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Listed 39 sub titles with search on: Sights for destination: "HERAKLIO Town CRETE".


Sights (39)

Castles, fortresses & fortifications

Koules Fortress (Temporarily closed)

Tel: +30 2810 288394, 288484, 399206, 399266, Fax: +30 2810 288484

  The original name of the fortress was «Roca al mare»; it was built by the Venetians, before the construction of the new walls. It was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1303 and took its final shape between 1523 and 1540. During the ottoman occupation, it served as a prison, in whose dungeons perished many revolutionists.
  A typical example of the Venetian defensive architecture, the fortress was built for the protection of the harbour breakwater and consists the termination of the city walls. The building comprises massive walls and two floors. The ground floor has a vaulted roof with large skylights. Thick walls divide the entire place in 26 lodgings, used as the residences of the Castellan, the captains and the officials, as well as warehouses. The superstructure and the minaret - from the latter only the base is preserved today - are additions of the Ottoman era.
  Today the monument attracts many visitors and is among the most well known archaeological sites of Crete. It also houses cultural events and exhibitions, while a small theatre has been fromed in the second floor.


Castello del Molo

A Venetian seaside fortress situated at the entrance of the old harbour. It was built by the Venetians, before the construction of the new Venetian fortification, in order to protect the pier and the port. It took its last shape in the years between 1523 - 1540 replacing another construction destroyed by an earthquake. It has been continuously repaired due to the violent waves of the sea that always used to cause damages to its stonework and foundation. It was built with big blocks of stone and it consisted of two floors. On the ground floor there exist 26 rooms that were used to house captains or to store food and ammunition. On the upper floor there are battlements for placing canons. The upper parts of the castle and the existing base of the minaret are Turkish changes. On the outside of the main sides of the castle, there are relief plaques that stand out with the lion of St. Mark, the symbol of Venice. During the Turkish period in the dark and humid rooms of the castle, the Turks used to torture and imprison the Cretan revolutionaries. Today, the castle is open to visitors and during the summer period it is used for various cultural activities (art exhibitions, music, theatre).

This text is cited Jan 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains image.


Walls

The New Venetian Walls

  Chandakas, after the Venetian occupation and settlement in 1211 (its name became Candia from the new settlers) developed into a very important centre of political, military, cultural and merchandise life of the whole island. It had a palace for the duke, big houses for the nobility, churches for the religious people and any other element that characterized a similar city of Venetian kingdom.
Arabic - Byzantine walls: When the Arabs conquered Crete, they organized an important settlement in the area of today's Heraklion which they enclosed with walls built by raw bricks, based on a stone podium with towers and straight parts. On this stone base, the Byzantines of Nikiforos Fokas built their own fortified enclosure and expanded it on the course that is marked by the roads Chandakos, Daidalou, D. Bofor and the sea port.
  The venetians, when they settled in Chandakas (which is now called Candia by the new settlers) were, initially, contented with the existed fortification (arab - byzantine) parts of which are still preserved today (behind new buildings) along Chandakos, Daidalou, D.Bofor str. and the city port, by repairing them in order to be protected by internal upheavals. When, though, they realized that the turkish danger was becoming very obvious, they started the planning and the building of the new fortified enclosure (the one that is still seen today) that would include the city and the suburbs. The new fortification was planned by different specialized mechanichs sent from Venice, the most important of whom was the well known military mechanic Michele Sanmicheli.
New Fortification: The planning and the construction of the new fortification of Chandakas took place in different stages and had a duration of almost two centuries, starting from the middle of the 15th century. The planning was based on the new elements of the art of fortification with the establishment of the bastion and the needs that arouse from the invention of the gunpowder. The new fortified enclosure, which is of a triangle shape and its base is on the sea has a perimeter of about 5km. From the land there existed a ditch and other external smaller forts. A characteristic element of the new fortified enclosure was the bastions that were 7 in all, from east to west: the bastion of Sabbionara (of the sand), of Vitturi, of Jesus, of Martinego, of Bethleem, of Pantocratoras and of St. Andreas. The bastions were joined together with straight lines (parts) and in the place of their joining there were formed two «low squares», lower than the level of the bastion and higher than the ditch. In these open areas there were built special places for the canons that defended the ditch underneath and the opposite bastion. In these "low squares" there existed two openings with galleries (long corridors), one of which was leading into the city and the other in the ditch.
  The seaside part of the walls was made and based on the existing rocky shore. From the eastern side the walls ended to the big fortress that protected the port, the so-called Castello del Molo.
Portals / Gates: Important architectural monuments of the period that still survive today are the portals (gates) for the entrance to the city and the exit of the population to the countryside. The portal of the pier and the portal of the arsenals (none of them survives today) were built for the communication with the port. The portal of St. George for the communication with the eastern parts of the city,re-opened and offered to the circulation of the pedestrians, the portal of Jesus (known as New Gate) for the communication with the south parts, is situated in the south part of the fortified enclosure and the portal of Pantocratoras (today known as the Gate of Chania) for the communication with the western parts of the city. Apart from these there were others secondary ones of military or other character as is today the reconstructed one of Bhethleem. Lastly, the gate of Dermata, approximately in the middle of the homonymous gulf (today only its exit to the city has survived) was built for the communication with the sea at this area.
  The fortified enclosure of Chandakas is a big and magnificent work for its inspiration and planning for the whole of the Mediterranean basin. It resisted for more than 20 years the Turkish siege and today it is one of the most important historical monuments for the city of Heraklion.
  Since 1989 there exists a special municipal office that aims at the reconstruction and restoration of the Venetian Walls within a statutory framework of a Policy Contract that has been signed among the Ministry of Culture, the Archaeological Revenue Office and the Municipality of Heraklion. With contract works, or other ones organized by the office and special researches or studies, the municipality is trying to reconstruct and bring into sight the fortified enclosure and the ditch, to create green areas, play grounds and sport grounds, as well as walking paths and recreation areas, so that the stroller and the visitor today can connect with the historical past of the city and the monuments.
The sea port of Chandakas, the Arsenals: The small harbour of Chandakas has played, without any doubt, an important role in the life especially of the city and of the whole island too. From the start it was the centre of the transit trade and at the same time the most important dock yard of the Venetian fleet in the eastern mediterranean basin. The impressive sea fortress dominates at its entrance (the later called fortress of Koules), while at its south and east the Venetians built groups of arsenals. The connection of the port with the city was conducted mainly through two gates, none of which has survived today, the gate of the pier and the gate of the arsenals.
  The arsenals consist of big elongated vaulted rooms that could roof galleys in order to be repaired or even constructed. Three different groups of arsenals were built. The first is called "Arsenali Antichi" and it was situated in the part of the port. The second complex that it is called Arsenali Vecchi was constructed west of the first one and lastly the third one, the so called Arsenali Nuovi and Nuovissimi (the latter built at a different stage) it was built at the south east of the old venetian port. Today out of these building complexes there exist only some parts (which are parts of the third complex, Arsenali Nuovi and Nuovissimi and parts of the second one, Arsenali Vecchi).
  A large construction at the same area of the port, which is still seen today, is the big water reservoir, that could contain 20.000 barrels of water, situated next to the third complex of the Arsenals.

This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


The portal of Jesus (New Gate)


The portal of Pantocratoras (Chania Gate)


Buildings

Regional Division of Heraklion

Tel: +302813 400200, Fax: +302810 342587

The building Efkafi

The building «Efkafi» belongs to the family Miliara and it is one of the first two public Turkish buildings that were built according to the principles of Neoclassical architecture in Heraklion. It was erected around 1878 to roof the Service of Efkafia which was a Turkish Public Service that had in its jurisdiction all the buildings that were offered to Philanthropic establishments. The building is exceptionally elegant and interesting, an example of the first applications of Neoclassicism in Heraklion, to which a lot of elements of the wide spread Balkan architecture were used.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translation by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains image.


A significant example of Turkish architecture, following the principles of Neoclassicism. It was constructed in 1878 in order to house the "Efkafi", a Turkish service for the administration of the Philanthropic foundations. The architectural form of the building presents elements of the Romantic Neoclassicism, finely combined with the models of Balkan architectural tradition.
At the end of the 19th century the building housed the Turkish service of "Efkafi".
After the liberation of Crete, it housed the Greek service of "Antallaxima" (Exchangeable) and later it was sold to individuals. Since then its function has changed many times and over the years it has been used as a private school, as shops, institutes etc.
The roof of the building has been repaired and the exterior surfaces of the walls have been plastered.
The building today houses shops.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture URL below, which also contains image.


Building of the Kothris & the heirs of Apostolides

The building is an excellent specimen of the Romantic Neoclassicism. It was designed by D. Kyriakos and erected on Leophoros Martyron 25 Avgoustou, the central avenue of Herakleion, which was fired by the Turks during the events of 1898. Along with the other buildings constructed after the foundation of the Cretan State, it formed a wonderful architectural complex known as the "The Avenue of Delusion". The building has now been divided into two separate parts (according to properties), has been organized on severe axial symmetry and is distinguished by its balanced and elegant form.
The two buildings belong to the same architectural complex, erected in 1915. They both have the same modelling of the facades and the same interior arrangement and decoration. They have been protected by a preservation order since 1976 as they are one of the most significant examples of the Neoclassical architecture of Herakleion.
In 1982 and 1984 the 7th Ephorate restored the roof, the facades and the interior of the second floor of the Apostolides building.
The first building (Kothris property) was purchased by the Ministry of Culture in order to house the Byzantine Museum of Herakleion. The second (Apostolides property) houses the offices of the 7th Ephorate of Contemporary and Modern Monuments and it is going to be purchased so as to house the city's Museum of Modern Architecture.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture URL below, which also contains image.


Phytakis Megaron

The building has been declared a Hstorical Monument and a Work of Art, and is protected by a preservation order. It is the first multi-storeyed building of the city, a characteristic example of the first phase of the use of concrete at Herakleion. It presents many signficant Neoclassical features and is a representative example of the appartment blocks erected at the town in the period between the two World Wars. It has a ground floor and four storeys. It is a unique building in terms of the many Neoclassical elements (projections, cornices, pillars, balustrades at the entrances and the balconies) and the remarkable arrangement of the openings on the facade. Also unique as to their details are the wooden doors of the shops on the ground floor, decorated with fluted pseudo-antae.
It was built in 1926-30 and housed shops on the ground floor and residential appartments on the upper floors. Today it is abandoned.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture URL below, which also contains image.


Loggia

  It is an essential public building in every Venetian city, which was not absent even from the colonies. For Candia, Loggia is considered to be one of the most elegant architectural monuments of the Venetian period, a representative sample of the palladian style. During the Venetian period, Loggia was the official meeting place of sovereigns and nobility where they discussed various topics that had to do with economic matters, commercial, and political ones. It was also used as a place where people passed their time, something like a combination of a Chamber and a Club. Today's Loggia is the fourth one, the others, that were built before that, were abandoned due to their position, or were destroyed by the time. The last Loggia was built at about 1628 by the "General Provisioner" Frangisko Morozini, known also by the homonymous fountain in the centre of the town. It is situated next to (Armeria) and it is a building of a rectangular type with two floors, with doric type columns on the ground floor and ionic ones on the first floor. At the corners of the building there were square columns. The space between the columns, on the ground floor, had a low parapet, while in the middle it was open and served as the main entrance which was from the 25th August str., known then by the name "Ruga Maistra". At the upper part of the ground floor there was a frieze that consisted of triglyphs and metopes that depicted, in relief, various representations as the lion of St. Mark, trophies, suits of arms and others. The frieze of the upper floor, that it was never made, supported a special construction with statues.
  After the fall of the city to the Turks, Loggia loses its old identity and glamour. The new conqueror did not feel the need of such a building which is now made into the seat of the high finance officer, Tefterdar and the secretary general who was a christian officer, responsible for the matters that concerned the Christians and the Turkish authorities. The Tefterdar had also the jurisdiction over the "Armeria" (the storeroom where they used to keep their guns), now called "tzephanes". Loggia's adventure is still continuing even after the liberation from the Turks. The "Cretan State" proposed that the building could be used as an Archaeological Museum. After, though an earthquake that happened, it was better considered that the building was not safe and the idea for housing a museum was abandoned. Later in 1904 it was regarded that the building was ready to fall and people started, unfortunately without any care, to demolish the first floor. The year after the building was granted to the Town Hall, with the "Armeria" in order to house some of its services. Ten years will go by until the first stone will be put officially for the restoration of Loggia. Maximillian Ongaro, who was also the curator of the architectural monuments of Venice, was in charge of the building work. Still though, the works were delayed. At the end of 1934 the "Armeria" is given to the Town Hall to house some of its services.
  After some years and the end of the 2nd World War the works for the restoration of Loggia and its connection, through an atrium, with the Armeria started afresh. Today the first floor has been formed into a special hall for ceremonies and the weekly meetings of the Municipal Council and it has been accordingly furnished and decorated. The crowning of all these efforts was the awarding of the prize in 1987 from the International Organization "Europa Nostra" for the most successful restoration of a historical building with a modern use in the Greek area.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Tobacco Cutting Factory

The tobacco-cutting factory is found in the area of Aghia Triadha and more specifically at the place where in the first half of the 17th century there was the Monastery of Panaghia Akrotiriani. Today the stone built wall that runs around it as well as the building itself are listed monuments. The tobacco factory was erected in the 19th century and it has got two floors and three wings roofed with tiles.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translation by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains image.


«Bon Marche» building

The well known «Bon Marche» is a private shop that belonged to the sons Housein and Moharem Litsardaki. It was erected in 1892 in Ag. Minas 8 street and it is a significant example of a Turkish building where elements from the Neoclassical and Balkan architecture have been successfully fused.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translation by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


106 Plastira street

It is a very interesting stone built building with two floors and tiled roof of the late Neoclassicism and Eclectism. On the ground flloor the openings are framed by ashlar masonry (stone curved columns). The entrance to the first floor is found at the side of the building.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translated by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Houses

Italian School of Archaeology

It is one of the most stylish and interesting buildings of the Balkan architecture in the city. It was the house of the Turk Mirza Efendi and today it belongs to the Italian School of Archaeology. The building is characterized by architectural and morphological elements of Ottoman-Turkish and Neo-Classical architecture

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translation by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


The Historical Museum

It has been characterized as a listed historical monument and work of art. It has two floors and it is an excellent example of Neoclassical architecture. On the south side of the building there is a courtyard that is enclosed by a wall of Neoclassical style. It was built on the site of an earlier mansion in 1870 with plans of L. Kantanzoglou. This then was burnt down and destroyed by the Turks during the events of the 25th August 1898. It was rebuilt in 1903 with plans of K. Tsantiraki that were based on the earlier ones.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translation by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Building of the family F. Chatzidaki

It is an important building of later Neoclassicism. It has two floors with a basement and it is roofed with tiles. Its facade is carefully formed, while the other sides are rather undorned. Special attention was given to the formation of the middle part of the main facade, where both on the ground and on the first floor there is an architrave with Doric and Ionic columns accordingly, while its end is crowned by a pediment.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translation by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Building of the family Kalioraki

The building is a fine example of the late Neoclassicism and typical of the late Neoclassicism and typical of the city architecture of the first decades of the 20th century.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translated by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Manor House of Behi-Sekeria

It is a characteristic example of the balkan architecture with clear neoclassical influence. The size, the structure of the rooms, the variety of the forms of the other parts and the high aesthetic conception establish the building unique in Heraklion

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translation by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Building of the family Tsahaki

This house is one of the most stylish examples of the late «romantique» Neoclassicism. It was built in the first decade of the 20th. century by the architect D.Kyriakos. Especially interesting is the architectural solution with which the facades of the building have been formed which are laid out in a semi-circular way in the corner where the roads meet.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translation by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Building Mavraki

An excellent example of the late Neoclassicism is the building known as «Mavraki House», property of the «Credit Bank». It was probably erected in the second decade of the 20th century in the neighbourhood Retzep Agha no. 167 street, which a little later was called Sfakion street. The first owner Zaharias Ieronymakis bequested it in 1921 to his son Heraklis Ieronymakis who sold it to Emmanouil Pantelakis. He in turn gave it as a dowry at his daughter to the lawyer S.Mavraki in 1948.
The building has all the characteristics of the later Neoclassicism. The formation of the main facades is strictly symmetrical. The main architectural element, which is unique for Heraklion, is the dome like wooden structure of the building. Structures like these, called «Belvedere», were very usual in north Europe. While they were often used in city centres of central and north Greece (Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras) and in luxurious suburbs as Kifissia, they were however rarely found in southern Greece and in the islands.

K.Koiladi, G.Kolyvakis, K.Lempidaki, N.Papadakis-Chourdakis and Ch. Tsompanaki, translated by Kalliopi Nikolidaki, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains image.


The Chronaki House

  It is a remarkable building of the Balkan architecture with Neoclassical influences and a very interesting internal painted decoration. The arrangement of the rooms is complex, they are around open spaces or semi-open internal ones covered with pebbled floors. The ground floor is stone built as also are parts of the first floor while the rest is wooden. The wood becomes the main structural and morphological element of the whole construction. Especially important are the wooden elements too (ceiling, wardrobes, internal partitions) which are characteristic examples of the architecture and the aesthetic conception of this group of buildings.
  The building has been renovated by the Technical Service of the Town Hall (in collaboration with the local Ephorate which is responsible for the recent monuments) and it contains objects of art that appertain to its character and, at the same time, it houses a series of things that have a particular importance to the understanding of the whole cultural physiognomy of the city of Heraklion.
Some of them are:
  a group of old furniture of Arab-Turkishe origin,
  maps and sketches of the 17th and the 18th century,
  a collection of old cards with photos and scenes of the life of Heraklion in the first decades of 20th century,
  a complete copy of the judicial codes of the Turkish Archive of Heraklion

Mrs. Eirini Vallindra - Schizaki, Architect of the Heraklion Municipality, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains image.


Fountains

Philanthropic fountain of Kornarou square

It was built in 1776 by Hadji Ibrahim aga. In order to keep it working, he dedicated almost all his property. It is unique in its kind that is still preserved today. It is of a circular type building with a "tholos" and around the walls there are semi-circular windows with rails, in front of each one of them there exist a tap with a stone basin for the water to be collected. Today it is used as a coffeehouse.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Bembo Fountain

Made by "capitano" Gianmatteo Bembo between 1552-1554, it dominates in today's Kornarou square, next to a later Turkish philanthropic fountain. It is decorated with coats of arms and other elements of the renaissance and of gothic type, while in the middle a big headless statue stands out of the roman period. The spring is ornated with floral and embossed elements.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Idomenea's fountain

It was built in the end of the 17th century. Today it is found behind the Historical Museum of the city. It is decorated with two columns with floral capitals, while in between them and inside an arched construction there is a marble plaque with relief decoration. The water was running from a specially made hole at the bottom of the plaque, into a marble basin.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


The Chaniali fountain

Today it is situated next to the external Gate of St. George, underneath the statue of Eleutherios Venizelos. Within an arched construction, which its top is decorated with floral elements, there is a plaque and the spout is within a relief decorated frame. The water was collected in a marble basin of a similar decoration

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Morosini Fountain (The so called Lion's fountain)

One of the most known fountains of Heraklion, point of reference for its inhabitants, but also for the visitors. Today it is one of the most beautiful monuments of the city. The «General Provisioner» Francesco Morosini made it in 1628, who, within a complicated for that period, system of pipes he managed to bring water from the Archanes' springs to the thirsty town of Heraklion. The eight-lobe cistern, which is based on a special stand, is decorated with embossed mythological depictions and maritime figures like tritons, dolphins and various coats of arms, while the water was flowing from the mouths of four lions.
At the very top of the fountain there was a supernatural statue of Poseidon that was standing out but fell probably due to an earthquake. During the Turkish period the fountain went into a vulgar modulation with the addition of a baldachin (ciborium) around it which was later taken away. Morosini, on the occasion of the inauguration coined a special medal with his figure from one side and the fountain on the other.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Sagredo Fountain

Made by Giovanni Sagredo between 1602-1604, part of it has been built in the Northwest corner of today's Loggia (Town Hall) and it is decorated with a carved female statue which according to Gerola's description probably with the left hand she was holding a shield, while with the right one a kind of a big hammer for display, representing the personification of Crete.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Priuli fountain

The «General Provisioner» Antonio Priuli made it in 1666 and it is situated today behind the "Bodosakeio" Primary School (in the area of the Venetian Dermata Gate). He decorated it with round and square columns with Corinthian type capitals, while a triangular pediment crowns the whole construction. From both sides of the columns there are niches with their metopes elaborately decorated. In the middle of the fountain there is a Turkish inscription where there is a reference to the name of the Turkish pasha who managed to bring water again in the fountain.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Genitsar aga's fountain

Today it is situated in the Ikarou Avenue, next to the Epigraphic Collection of Heraklion Museum. Within an arched construction which, is surrounded by two big square columns, decorated with rosettes, there is a relief spout of fine workmanship.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Religious monuments

Church of St. Mark (Lion Square)

One of the first and quite important works of the Venetian settlers was the building of a temple dedicated to their patron, St. Mark, in the centre of the city and opposite to the Palace of the Duke. The church of St. Marc was not totally dependant on the Latin archbishopric, but on every duke of the Cretan Realm. Because he himself was not in a position to fulfil his religious duties, he appointed someone else, the "primikirio"or the "capellano" for that seat. Within the church all the lords and the state officials used to assume their duties with every formality while common people used to seek protection from their patron Saint. Also the church was used as a burial place for the dukes and members of the high class (they were put in special sarcophagi). Next to the church on the southwest corner there was a high bell tower with a clock. During the long Turkish siege of the city, the bell was used as a bomb alarm, which is why many times the bell tower became target of the Turkish cannons. When the Turks took over the city - Kastro -, the church of St. Mark was given to Defterdar Ahmet Passa who converted it into a mosque, named after him. The bell tower was demolished and in its place they built a minaret. The new conquerors, without having any respect for the sacred place, destroyed the frescoes and the Christian graves. After the exchange of population and the Turkish withdrawal, St. Marc came to the jurisdiction of the National Bank and then of the Municipality. Lastly, in 1956 a contract was signed between the Municipality and the E.K.I.M (Society of Cretan Historical Studies) in order to start the restoration of the building, so today it is an ornament for the city, that is used as Municipal Art Gallery.
From 1239 when the church started to be built until 1956 when it started to be restored, this monument went through various phases of rebuilding that were due to destructions from earthquakes that hit the town from time to time. In its first shape, the one that took again after the restoration, the church was a basilica with three aisles and a wooden roof. The aisles were parted from one another with two lines of columns united by gothic arches. The roof of the church was tripartite and the central part was higher than the other two. The front part of the church consisted of six columns united by five arches. Lastly, from the bell tower, which was quite tall, only a part of its Venetian base is saved today with a part of the later Turkish mosque that was based on it.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains image.


The Monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul

It is situated approximately in the middle of the seaside wall. It was built from the first years of the venetian domination and belonged to the monastic order of Dominicans (Domenicani Predicatori). It was one of the most important and biggest Catholic monasteries of the city. The earthquake of 1508 caused a lot of damages to the temple. It consists of a long aisle which is roofed by a two slope roof and ends at a sanctuary roofed by two vaults. To the north and south wall of the temple there are windows of different types that were opened either during the Turkish period, or even earlier. To the continuation of the sanctuary and towards the south side of the temple there are chapels. Other building constructions exist to the north and west of the temple. During excavations that took place recently in the wider area of the temple (area of Kastella) graves of the second Byzantine period came to light and underneath them an extended habitation of the Arabic period that gave a lot of information for the architecture and the style of life of that era. The finds from this excavation are exhibited in the Historical Museum. The whole area has been expropriated in order to conserve the antiquities and its historical character, as well as to preserve a free view of the venetian monastery.
The monastery, partly destroyed during the Turkish occupation, was made into a mosque of Sultan Ibrahim with a minaret at its southwest corner. Today it is reconstructed under the supervision of the 13th Archaeological Service and the Cretan Archdiocese. After the reconstruction, the holy place will be used as a festive temple and a meeting place for international, orthodox, Christian and religious congresses.

This extract is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


Panayia Akrotiriani

At the place of the Tobacco Revenue Office and of the church of the Holy Trinity, of the same name quarter, behind the vegetable market, there was, during the first half of the 17th century, the orthodox nun monastery of the Panayia Akrotiriani, which depended on the Monastery of Toplou (Sitias). During the Turkish period, the Turks demolished the monastery and built barracks which, time after time, had other uses. Lately, the place was used as a Tobacco Revenue Office, while today it is reconstructed by the 13th Archaeological Service and it will very soon house the Byzantine Museum.

This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below.


The church St. Aikaterini of Sinai

It is the church of the Monastery of St. Aikaterini of Sinai and it is situated in the northeastern corner of the square of the cathedral church of St. Minas. It is a type of basilica with a vertical aisle which the northern part has been formed, with a dome, into a chapel of Sts. Deka. The church has been established in the 2nd Byzantine period and it became a spiritual and cultural centre from the 15th to the 17th century. With its income, the church was in a position to support a number of monks. During the Turkish period it was changed into a mosque, known by the name Zoulfiakar Ali Pasha. Today it houses an exhibition with representative art work of the Cretan renaissance amongst which a special place hold the fine work of Michael Damaskinos. There is also a collection with ecclesiastical vessels, books, sacerdotal vestments and frescoes that have been placed there from elsewhere.

This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


St. Mathaios church

It is an orthodox church, maybe from the second Byzantine period. During the Turkish period it was granted to the monks of Sinai in exchange for the Monastery of St. Aikaterini that it was turned into a mosque. Today the church has a collection of icons, including very important pieces of work of the "Cretan School", as is the "the Crusifixion" of Georgios Kastrofylakas (1752), "St. Titos and scenes of the life of the ten martyrs" of Ioannis Kornaros (1773) and others. Nowadays the church is being reconstructed by the 13th Archaeological Service.

This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Heraklion URL below, which contains images.


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