Heraklion is the main
city on the island of Crete and usually the starting
point for visitors wishing to explore the island.
The city, built on a
fairly steep hillside, has a huge harbour to accommodate
ferries and cruise liners, and an international
airport. Heraklion is busy, bustling and full
of hotels, fast food outlets, shops and traffic.
The main square of Plateia Venizelou is a pedestrian
mall sporting cafes and restaurants, with some
fascinating shops in the surrounding streets.
Like many Greek cities
Heraklion’s architecture was influenced
by Venetian occupation, and a Venetian fortress
dominates the harbour. The city’s pride
and joy, though, is its archaeological museum,
which contains the world’s most comprehensive
collection of artefacts from the Minoan civilisation,
which flourished on Crete around 1,600 BC.
Heraklion is close to
the major archaeological site associated with
the Minoans at Knossos.
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