Heraklion Heraklion Sightseeings

Heraklion Sightseeings

The city of Heraklion still enjoys its reputation as one of the most attractive Mediterranean capitals. It has enough to offer that the cultural tastes and shopping needs of both the visitors and the residents are fully catered for. It is no accident that it has always been the business and social center of Crete throughout the ages and that status is maintained today. It plays host to many interests and activities as well as providing a very pleasant way of life.

There are many medieval monuments that indicate the prosperity of the era, situated in the center of the city. If you continue onwards from the port to the city centre, the first significant landmark you can see is the Venetian Loggia. Nowadays this houses the City Council and part of the Municipality of Heraklion services departments. 'Lotzia' used to be the society for the Duke and Officers of Crete, and is decorated with uniquely sculptured coats of arms, trophies, and metopes. For centuries the noblemen of Crete gathered here to rest, to be entertained, or to practice their formal rituals.

The majestic fortress, Koule ,stands by the port. It had been used for centuries not only for the protection of the city but as a prison too, with its huge dark hallways and cells.

Just a few meters from the Loggia there is an elaborate fountain, called Lions. It is exquisitely sculpted and decorated with images inspired by the sea and the animal kingdom. It was constructed during the first decades of the 17th century by Franzisco Morozini, not only to decorate the square but also to provide the city with water.

Heraklion is surrounded by enormous medieval walls, which used to protect it from enemies and gave the city its reputation as the best-fortified state in the Mediterranean basin. It stood up to a siege by the Turks for 25 years but the city was finally seized after its betrayal by a Venetian Engineer who led the invaders through a secret passageway into the city.

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