Heraklion Town, Crete: Heraklion is the capital and largest town of Crete. It is the administrative, commercial, industrial and agricultural centre of the island with a population of 130.000 inhabitants most of whom are engaged in tourism, trade and agriculture.
Coming to Heraklion Town for the first time, the visitor nowadays may be somewhat surprised by the changes that are taking place in Crete’s capital city; Heraklion Town is celebrating its rich history and moving onwards to a future full of potential.
Heraklion Town – Crete Holidays
Where, at one time, the number of cars in the city centre would have made walking difficult, you will now find large city-centre spaces cleared of traffic. In Heraklion Town, You can enjoy walking in one of the most historically and socially fascinating cities facing the Mediterranean, on streets free from traffic noise and rush. The city has opened up in so many ways, making the city a place of discovery. These changes bring a harmony too; between the traditionally warm, considerate people of Heraklion Town, and the fine buildings that surround us, the open public spaces and views over the ocean. Many landmarks tell their story about the city and the island that gave birth to gods, to rebellion, and to a place that inspires everyone who feels the spirit of Crete.
Heraklion Town today is living between the fast moving currents of regeneration and a deep desire to maintain links with a past. Both these strands define its character. In the last hundred years alone, we have seen huge changes, which can be quite easily followed, in buildings and streets that reflect the changing fortunes of Crete. The ‘old town’ areas of the city, established from mediaeval times, now offer visitors some fantastic walks in the heart of the city.
The town lies close to Knossos Palace, one of the most interesting sightseeings and around the busy port. Over the last decades and after World war II Heraklion has experienced a spectacular development that has caused many problems like lack of parking, chaotic constructions and traffic jams.
The busy town has nothing in common with the beautiful and picturesque towns of Chania, Rethymno and Agios Nikolaos although there are still several well-preserved buildings and ancient remains that witess the town&’s glorious past.
Some of the best sightseeings in Heraklion Town is the Venetian fortress or Koules built at the entrance of the Venetian port. The Loggia is a remarkable two storey building and today it houses the Town Hall, it is really worth admiring. Several fountains adorn the squares of the town while travellers have the chance to make some nice shopping in the numerous local shops found at the centre. Today, Heraklion Town seems more like a big city and is home to one of the best Greek Universities. Moreover, it is the base of the well-esteemed Science and Technology Park.
Heraklion is the birthplace of many renowned spirits, among them is the novelist Nikos Kazantzakis, the great poet Odysseas Elytis and Dominikos Theotokopoulos, one of the most famous painters in the world.