Knossos Palace is well known as the place where the Greek civilatzation started. During the Bronze Age was one of the most important cities of the known world. The palace is famous for the legend of Minotaur, and King Minos. Added to the legends surrounding the palace, a visitor can admire the numerous achievements of a great civilatzation, such as the advanced water management systems, irrigation systems and ventilation systems, pottery construction, that the Minoans had developed already from the Bronze Age.
Continuing our travel back in time at the history of Crete we visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion that is located at the centre of the city of Heraklion. It houses representative artifacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times. The singularly important Minoan collection contains unique examples of Minoan art, many of them true masterpieces. The Heraklion Museum is rightly considered as the museum of Minoan culture par excellence worldwide. Learn where it all started at the hot spot of civilization.
Lions Scuare (Fontana Morozini)
Next stop at the Lions Scuare (Fontana Morozini) which is located at the heart of the city’s town center. Build by the Venetians in order to solve the Heraklion city’s water problem, was providing 1000 barrels of water per day and was transferring water to the town center from 15 kilometers away from Juctas Mountain. An amazing achievement at this age. Opposite to the fountain of Morozini, is the Saint Marcus Basilica, a monument that the Venetians build in order to honor the patron of Venice Saint Marcus. Today houses the Municipal Gallery of Art and it is open for the public almost every day, throughout the day. The square nowadays is the busiest spot in the city and a very popular place for any visitor to try traditional bougatsa cream pie or cheese pie. Order a Greek coffee in one of the many cafeterias of the square and let the flavors travel your mind back to those years.
The Fortress of Koule
One to be remembered is the last stop of our tour. The Fortress of Koule and the old port of Heraklion. The trade mark monument of the city, and one of the most beautiful sites for one to visit. Koule fortress was build by the Venetians in order to protect the city from the pirates and Turks. Used as a prison and torturing place for Greek rebels, its walls are haunted with stories of war, rebellion and resistance. Today stands proudly next to the old port. The old port nowadays connected to the new port is playing a very important role not only for the Island of Crete but also for the whole East Mediterranean area. The old port is filled with yachts and fishing boats. Fishing boats are providing fresh fish products to the whole city of Heraklion and near the Koule Fortress entrance the central fish market can be found. Yes you guessed right! Fish taverns located at the perimeter of the old port is a very good idea to be visited as well. Do not forget to try one of the local varieties of wines to accompany your preferred fish plate