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Old December 2nd, 2004, 11:46 PM   #1
mvelig
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ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟ | Heraklion/Iraklion - projects and construction

Connecting 3 continents ....




Heraklion is the 4th largest city in Greece and unofficial capital of Crete with nearly a population of 200,000. Built on the north coast of the island overlooking the Cretan Sea, and thus the Aegean, it was the main port of the legendary capital Knossos of the first european civilization, the Minoan.

History connects the place with antiquity and Europe. It was to Crete, according to Greek mythology, that Zeus, the Father of Gods, brought the beautiful young virgin Europa with whom he had fallen in love. Their romantic union gave birth to their son, Minos, whose name was borrowed by all the subsequent kings of Crete as well as the historic civilization.

The palace of Knossos


Throughout the Minoan Period, the Palace of Knossos was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times due to natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Its final deterioration began around 1380 BC, affecting both the physical and social constructs of the Minoan society. With its legend of the labyrinth, superior organization, and remarkable artwork, aspects of Minoan society would lend themselves to the creation of Greek civilization, the next thriving society, and allow the Minoan culture to survive long after the destruction of the palace and the society that revolved around it.



Little we know about Heraklion during the classical age, apart from some references of Aristotle but at that time every greek city was overshadowed by the PAX-ATHENA and the governor imperialist Pericles - Bush

Roman Period:
For this period the information about the city becomes richer. Strabo, (even though he hadn't visited Crete) reports in "Geographica" that Heraklion was the seaport of Knossos. A great number of important finds (mobile or otherwise) of this period come mainly from graves but also from building complexes. The most characteristic of the latter comes from the excavation of the museum's new plot which preserves six mosaic floors in a very good condition.



First Byzantine Period:
During this period (330 A.D to 824 A.D.) when Crete becomes a "thema" (part) of the Byzantine empire and Gortyna the administrative, military and religious centre, the settlement was known by the name "Castro". Unfortunately due to lack of evidence for this period, but also of important archaeological finds, it is difficult for someone to have a full picture of the town at that period. During these years the whole island was being hit by pirate raids and by natural distractions (earthquakes) that had as a result the decline and even the disappearance of towns as urban. The main centre founded by the Romans was Gortyna. Gortyn became an ally of Rome and during the Roman period (1st-5th centuries A.D.) reached the peak of its prosperity as the capital of the province of Crete and Cyrene.


The Arab Conquest:
In 824 A.D. Castro was surrendered to its conquerors, after Arab raids and the debarkation of the Arabs themselves on the island (822 A.D.-823 A.D.) that aimed at the gradual conquest of Crete. To this situation contributed also the fact that the Byzantine state (empire) suffered continuous disputes and internal upheavals. The town was now known as Rabdh el Khandac, meaning the Fortress of the Trench, since the Arabs, along with their settlement, in order to be protected, built a wall of raw bricks and around it they dug a deep trench (Khandaq). From this name derived the later ones: Chandakas, of the Second Byzantine period and Candia of the Venetian period.



2nd Byzantine Period - The recovery of Crete by the Byzantines:
The Byzantines tried continuously to recover Crete, without though any success. In 826 A.D. the Byzantine General Krateros attempted, unfortunately unsuccessfully, a campaign against the Arabs. The area of the battle and the shattering of the Byzantine army by the Arabs, a few kilometers east of Heraklion, preserves even today the name of the heroic General (Karteros).



Nikiforos Fokas:
In 960 A.D. the General of the Byzantine army and the later emperor Nikiforos Fokas campaigned against the Arabs. With armed forces, fully equipped, he manages to liberate the whole island and to restrict the Arabs into the well fortified Chandakas. After a siege of many months, in the spring of 961 A.D. a general attack took place from the Byzantine and the mercenary troops which resulted in the successful recovery of the city. Many Arabs were killed or were taken prisoners, during the battle, as victims of the soldiers' brutality in spite of Nikiforos Fokas' opposite instructions. The General himself took the emir and his family to Constatinople, where they were honoured by the Byzantines. The emir' s son adopted Christianity and served the emperor. Nikiforos Fokas, on his way out of Chandakas, took with him a large amount of valuable booty that the Arabs had gathered in the town.

In 1204 A.D., the year of the fall of Constatinople and basically the disruption of the Byzantine Empire by the Crusades, the Megalo Kastro, as the whole island passed into Venetian hands, after certain agreements. The Venetians, being at the same time engaged with the occupation of other areas, did not give the proper attention and significance and this had as a result for Crete to pass into the hands of the General Pirate Erricos Pescatore. Due to the special geographical position and importance of the island, the Venetians did not want to lose that possession, so after a lot of adventures, they will become once again in 1211 the sovereigns of the island, a rule that will last until 1669. Crete became one whole administrative district with the name "Kingdom of Candia" (Regno di Candia). For the first 150 years there will be a lot of revolutions from the Cretan's side, a fact that proves that the people did not submit without any protest in the Venetian domination and servitude. After 1367 Crete starts to live a rather peaceful period.



Castro - Candia:
The Castro, which is now named Candia by the Venetians, became the capital of the island, the seat of every Duke and all the other authorities, the centre of the intellectual and artistic life. The city becomes one of the most important urban centres of that period in the whole eastern Mediterranean. The city continues to be expanded out of the limits of the old fortification, creating strongly the need of a new one that would include the suburbs.

Koule Castle(Fortress)


New Fortification:
The new walls with their monumental portals form a representative characteristic of the fortification art and even today they form one of the most significant monuments of the kind in the Mediterranean basin. The city port with the arsenals is also one of the most important commercial centre in the area from where a lot of Cretan products (wine, olive oil, cheese) are exported and traded in the biggest European markets.

Krini of Morozini


Artistic movement:
Other sections also flourished like painting (in the 16th century the well known Cretan school is formed and Dominikos Theotokopoulos, the later El Greco starts his art work), literature, poetry, theatre with astonishing examples in every domain creating a special Cretan cultural idiom in the area.



Venetian Loggia


Architecture:
The architecture is another section of development and flourishing which is represented in public and private buildings as is the dukes' palace, the venetian metropolitan church of St.Mark with its bell tower (today used as a municipal gallery where important exhibitions take place as was the one of The Portaits of Fayium). The "Loggia" (the Noble's Club during the Venetian period) is used today as part of the Town Hall. Various Venetian and Orthodox churches, fountains are some of the monuments that still exist even today in the old town. We shouldn't though forget that all this flourishing that took place in that period was realized with the hard work of simple Cretan people.





Άγιος Τίτος - Saint Titus



Castro under the Turkish occupation:
Crete was made part of a new "egialeti", that means of a new administrative region of the Ottoman Empire that had Chandakas as a "capital", now called Kandiye or Kastro by the Turks. In the city there are all the official services, the seat of the "Grammatikos", that is of the interpreter of the "Pyli". Chandakas was almost totally destroyed and ravaged. A lot of extended repairs were done in buildings and in the fortification wall, while most of the churches were made into mosques. New fountains are built in different parts of the city in order to confront the problem of lack of water. The last period's cultural flourishing stopped, while there is a similar decline in the economy and the trade. From the beginning, though, of the 18th century we could note a steady development and a change in the economic life of the city with the participation of Christians in various commercial activities. The revolutions during this period did not stop, proving by this the desire of Cretan people for freedom and re-union with Greece.


Άγιος Μηνάς - Saint Minas




19th century:
In the first decades of the next century the city changed name into Herakleia and later Heraklion, as it is known today. Turks transferred the capital of the island from Heraklion to Chania, without this implying the decline of Heraklion which is developing into one of the most important urban centres of that period with a great commercial and economic flourishing. The last page of the Turkish occupation took place in Heraklion in August 1898 when enraged Turks attacked and slaughtered hundreds of unarmed Christians together with 17 English soldiers and the English Consul Lyssimachos Kalokairinos. In November of the same year the last Turkish soldier leaves the island, while the next month the High Commissioner Prince George is embarked in Souda (Chania) and the "Kritiki Politeia" (Cretan State) is founded by the "high protection" of England, Italy, France and Russia until 1913 when the union with Greece is being achieved.

Nikos Kazantzakis- Author of Zorbas and The Last Temptation Of Christ among others


20th century - Present
With the dawn of the 20th century a new era for Crete starts. Heraklion is being rapidly developed, its population is also increasing (urbanism) and by extension its housing needs are being multiplied. And all these happen many times at the expense of the historical character of the town. In the name of modernization, of development and progress a lot of monuments of the historical centre of the city are being demolished without any planning while at the same time the fortifications are being seriously changed without any way of going back to their previous state. The historical Heraklion lives in the rhythm of a big modern city, day to day though, it becomes more obvious the need of keeping the bonds with the past by preserving and demonstrating its monuments.













Πλατεία Ελευθερίας - Freedom Square




Airport 2nd greek airport in traffic all year around and first during the summer.
However there have been thoughts and discussion of relocating...
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Old December 3rd, 2004, 04:10 AM   #2
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Poli orea mvelig
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Old May 10th, 2006, 09:30 AM   #3
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Heraklion/Iraklion-Ηράκλειο

Heraklion or Iraklion (Greek: Ηράκλειο), Greece is the largest city and the capital of Crete. Its name is also spelled Herakleion (transliteration of ancient/Katharevousa name), or Iraklio, with other variants. For centuries, it was called Candia.

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

Population: 137,711















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Old May 10th, 2006, 09:47 AM   #4
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lovely.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 02:09 PM   #5
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Nice, although i don't like Heraklion that much...It's too urban for Crete in my humble opinion, like a tiny copy of Athens. .
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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:03 PM   #6
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looks fantastic
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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:06 PM   #7
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Πράγματι δύσκολη πόλη αυτό το Ηράκλειο.

Περιπίπτοντος ωραίες οι φωτογραφίες Κώστα.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 06:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kostya
It's too urban for Crete in my humble opinion, like a tiny copy of Athens. .
Συμφωνώ απόλυτα με τον kostya,πριν λίγο γύρισα από το Ηράκλειο(είχα πάει να δω τον τελικό κυπέλλου),αυτό που μου έκανε εντύπωσει είναι πως έχει πολλές ωραίες πλατείες γεμάτο μαγαζιά και καφετέριες.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 08:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KONSTANTINOUPOLIS
Πράγματι δύσκολη πόλη αυτό το Ηράκλειο.

Περιπίπτοντος ωραίες οι φωτογραφίες Κώστα.
Λίγο κρίμα να υπάρχει ένα νησί με τέτοια ομορφιά που έχει η κρήτη, να μην φέρνεται οράο στο μάτι η πρώτη πολύ τις. Αλλα ένταξη κάνει που κάνει και το Ηράκλειο.

Να σου πω την αλήθεια η Ρέθυμνο μου φαίνεται να είναι η πιο όμορφη πολύ τις Κριτής.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 03:22 PM   #10
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Για μένα τα Χανιά μετά την Θεσσαλονίκη είναι η πιο όμορφη πόλη στην Ελλάδα
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Old May 11th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #11
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Το πια είναι η ομορφότερη πόλη είναι κάτι το υποκειμενικό. Μπορεί μια πόλη αντικειμενικά να είναι αισθητικά μέτρια αλλά για κάποιων που ζει σε αυτήν μπορεί να είναι η ομορφότερη του κόσμου.

Εγώ από τις πόλεις που έχω επισκεφτεί το καλύτερο σχέδιο πόλεως το είχε η Αλεξανδρούπολη. Τουλάχιστον στην παραλία και τις γύρω περιοχές.

Η Θεσσαλονίκη από την άλλη δεν μου πολυάρεσε ( συγνώμη Kostya ). Μου θύμισε ένα προάστιο-πόλη τύπου Αθήνας. 2 πράγματα μου έκαναν εντύπωση. Κάτι πανάρχαια κτήρια ( βλέπε παλιές ελλ. ταινίες ) στην Εγνατίας και Αριστοτέλους και η παραλιακή, την οποία φανταζόμουνα μεγάλη και τρανή και τελικά ήταν ένας απλός δρόμος ( και μάλιστα έμοιαζε για μονής κατεύθυνσης ), και επίσης τώρα που το θυμήθηκα η θάλασσα εκεί μπροστά μύριζε άσχημα. Αυτά σαν μια πρώτη εντύπωση, Δεν έχω ζήσει στην Θεσσαλονίκη και έτσι η γνώμη μου δεν έχει ιδιαίτερη σημασία

Για τα Χανιά και το Ρέθυμνο τα οποία είναι και τα μέρει μου, αν διάλεγα μια από τις 2 θα προτιμούσα το Ρέθυμνο ( τι έκπληξη )

Πέρα από το συναισθηματικό δέσιμο που υπάρχει ( και είναι λογικό ) είναι και μια πόλη την οποία, μπορείς να την περπατήσεις, έχει γύρω γύρω παραλίες ( και μέσα στην πόλη ) και γενικά υπάρχει άνεση. Αντιθέτως τα Χανιά, γραφικότατα και αυτά, με τα πλακοστροτάτου, το όμορφο λιμανάκι με τα μπαράκια αλλά, ούτε παραλίες έχει ( πρέπει να πας στους Αγ. Αποστόλους ) ούτε την απλά του Ρεθύμνου.

Αν υπάρχει κάποιος Χανιώτης παρακαλώ ας μας δώσει τα φώτα του.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 09:43 PM   #12
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very interesting thread... Please more photos...
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 10:05 PM   #13
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One thing that should be mentioned here is the tremendous progress all Greek cities did during the last decade and Heraklion is no exception to this. The mayors did their best overall to renovate the squares and restore buildings. The result justifies their efforts.

I was being told that Heraklion is a dense city, like a small downtown Athens, etc. A friend of mine though who has been there recently on a professional trip told be that it is a clean city with picturesque and open squares, a vivid nightlife and big economic activity.
Also can you tell me guys which square is known as "The little lions" (ta liontarakia)?

BTW, true, Heraklion airport has a big traffic volume and if moved to Kastelli as they plan, then it will better serve the whole region.

Mind you also that Chania has an airport that accomodates international flights, however, Heraklion is the true international airport of Crete.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 10:39 PM   #14
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one of the best threads we had until now!!!excellent pics!!!
heraklion is very dense,i wasnt expecting it to be so dense....
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Old June 4th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #15
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nice.i m definately gonna be there at summer!
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Old June 4th, 2006, 02:25 AM   #16
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The funny thing is, this thread was burried since 2004 and had only 1 reply!
I wonder how many gems like this are hidding in our agora?
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Old June 4th, 2006, 09:27 AM   #17
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what....!!!2004?i have just noticed that!!!wow!!!i
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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:21 PM   #18
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Great thread!!! Heraklion is definitely a VERY dense city.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #19
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Why don't the both of you just grow up?
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Old June 4th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #20
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Someone here is playing with my patience.

Back to the topic.
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