It was a beautiful day and my thoughts turned to the Minoans. What did they do each day? How did they create the first European civilisation? Why was that civilisation so wonderful? In all my years in Crete I have been to most of the Minoan sites, the palaces, the farmsteads, the villages and the ports. You see the remains of what they built so many years ago and are impressed. Particularly with Sir Arthur Evans reconstruction of Knossos.
You might be thinking why I chose to go to Crete instead of Athens. He had been to Greece 2 times and he suggested that I go to Crete first for the good food, beautiful beaches, and the marvelous view you get while on the road. Crete is the biggest island in Greece and the 5th in the Mediterranean.
Crete is also the cradle of Minoan civilization, the first advanced culture of Europe, dating as far back as BCE. Crete is the southernmost major Greek island, and the scattering of tiny islands farther south are considered satellite islands of Crete.
Sfakianakis began his career in , opening at nightclubs for other artists. He was discovered by Sony Greece and released his debut album Proti Fora While his first three releases were commercially successful, beginning in the mid s, Sfakianakis released a series of multi-platinum albums that are among the best selling albums of all time in Greece — including Notioanatolitika Tou Kosmou with — thousand copies sold, 5o Vima which has been recognized as the best selling album of all time in Greece with thousand copies sold, I Notes Einai 7psyhes with His signature song “O Aetos” is one of the most popular songs in Greek music history.
Sfakianakis was the best selling artist of the s and stands as the best selling Greek artist of his generation. However, in the s he faced a significant commercial decline. Me Agapi O,ti Kaneis and Ana Genisis shipped 40 thousand copies each.
10 Best Places to Visit in Greece
Villages in the Municipal Unit of Gouves[ edit ] Villages in the area include: There is another Minoan villa in the area dating from B. Legend has it that Dia island used to be a colossal sea creature that came close to Crete and then Zeus turned it into stone with a powerful thunderbolt, thus creating the island. It was an important sanctuary since Neolithic times.
Rethymnon Crete is a vibrant and charming city of about 30, inhabitants, situated on the north coast of Crete, between Chania (60 km) to the west, and Heraklion (80 km) to the east. It is, in fact, the third largest city on Crete.
During the Olympic Games, the city of Heraklion provided one of the venues for the football tournament. The first fortifications were built by the Arabs and were later reinforced by the Venetians 15th century. From the seven bastions, only the Martinengo bastion survives to this day; there visitors will find the tomb of the renowned writer N. Kazantzakis, overlooking the city. From the four gates to the city, only Chanioporta with the characteristic winged Lion of Saint Marc and the New Gate at the southern side survive today.
In the old Venetian port, next to the modern facilities, one can see the vaulted tarsanades where ships used to be built, while the western side is dominated by the Koule fortress 16th century. In the heart of the city there are many monuments dating to the Middle Ages, a period in which Heraklion witnessed great prosperity. From the port, ascending 25 Avgoustou August street, one reaches a square where the church of Agios Titos is found built in at the site where a Byzantine church once stood , while next to it lies the Venetian Loggia 16th century , a magnificent, ornate arcaded Venetian building decorated with blazons, trophies, etc.
A typical feature of Heraklion is its Venetian and Turkish fountains, scattered all around the city. Other noteworthy Venetian fountains are the Bembo fountain on Kornaros Square, the Sagredo fountain built in the northwestern corner of the Loggia, and Priuli fountain located near the port. Among the churches of Heraklion the one that stands out is the imposing and sizeable Metropolis of Agios Minas on Agia Ekaterini Square , built between Adjacent to it, stands the chapel of Mikros Agios Minas and on the northeast is situated the church of Agia Ekaterini 16th century , which functionsas a museum housing exhibits from the Cretan Renaissance.
One should not miss out on a visit to the Archaeological Museum , one of the most important museums in Greece; it contains almost all the unique treasures of the Minoan civilization unearthed at Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and other sites. In the market of Heraklion, one of the richest in the Mediterranean, visitors can find all sorts of modern products, as well as traditional Cretan products such the famous Cretan olive oil, raki, local wine, honey, herbs, etc.
Snake-Goddess BC This Snake Goddess image has been adopted by some as representing the psychic and spiritual power of women. In the beginning was the breast, for no infant could survive without it. The serpent is often symbolically associated with the renewal of life because it sheds its skin periodically. This Snake Goddess describes a number of figurines of a woman holding a snake in each hand found during excavation of Minoan archaeological sites in Crete dating from approximately BCE.
This most celebrated ‘Snake Goddess’ figure was discovered by the British archaeologist Arthur Evans in and is today exhibited at the Herakleion Archeological Museum in Crete. A faience figurine discovered in the crypts of the central shrine of the Palace of Knossos it is dated around BC.
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Home Cities Iraklion Heraklion or Herakleion is the largest urban centre in Crete, the capital of the region and the economic centre of the island. Hania or Chania is the second biggest town in Crete and is well known for its scenic old town and harbor. Rethymnon is built between the two other large cities of Crete. The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, fountains etc.
Heraklion Heraklion is the largest city of Crete with a population of about Heraklion houses the public services and the major scientific centers of Crete, being the commercial center of the island with the main port and airport. From a scenic city with unique traditional Venetian and Ottoman monuments in early s, as one of the most historical cities in the Mediterranean, Heraklion unfortunately turned into an ugly cement city, losing almost all of its aristocratic Chania Venice of the East” is regarded by many, and not unjustly, as the most beautiful city in Greece.
The picturesque city of Chania is the second largest city of Crete, after Heraklion, with more than 60, residents. Fortunately it did not follow the same fate as the other cities of Crete, e. Heraklion, where the great Venetian and Ottoman monuments were destroyed for the sake of economic growth and “modernization”.
8 Must-see Points of Interest in Greece
Crete is the largest island in Greece. Its interesting to me that it is more than double the size of the longest and largest island in the United States that I grew up on: Long Island, New York. To give you an idea of the size, it takes more than two hours to drive across Long Island. Like Greece itself, it would take a lifetime to really discover it all. I highly suggest staying for at least a week.
The earliest figural art known from Greece is dated to the Neolithic period (ca. 8,5 to 5 thousand years ago).A recent study of the petroglyphs at Asphendou Cave on the island of Crete, however, suggests that such art has a much longer history in the Aegean basin.
Tholos Tombs For centuries the Minoans used Tholos Tombs and sacred caves, along with pithoi and larnakes for burial of their dead. Many Tholos Tombs have been found in Crete dating back to prepalatial times. They were usually round in shape with one short entrance, although tholos tombs rectangular in shape were not unusual, like the ones found in Palekastro, and some were cut into hill sides, while most were free-standing structures.
What has survived to date consists of the foundations or the lower part of the walls, so it is difficult to gauge their height or their shape at the top. It is believed however that many had a flat wood framed roof. The largest tholos tomb is found in Platanos and measures about 13 meters in diameter. The tholos tombs were used extensively during the Prepalatial and Protopalatial periods BC , and many were continuously used until historic times.
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A selection of offers from the graveyard of Ayia Photia, near Siteia, from the Neolithic and pre-ppalatial times. Bird-shaped vases having incised decoration. Vases in the Vasiliki and Pyrgos kinds. The goddess of Myrtos is the main attraction, a libation vessel, keeping a little, beaked ewer, has a small head and a long neck. Stone vases, small, clay discs and gold jewellery from the pre-palatial time at Mochlos. A gold saw having insignia in Linear A.
Sareophagi from the post-palatial time, vases in the Geometric pattern and heads and busts from Archaic, Classical and Roman periods. Aghios Nikolaos church The Byzantine church of Aghios Nikolaos, from which the present day city got its name, is, maybe suitably, trapped within the property of the five-star hotel Minos Palace. It is really worth the time to get there, though, to check out examples of the first fresco pieces located in Greece, dating back to the 8th or 9th century.
The geometric designs as well as designs that make it through are the legacy of the Iconoclastic times, which prohibited the portrayal of divine pictures in christian artwork. Ancient city of Kamara Parts of the ancient city of Kamara. Lato pros Kamara, built on the place of recent Aghios Nikolaos, was the port of Lato pros Etaira, close to todays Kritsa, and from the close of the Second century Before christ — following the abandonment of the inland town — the community of the Lato region.
In the heart of Aghios Nikolaos parts of 5 structures as well as streets have already been exposed.
Expert guide to Crete
It is a wonderful destination in Central Greece and the Parnassos region. Mountains offer the perfect ski setting during winter, and are ideal for trekking during spring, while during summer, there are lovely coastal resorts along the Corinthian Gulf, perfect for relaxing. Combining the rocky slopes of the mountains and the crystal waters of the coast, Viotia is the perfect combination of natural elements.
It is also the perfect place to venture from and explore nearby counties, such as Fokida and Fthiotida. The city is the economic and trading centre of the area, and was built on the left hand side of the dried lake of Copaida. The River Erkinas passes through Livadia.
Jul 02, · % Offline guide to Crete My Crete Guide is the most complete and updated guide to the island of Crete. It allows users to explore known and unknown aspects of the island according to their own preferences/5(K).
Palace of Knossos Hominids settled in Crete at least , years ago. In the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, under the Minoans , Crete had a highly developed, literate civilization. After a brief period of autonomy — under a provisional Cretan government, it joined the Kingdom of Greece. Prehistoric Crete The first human settlement in Crete dates before , years ago, during the Paleolithic age. Minoan civilization Crete was the centre of Europe ‘s first advanced civilisation, the Minoan c.
Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos , Theseus and the Minotaur , passed on orally via poets such as Homer. The volcanic eruption of Thera may have been the cause of the downfall of the Minoan civilization.