The history of Heraklion city & Crete!
For an important and historic city as Heraklion in Crete it looks quite challenging to point only five instants of its history. As the home of the Minoan civilization and the birthplace of important artists of history, like the painter El Greco, the city and the greater area of Heraklion has a rich and intriguing history that in our today’s blog post we give the hints for getting to know the most important historical facts of Heraklion along with a motive for further reading.
1. Minoan Period. The Palace of Knossos is probably the most recognizable photo when we are talking about the history of Crete. 5 km from the city of Heraklion and Galaxy Hotel Iraklio one of the most important civilizations flourished in the Mediterranean and the world from 3500 B.C. to 900B.C. The impressive palace, the remaining of the houses and shops, the colourful frescoes, the sophistication witnesses for the grandeur of a civilization worth admired for its uniqueness and greatness.
2. Archaic & Classical Period. When the Palace of Knossos became a sanctuary the little harbour city of Heraklion emerges as the port that serves Knossos. During the Classical Period Crete and the city Of Heraklion did not took part to the Persian Wars but continued playing a crucial role to the commercial life and arts across the Mediterranean.
3. The Byzantine & Venetian Era. The Byzantine Period was a turbulent time for Heraklion and Crete in general. Pirate and Arab invasions afflicted the people of the island. Prosperity returned to the island when it was part of the Venetian rule. The Arabs though built a new city calling it the Castle of Chandax, where Venetians renamed the city into Regno di Candia (Kingdom of Candia) and became the centre of administration. Many monuments are still in the city reminding the power and wealth of these periods.
4. Ottoman Rule & Independency. After 21 years of siege Heraklion is becoming part of the Ottoman Empire. The Siege of Chandax as it is called is one of the longest in the history of wars lasting from 1648 to 1669. The city of Heraklion yet again changed with minarets and mosques built in the city. But Crete’ history had more to be lived as in 1898 the island was declared as the Independent Cretan State remaining under the rule of sultan but with the support of the European powers of the time and Greece. This is when neoclassical buildings were constructed in the town of Heraklion.
5. The Union with Greece. Crete becomes part of the Greek state in 1913 when in 1922 a big number of refuges coming from the disastrous Asia Minor invasion added to the city with their habits and the way of living and making Heraklion a mutli- cultured city.
We tried to give you some hints for the history of Heraklion city! The monuments, the museums of Crete and the stories of the people are your next sources for discover the importance of each era, and art crafts of every period as also the beauty of a history that just 5 “bullets” cannot cover!