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The architecture of the city of Heraklion in Crete!

Architecture of Heraklion city

For almost 400 years (from 1211 to 1669 AD), the island of Crete was under Venetian rule, and under Ottoman rule till 1898. It is only natural that the architecture of the cities and villages of the island was influenced by both Venetian and Ottoman styles, creating a unique blend and resulting in lineaments and features evident in buildings and monuments, even up to this day. Let’s discover more details about the architecture of Heraklion city.

The Venetian fortifications of Chandakas, or as we know it today, Heraklion, are what paved the way for the infrastructure to develop; the city formed in and around the fortifications. Subsequently, the town houses started obtaining a more Renaissance-type style; rows of columns, pilasters and lintels, arches and domes dominate the exteriors of tall buildings, hardly any balconies, arched paved streets, grand, majestic churches and monasteries with niches and impressive aedicule. As Crete evolved into a major cultural centre, it hosted substantial numbers of artists and architects that played a huge role in shaping the city’s architecture, and bequeathed it with admirable monuments such as the Fontana Morosini, or the “lion fountain” in the center of Heraklion city.

The Ottoman rule brought gave its own architectural flair to the city of Heraklion. Mosques, baths and public buildings were built in the more arabesque style but still retaining a lot of the previous Venetian elements.

Sadly, the earthquake of 1856 destroyed many of the older, Venetian buildings, and the city’s reconstruction adapted more to the ottoman town-house, with internal wooden balconies on the second story of a stone, balcony less home. Later on, the prosperity that followed the Cretan independence at the end of the 19th century, led to the erection of numerous neoclassical “Greek style” town houses that remain to this day and give Heraklion its magnificent atmosphere that impresses all of its visitors. Take a stroll around the city centre and feel time stand still, blending in the wonderful, almost intoxicating mix that is the city of Heraklion!

The elements of the modern architecture of Heraklion city plus influences from the Minoan era inspired the building and the structure of Galaxy Hotel Iraklio! To see more just click on: http://goo.gl/EDAqt9.

photo source: http://goo.gl/fblJbP