematic adaptations of Christ Recrucified, Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ.
He died on March 3, 1883, and his tomb is at the highest point of Heraklion, on the Venetian walls, overlooking the entire city of Heraklion.
The tomb is located at the specified point in accordance with the author’s wishes, as the Church had excommunicated him after writing his last novel, The Last Temptation of Christ, which was considered anti-Christian. The tomb is simple, with a large wooden cross and a sign that he had asked to bear the inscription: "I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free."
6Agios Minas Cathedral
The Cathedral of Agios Minas is a Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Heraklion, serving as the seat of the Archbishop of Crete.
The cathedral was inaugurated in 1895, under Metropolitan Bishop Timotheos A΄. It is dedicated to Saint Minas, the patron saint of the city of Heraklion.
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