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Listed 100 (total found 369) sub titles with search on: Sights  for wider area of: "CRETE Island GREECE" .

Sights (369)

Beautiful locations

Thodorou Island

  Opposite the beach, the small island of Thodorou is the home for a number of the protected wild goats (kri-kri) of Crete. No one is permitted on the island.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

The Amari Valley

  The Amari Valley (Kilada Amariou), southeast of Rethimnon runs from north to south Crete for 25km. This area is noted for the scenic beauty of its valleys and rolling hills against a backdrop of the Psiloritis Mountains. The valley is 400-500 metres above sea level. The peak of Psiloritis (2,545 metres above sea level) is on the east and Kedros (1,777 metres above sea level) is on the west. It is a major north-south pass and has seen a great deal of action throughout history. The Amari Valley is a fertile valley where many varieties of fruit trees are grown and a great number of well-preserved Byzantine churches may be seen.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Askifou Plateau

  Askifou is 52km south of Chania on the Chania - Hora Sfakion road. It is at 730 metres altitude, and has characteristic Turkish towers on a hill in the middle of the plateau. The Lefka Ori surround the plateau with the high peaks of Kastro on the west (2,218m), Tripali on the east (1,493m), and Agathes (1,511m) giving it the appearance of an amphitheatre. The plateau of Askifou was probably a lake in prehistoric times and the fertile patchwork fields yield wheat and potatoes. On this plateau in 1821 there was a major battle between the Turks and the Sfakiani revolutionaries that resulted in a victory for the locals. The fierceness of the battle and the heroic fighters are still remembered in local songs. You may rent rooms in the middle village, Amoudari of Askifou. You may also eat the local Sfakia pita, delicious kefalotiri cheese, and local thymari (thyme) honey in the pleasant village square. A statue to a local revolutionary hero Polentas has recently been erected here and to Tsontas, a hero from the Macedonian conflict in the 1900s.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Krapi Plateau

  The Krapi Plateau is on the road to Sfakia from Chania, before Askifou Plateau.

Kastro Mountain

  The Lefka Ori surround the plateau with the high peaks of Kastro on the west (2,218m). Above the Askifou Plateau, in Tavri, near the plateau of Niatos (1200m), there is a Mountain Refuge (Information: Mounainteering Club of Chania). The area of Askifou offers many walks for nature enthusiasts.

Anopolis Plateau

  From the plateau of Anopolis one has an exceptional view of the south side of the Lefka Ori. Climbs of the highest peaks of the Lefka Ori, at 2,500 metres, start from here. The view of the mountains is particularly impressive in the spring when they are covered in snow. The area is protected from the north winds and it has very mild weather all winter. This area of the Lefka Ori is also famous for its rare wild flowers that can be seen in the spring.

This extract is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

View Site

Aptera commands an impressive view of Souda Bay. From the fort you have a good view of the entrance of Souda Bay and also an aerial view of the other Venetian fort, (known by its Turkish name) Itzedin, below Aptera. Looking south across the valley of Stylos, you will enjoy the view of the Lefka Ori. The view is quite breathtaking from here in the spring when the White Mountains are covered with snow.


  The neighbourhood of Halepa rewards the visitor with several interesting buildings, including the residence of the celebrated prime minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos; the house of the first governor of Crete; the Russian-styled church of Agia Magdalini on Dagli Street; Galiki Skoli, a former convent which is now part of the Technical University of Crete; and the Tabakaria, a traditional leather processing area on the seashore.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


From Geraki one can reach the lovely chapel of Agia Anna, driving through a particularly beautiful landscape. To get there you must take a dirt road for about 13 km, so you can either walk, or else drive if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle that will stand up to the rough mountain surface.
You will find the view down over the Geraki glen compensates your efforts. A series of different types of landscape meet the eye: rocky parts in contrast to wooded land, sheep. goats and pretty stone-built sheepfolds. Bring some food with you: there is fresh running water by the chapel and the place is ideal for a picnic.

This text is cited Dec 2003 from the Interkriti URL below, which contains images.

The Nida Plateau

79 km from Rethymno is the well-known Nida Plateau situated on Mount Psiloritis. Not far from there you will find the Ideon Andron, the cave in which Zeus was housed as a child. On the Nida Plateau, which is used for pasturing during the summer months, you will find the famous "mitata", vaulted stone buildings, in which the shepherds live. Furthermore the Nida Plateau provides skiing facilities during the winter months.
On the Nida plateau, which is used in summer as pastureland, you will find the famous 'mitata', the vaulted buildings made from stone, where the shepherds live. The Nida plateau also offers a ski centre, which is open during the winter months.

  The fertile Nida Plateau at 1400 metres height in the Psiloritis Mountains is 24km from Anogia, 78km from Rethimnon, and 60km from Iraklion. In Nida one can see the traditional installations for cheese making, mitata, the skiing centre of Psiloritis, and the cave of Ideon Andron, which is considered to be the birth place of Zeus. There is also a well-marked path from the Ideon Cave by which you can reach the summit of Psiloritis in about 4 hours.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Mitata Cheese Houses

  On the way to Nida, and in Nida itself, there are the mitata, small round rooms for making cheese. The mitata are made of stone and their roofing is a dome constructed in the tradition of Minoan tombs, e.g. by placing successive layers of stones towards the centre of the circle until it is closed.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Beach and Caves

  Matala is famous for its man-made caves which were first inhabited during the prehistoric period. Tombs found in the caves date from Greek, Roman and Early Christian times. The 1960s and early 70s brought an influx of foreigners to the area and the caves attracted numerous international hippies and other free-spirited travellers. Today, the Archaeological Service protects the fenced-off caves. The sandy beach is semi-circular and 300 metres in length. Despite its size the beach can become quite overcrowded. A path along the rocks will bring you to the "red sand" beach after a 25-minute walk.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Keritis Valley

  The village of Meskla is very pleasantly situated between green hills in the Keritis Valley, has a river going through it, and the Lefka Ori as a background. The mountain views and the views of the valley down below are breathtaking.

Omalos Plateau

  At 1,080 metres in altitude, the plateau of Omalos is one of the three highest large plateaus of Crete. The plateau of Nida in Psiloritis is at 1,400 metres and Niatos, above Askifou, is 1,500 metres high. The plateau has three exits. The first one is the road from Chania. The entrance to the plateau (1,087m) on this road is called the Neratzoporta --The Orange Door. The second exit is the Samaria Gorge, which ends at Agia Roumeli. The third exit is in the southwest corner of the plateau. The road from here reaches Sougia through wild and captivating scenery. The plateau is surrounded by the peaks of the Lefka Ori: Volakias (2,116m); Gigilos, in front of Xiloskalo (2,081m); Samberos (2,005m), on the west side of the Samaria Gorge; and Psilafi (1,984m). The plateau is roughly triangular in shape and each side is about an hour's walk. During the winter months, snow may cover Omalos and the road may be closed for several days. The Omalos Plateau is green except in midsummer and is covered by wild flowers in the spring. The physical beauty of the area is as exhilarating as the mountain air and the plateau is a marvellous area for mountain hiking or walks. On the plateau there are tavernas and hotels, some of which are equipped for winter stays.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.


  The view from the ancient city is exceptional. To the north, one can see the sea of Kissamos Bay and to the south the dramatic formations and gorges of the mountains, which are covered in flowers in the spring.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Areas of Natural Beauty


Oropedio Spiliou (Spili Plateau)

SPILI (Small town) LAMBI
  Spili is the starting point of walking expeditions to the plateau above Spili where in the spring you can enjoy the rare Cretan flora.

Stylos Valley

  Looking south across the valley of Stylos, you will enjoy the view of the Lefka Ori. The view is quite breathtaking from here in the spring when the White Mountains are covered with snow.


The support bridge of the Venetian aqueduct

  Ιn the neighbourhood of Karidaki (there is no village) on a curve with a steep embankment on the right the second part of the Venetian aqueduct can be seen. The impressive supporting bridge cannot be seen from the road but can be seen on the left, below the road.

Greco-Roman Bridge

  The Greco-Roman bridge in Vrises is on the Vrisakos River, east of the town, at the exit of Vrises towards Rethimnon, under the new highway. The location is known by the name Elliniki Kamara (Greek Arch) and is beside a church north of the road into Vrises. The bridge, usable today, is made of dry stone covered with pebbles and stands 6.4 metres above the river.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.


Regional Division of Chania

Tel: +30 28213 40100-2
Fax: +30 28213 40201

Mansion of the first governor of Crete

  The residence of the first governor of Crete is between the Venizelos home and the Galiki Skoli.

Arsenali - Megalo Neorio ( The Great Shipyard )

  This is the last building on the west side of a complex of 17 shipyards. Construction of the building was begun in 1585 by the Commissioner General Alvise Grimani. The thickness of its walls, its isolation from the rest of the "Neoria", as well as the public services which were periodically housed there may account for the name "Great". The second floor, constructed in 1875 housed the school of the Christian Community. When restoration finishes it will be used by the "Mediterranean Centre of Architecture".

This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Municipality of Chania URL below, which contains images.

  The need for the presence of the Venician fleet in Crete forced Venice to build shipyards, (Arsenali or Neoria) where the ships were repaired in winter time. The south complex was completed in 1599, with the construction of 17 Neoria. In 1607 the construction of five more Neoria begins on the eastern basin of the harbour. These are known as the Moro Neoria and only two were ever completed. Today only 7 survive out of the 17. In their original form they were open on the side of the sea. The ceilings are arched, and they are connected with arched openings of the same thickness as the walls.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Municipality of Chania URL below, which contains images.

Great Arsenale

  In Chania harbour there is the Great Arsenale. This arsenal's second floor was used as a Town Hall and as a Mayor's residence during the Venetian era. The city and the University are presently making plans to restore the Arsenale.

Municipal Market

  The Market, impressive for its size and shape, was built on the remains of the bulwark Pietta Forma. The construction survey was commissioned to K. Thranthakis. The structure is in the shape of a cross with 76 shops grouped according to their wares in the four arms of the cross. The south facade is particularly well constructed out of chiselled limestone, in the architectural style of the local tradition, developed during the Venetian period. Construction was completed in 1913 and the formal opening was made by Eleftherios Venizelos on 4th December 1913 as part of the celebrations for the Unification of Crete to Greece.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Municipality of Chania URL below, which contains images.

  The covered market is in the centre of the city on busy Odos Hatzi Michali Yannari. Behind the market are the old Venetian and Turkish parts of the city, while in front is the modern commercial centre of Chania. The city market (agora) of Chania is prominent on the main east-west street of Chania and dates from the beginning of the century.
A cruciform building modelled on the market at Marseilles, it stands in the place of the main entrance of the Venetian fort that surrounded the city. Materials from the fort were used to build the market. The market celebrated its eightieth anniversary in 1993. The site that the market occupies is that of the former Venetian Pittafora Bastion. West of the market's front door are some of the bastion's remains. Near these remains the large and imposing Rethimnon Gate, the main entrance to the old city, once stood.
The Public Market of Chania has many grocery shops, as well as bakeries, meat, fish, and cheese stores. Many shops sell the local, well known, Cretan herbs. There is also a variety of restaurants and cafes frequented by the Chaniotes, as the people of Chania are called, during the day. The market has a lively atmosphere, especially on Saturdays.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Important specialized building, erected in the period of the Cretan State. It is cross-shaped in plan, influenced by the buildings of the so-called Iron Age of the 19th century, which characterizes the period of the Industrial Revolution. The building is distinguished by its elegance and good balance and preserves in schematic form the typical features of the late Neoclassicism.
The building of the Market was founded on April 14, 1911 by the Municipal Manolis Mountakis and was inaugurated on December 4, 1913 by the Prime Minister, Eleutherios Venizelos, during the celebration of the Union of Crete with Greece. Since then it has been used as the town's public market.

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

Turkish Bath (Hamum)

  Public baths - Hamams constitute a very old Moslem tradition, brought by the Ottomans of Asia Minor and spread throughout their domain. According to the Koran only running water can purify. On the whole, body hygiene was closely associated with worship and meditation. The Hamam is situated on Halithon Str., near the place where a Roman Bath used to be, and is decorated with beautiful mosaics. It is a multiple-domed structure with an arcade on the perimetre, which was demolished in 1941. The Hamam was built on the site of the Venician Monastery of St. Clara opposite St. Francis.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Municipality of Chania URL below, which contains image.

Dikastiko Megaron (Court House building)

  Construction was begun in the late years of the Turkish occupation in order to house a military hospital. The building complex consists of several wings in the form of a free rectangle, surrounding a central court with free access from the facade. Both this complex and its morphology greatly affected the design of the modern city and the planning of some key road junctions, as well as the circus opposite the facade. The building was renovated after a destructive fire in 1936, and a third floor was added to the central part.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Municipality of Chania URL below, which contains images.


  Tabakaria grew into a district of leather processing houses on the rocky eastern side of the city, beyond the walls, in the middle of the 19th century. This area was chosen for the following reasons : the abundant brackish subterranean waters used to soften leather, and its relative closeness to the city. Today some of the leather processing houses are still in operation. Adjusted to the natural properties of the land, the buildings have only one floor on the side of the street and two or three floors on the side of the sea. They are made of stone with tile roofs. They are built close to each other with very narrow, steep passages and steps going down to the sea. They constitute a unique architectural complex.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Municipality of Chania URL below, which contains images.

Venetian portal

  There is a very interesting Venetian door (Porta Romano) in the village. The house at one time was used by the Turkish administration (the Pasha) of the area.

The School at Ano Archanes

An excellent specimen of a specialized building, one of the first structures erected during the period of the Cretan State. It was designed by the architect Salivero, one of Prince George's officials. The plans were completed in 1901 and the construction was accomplished thanks to donations of rich Archanians living in the U.S.A. The building is Pi-shaped in plan, has two storeys and a basement, it is built of stone and its roof is partially wooden and covered with tiles. It is a monumental but well balanced structure with many harmonic and elegant Neoclassical features.
Since its construction, the building has been used as a school. During the German occupation it housed General Muller's division.
The building was repaired by the 7th Ephorate during 1990-1995.
It houses the two Primary Schools of Ano Archanes.

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

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.


  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.

Eleftherios Venizelos House

  Mournies is the village where Crete's famous statesman Eleftherios Venizelos was born. The house is on the main street and is now a museum.

Turkish Court House

  Neapolis has many buildings as well as roads from the Turkish era left from the able administration (1867-1871) of Adhosidis Kostis Pasha. These include the present-day Law Courts (provincial) and various school buildings in Neapolis.

Private Buildings

  Not only did the Venetian architecture prevail in public buildings but attempts were also made on a similar line in the private building sector. Admittedly, private houses and mansions in the cities and in the countryside could by no means be compared with small Venetian palaces, despite the attempts that were made in that direction, due to economic reasons, but most of all because of the dominant traditional Cretan architecture. Particularly with common private houses the architecture of the Renaissance of western countries was expressed mainly in the faηade and more precisely in the doorframe of the entrance. These doorframes, some of which were held simple, others superbly ornamented with pilasters, columns and fine entablatures, represented all architectural orders of the Renaissance: Doric, Ionian, Corinthian and mixed.
The buildings of the city of Rethymno: Private houses in the Venetian quarters of Rethymno, of both simple and luxurious style, still decorate the alleys and streets of the old town up to the present day. As already mentioned, the influence of Renaissance architecture was restricted to the decoration of doorframes, which sometimes showed a rectilinear or semi-circular lintel usually depicting an anthemion in the arch.
The mansion at 154, Arkadiou Street: This lavish mansion was built during the last years of Venetian occupation. An inscription in both Greek and Turkish writing as well as the date 1844 can be observed; the date probably refers to the restoration of the building. The doorframe with its Doric columns and its pediment is of particular beauty.
Doorframe of the residence at 13, Klidis Street: Doorframes often display ornaments in the triangular space beside the semi-circular pediment, as is the case in this building, where the interesting motif of naked children hunting birds is depicted. In the crown of the doorframe with its Corinthian capitals the following inscription can be seen: QUI SPERAT IN DEO SUBLEVABITUR (He who believes in God will be comforted).
Doorframe of the residence at 48, Arkadiou Street: This is one of the most impressive doorframes in the town of Rethymno displaying pilasters with Corinthian capitals and columns with capitals influenced by the Gothic order. Both triangular sides of the semi-circular lintel are ornamented with cupids. The relief of an acanthus in the crown of the arch is also very impressive.
Doorframe of the residence at 30, Vernardou Street: This interesting doorframe displays a Latin inscription dated 1607 as well as the coat of arms of the Clodio family.

This text is cited Nov 2003 from the Tourism Promotion Committee of Rethymno Prefecture URL below, which contains images.

Venetian door (48 Akadiou street)

Mansion (50 Arkadiou Street)

Ornate balcony (64 Arkadiou street)

Venetian Loggia

The Loggia, situated in the centre of the city, was a magnificent building, where the nobility met to discuss political and economic issues. It dates back to the 16th century and was built according to the plans of the famous Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli. The well-preserved building has a square ground plan with three vaulted sides (the west side is not vaulted). It is built of regular sized stones and the projections of the cornice are particularly beautiful. Originally the building was open and had a four-sided roof, qualities which do not apply any more today.

This extract is cited Jan 2004 from the Tourism Promotion Committee of Rethymno Prefecture URL below, which contains image.

  The sixteenth century Venetian Loggia on the corner has survived in almost perfect shape. The Loggia was an intricate part of Venetian social life providing space for both entertainment and business. Notice the two gargoyles with human faces on the west wall. Each of the three visible walls have three equal semi-circular arches with the middle arch providing an entrance at the ground level. The building is closed, as the city plans to renovate its interior.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Turkish Primary School

Beside the church is the entrance to the Turkish primary school, which is still a primary school (Greek). The double arched doorway is a replica of the Fortezza entrance but with ornate relief of vines, lions, mosques and a crescent moon. The other door of the school (west side) has an inscription attesting to the girl's school founded there in 1796. In the north end of the school yard there is a Turkish grave, which is in very good condition, of a hero of the Battle of Rethimnon. Also the school yard has a good view of the Neratze Mosque and its minaret.

This text is cited Jan 2004 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

Venetian Constructions

  In Sternes there is a large Venetian structure as well as remains of Venetian houses.

Eleftherios Venizelos Centre for Independence

  The Eleftherios Venizelos Centre for Independence is in Therisos. In 1905, Venizelos, the revered Cretan politician, set up a revolutionary assembly here demanding immediate union with mainland Greece. As a result of this assembly and the ensuing riots, Prince George, the High Commissioner of Crete, resigned. Finally, in 1913, Venizelos's dream of union with Greece was realised. The house (his mother's) is to the left in the middle of the village, and has been preserved, but no official status is given to it.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Byzantine & Post-byzantine monuments

Venetian Villa De Mezzo

ETIA (Settlement) LASSITHI
Tel: +30 28430 23917
  Etia is situated between the Papagiannades and Armenoi villages. Doubtless the name "Etia" comes from the namesake tree (Itia in Greek means willow). Though the settlement already existed in the Byzantine period - as the Byzantine churches of St. John and St. Catherine indicate - it flourished at the time of the Venetian occupation in Crete (1204-1669), as a fiefdom of the Venetian family De Mezzo. The jewel of their estate is villa De Mezzo, which is considered among the most characteristic examples of the Venetian urban architecture in Crete. In the following years of the Ottoman occupation, it was used as the residence of the Turkish officials, and therefore named by the locals "Seragio-Saray".
  The first to mention that the villa of Etia was built by a rich and noble Venetian was the English Admiral T. B. Spratt, whose comments on his travels in Crete remain a valuable historical source from the mid-19th century. Later, the Italian archaeologist G. Gerola, links the owner of the villa with the members of the De Mezzo family. According to the genealogical records of the Venetian gentry there were three Mezzi in Sitia, Pietro, Nicholas and Giacobbe. Among them, Pietro dei Mezzo is considered to be the founder of the Etia estate and the owner of its villa towards the end of the 15th century.
  The very emblem of De Mezzo, consisting of exotic figures bearing a broad shield, stands over the imposing entrance of the main megaron. By passing the entrance of the three-storey building, the visitor enters a barrel-vaulted antechamber with paved floor. Opposite the entrance, a staircase leads to the second floor. Here, on the lintel of the entrance to the floors, around a relief head, runs the following inscription in capital Latin letters:


let your lordship come in, without embarrassment

Right from the corridor, one enters a big, oblong hall, possibly the servants' dining room, while the small dark space on the left could be the cellar. The antechamber also leads to halls with rib-vault, arched or vaulted ceilings and large windows facing to the yard. A small secluded room, that sticks out of the west wall of the villa could be a prison cell. Outside the megaron, just south of the courtyard, there were other vaulted apartments, the warehouses of the rich host.
  In the turbulent years of the 19th century Cretan revolts against the Ottoman regime, the villa suffered extensive damage and, as a result, the second and third floor of the building collapsed in ruins. Subsequently, abandonement and time came to fill the wear, until the villa was declared preserved historical monument and was restored by the Archaeological Service.

• Municipality of Lefki
Municipality of Sitia

Venetian Villa

  In Vizari, near the centre of the village, there are also the remains of the Palazzo dei Saonazzi and its sundial.

Byzantine churches

Agii Deka byzantine church

  The church of Agii Deka presents many similarities with the church of the Panagia Paliani, but it is not clear if it is of the first or the second Byzantine period. It is a three-aisled basilica and the aisles are separated from each other with five arches supported by three marble columns without bases. The bases of the columns, simply decorated, seem to have been used as column capitals. The floor is of white marble slabs enclosed in dark marble frames. The church has an old narthex also subdivided into three parts and the exterior walls of the church have blind arches.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

The Early Christian Basilica of Agios Titos

GORTYS (Ancient city) HERAKLIO
  The Early Byzantine church of Agios Titos is one of the most important churches in Crete. It was originally a three-aisled basilica, but its architecture was influenced by the sixth century trends of cruciform architecture developed in Byzantium. A transverse aisle in the middle gives it a cruciform shape. At the ends of this aisle there are conches (domed roof of the apse). There was a dome in the middle, and the church had a narthex in the front. The nave and the arms of the cross are barrel-vaulted and the back of the church has three conches.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

The Byzantine church of Agia Marina

  Near the village of Kalogeros is the Byzantine church of Agia Marina. Not visible from a distance and rather difficult to find, the church, located near a hermit's cave, contains frescoes from the fourteenth century.

Agios Ioannis Theologos byzantine church

  There are also some fine examples of Byzantine churches in Margarites: The church of Agios Ioannis Theologos has frescoes from 1383.

Byzantine church of Michael Archangelos

  The Byzantine church of Michael Archangelos is on a small square in the village. It has an elegantly carved front door and pleasant decorations on the windows. There is only one fresco in this church, that of the Assumption of the Virgin, but it is of very good quality. The bell of the church has drawings of Michael Archangelos and the date 1601 on it.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Basilica at Vizari of Rethymnon

Tel: +30 28210 56119, 53033
Fax: +30 28210 56118

Castles, fortresses & fortifications

The Turkish castle in Agia Roumeli

  On the west side of the south end of Samaria Gorge, on top of a hill, are the remains of a Turkish castle.

Turkish fort Itzedin


Fort Firca

  The fort still known with its Turkish name, Firca (Firka = barracks) was built in order to protect the entrance of the harbour. A thick chain from Firca to the base of the light-house closed the harbour in case of siege. The fort was the headquarters of the Military Commander of the city. The inside area was divided into barracks and ammunition warehouses. The buildings of the west wing have two-floors with dome covered rooms. Over the door of the first floor there is the following inscription : "ALOYSIUS BRAGADEUS PROVISOR CYDONIAE M. DCXX". In the centre of the court, there is a large water reservoir, where the water running from the roofs was collected. In the period of the Turkish occupation and until fairly recently, Firca was used as military barracks and a prison. The flag of the Unification of Crete to Greece was symbolically raised on the corner watch-tower on 1st December 1913.

This text is cited Sep 2002 from the Municipality of Chania URL below, which contains images.

  The Firkas Bastion is at the western end of the outer harbour. It now houses the Naval Museum. The Venetians used it as a prison for Greeks condemned to death. Eleftherios Venizelos and King Constantine officially raised the Greek flag here in 1913. During the summer months, the Firkas is host to a local Cretan dance group that gives public performances. Plays and concerts are also performed here.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Venetian Castle

  In the village of Harakas there are remains of a Venetian castle on a 35-metre hill. From the castle there is a wonderful view of the Mesara Plain.

Frangocastello of Sfakia

Tel: +30 28210 56119, 53033
Fax: +30 28210 56118
  The Venetian fortress was erected by the rulers of the island in 1371, in order to protect the small bay from the pirates. However it was barely used for defensive purposes during the Venetian era and on the eve of the Turkish attack, it was actually abandoned. In 1828 the Cretan rebels occupied the fortress and during the siege that followed, its towers were destroyed.
  The fortified castle is a typical example of the Venetian defence architecture with a rectangular shape with towers on each side. Over the gate, one sees a relief with the Lion of St Marcus and the Venetian crowns. The buildings in the interior, as well as the battlements, were constructed during the ottoman occupation; at the same time many repairs were carried out. Underneath the fortress, there are the ruins of the church of St Marcus.
  According to tradition, during the second half of May and with a specific weather, shadows of the armed cretan warriors, who lost their lives there, seem to march towards the fortress. The locals call them "Drosoulites". Near the fortress, is the church of St Niketas of 1371, where there are traces of an Early Christian basilica. The works of restoration and consolidation were carried out by the 13th Ephorate οf Byzantine Antiquities.

The Venetian Fort of Frangokastello

  The exterior of the Venetian fortress (1371) has survived in excellent condition although the interior is in ruins. It has a square design with a tower at each corner. Above the gate is the emblem of Venice, the lion of St. Mark. The Venetians built the castle to deter pirate raids and to bring some order to this area. The castle is associated with some fierce battles. In 1828, a small band of Greeks, headed by Hatzi Michali Daliani, occupied the castle in an attempt to spread the War of Independence to Crete. He and his small band of rebels were massacred by the much larger Turkish force on the plain of Frangokastello. Their martyrdom became the subject of heroic legends and songs. The local legend says that on or around the anniversary of this battle (17 May), you can see the ghosts of Daliani and his army. They appear in the early morning, marching from the castle. These spirits are called "dhrosoulites" or "dew shadows" by the locals.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

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.

Venetian Fortress & Harbour

The Venetians built the fortress and harbour and in 1626, they enlarged and reinforced it. Recently, the castle was restored by the city.

Venetian Castle

  The name Kastelli came from the Venetian castle that was in the town but the town's formal name is Kissamos. The bombing of World War II mostly destroyed the castle.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Byzantine Fort of Kyriakoselia

  In the village of Kastelli, at the top of the valley, you may walk to the summit of the hill (15 min.), to see the Byzantine fort of Kyriakoselia. Inside the walls behind the new church there are reservoirs and wells and the remains of the original Byzantine church of Agia Paraskevi.

The fortress of Monopari

After the 4th Crusade Crete was turned over to Bonifatius of Montferrat, who at a later date sold the island to the Venetians. However, in 1206 the Genovese pirate Enrico Pescatore conquered and besieged the island, and only as late as 1210 did the Venetians succeed in recapturing it. One of the fortresses built by Pescatore is the Fortress of Monopari (Bonripario), remnants of which can be seen from the top of the precipitous hill of Kastellos near the village Ano Valsamonero. Being already a natural stronghold the site merely demanded the construction of a wall at the north side of the hill, which provided the only access. Although the fort has not been restored, one can clearly distinguish two rows of walls at the north side, including three towers for the protection of the entrance, as well as the remains of buildings, two of which were probably storerooms, a cistern and a well.

This text is cited Febr 2004 from the Tourism Promotion Committee of Rethymno Prefecture URL below, which contains image.

Castle Selino

  In Paleohora, the Venetians built a fortress in 1282 and called it Castle Selino, the name of the district today. The pirate Barbarosa destroyed the fort in a raid in 1539 but the outside of the fort is still well-preserved.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.

At this location many Venetian maps present the Fort called Selino - Kasteli. The fort was built in 1280-82 and for its favor all the country was renamed from "Orina" to "Selino". The fort was destroyed by the Romans of the Crete in 1332. It was rebuilt in 1334 by the Venetians and under the Fort they founded a new settlement for workers and merchants, that took the name Vourgos. The pirate Barbarosa destroyed the fort in 1539, but later in 1595 Dolf revamped it.

This text is cited Jan 2004 from the Interdynamic S.A. URL below, which contains image

Byzantine Fort

  In the area there are visible remains of the Byzantine fort as it was repaired by the Venetians. The remainders of five churches are also visible, some of them dating from the era of Nikiforos Fokas. The fort itself (Roka) is on the west peak of the hill which was the acropolis of ancient Lycastos. The fortifications are visible from a distance as you approach the village of Profitis Ilias and they can be reached by car and a short walk to enter the area within the walls. In the upper castle (east side) are the remainders of the church of Agios Nikolaos and two cisterns. Between the two hills on the north side are the remains of Agia Paraskevi and fortifications. On the west hill are the remainders of the Panagia, which has a north-south orientation, a double cistern, a large fountain, and the church of Agios Antonios which was a military barracks during the Venetian era.

This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.


Tel: +30 28310 40150-6, 23653, 58842
Fax: +30 28310 40159, 58843
  The fortress of Rethymnon was built between 1573 and 1580 by the Venetians, for the protection of the city by the Turkish threat. It is starshaped with three gates and six bastions. The fortress enclosed the Commander' s house, the Counsellor' s house, barracks, stables, ammunition - storehouses, a cistern and private houses which were later destroyed. There was no systematic excavation on the site. Small-scale excavations have been conducted during the restoration works, in the course of which came to light remains of the ancient city.
  Some years earlier, the 13th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities effectuated works of restoration and consolidation. The architect D. Pikiones had completed a study concerning a new project of the fortezza: a theatre for representations of the medieval cretan plays, tourist accomodations etc. Today the Municipality of Rethymnon in collaboration with the competent services, suggests a restoration study which will bring the monument to its full advantage.
  The most important monuments and architectural complexes are:
  The Counsellors' residence. It is formed of a ground floor and a first floor with large rooms. It was an imposing building, and served during the ottoman occupation, as an official residence. The Italian Remaissance palaces served probably as the model for its construction.
  The Rector' s residence. It was an imposing complex. Today in ruins.
  The Cathedral. It was founded in 1583 and dedicated to St Nicolas. During the Ottoman occupation it was turned into a mosque of Sultan Ibrahim. It is a large square room with a cupola. The only remnants of it are the minaret' s base and the mihrab.
  Gunpownder-shorehouses. Inside the fortress there are two gunpowder-storehouses: They are rectangular buildings with vault and air-locks. The walls are thick with small doors and extra rooms for better safety.
  Ammunition-storehouse. The ground floor and the first floor are covered with vaults. Over the entrance of the ground floor there is an arched lintel. Three pillars supported the wooden floor of the first floor, where several parts of guns were stored.
  Possible Bishop' s Mansion. It is formed of two buildings: The larger, is a unified room covered with vaults, while the smaller is a latter addition. It is considered as the Bishop' s Mansion because of the Cathedral near by.

The Fortezza

  The new fortification of the building complex included a magnificent entrance gate, the Porta Guora, which led to the central square, where the superb public buildings such as the Loggia, the Rimondi Fountain and the sundial tower were situated. In 1571 Ulutz Ali devastated the wall during one of his raids. Thus it became absolutely vital to fortify the hill of Palaiokastro (Old Castle) and to relocate the entire city there. Many problems had to be solved before the Fortezza was finally built during the period between 1573 and 1578. However, the city was never transferred to the safe area within the walls.
  Two years after the destruction, on September 1573, the Rector Alvise Lando laid the foundation stone of the castle, which was to be built according to the drafts of Sforza Palavicini. After a large number of modifications, the fortress was finally completed in 1590. The general draft of the fortress provided new forms of defence, which had become necessary, since gunpowder had come into use: The polygonal ground plan included bastions whilst the walls were wider and inclined. In reality however, due to the morphology of the land only three bastions could be built to the South and to the East, while the north wall formed three peaks. In general the draft of the fortification wall was not the best possible, since it limited defensive abilities. The rocky surface, which impeded an appropriate construction, the lack of a moat, the limited free space around the fortress resulting from the inhabitants' refusal to demolish their houses were some of the basic factors, which limited successful defensive action. Contrary to that the infrastructure of the interior space was probably well planned: Public buildings were situated at a distance from the wall, the ammunition storerooms were housed at the safe north side, and a square formed the centre of the fortress. The interior of the fortress accommodated the following basic buildings: the storeroom of the artillery, where canons and weapons were kept, the residence of the Councillors, where one of the city's two Venetian councillors lived, the residence of the Rector, which represented a luxurious, magnificent building in the central square of the fortress.
  West of the central square and opposite the cathedral the Rector's residential premises were built, part of which have been preserved up to today. The building was founded in 1575 and completed in 1582, and it was first occupied by the Rector Anzolo Barocci. He continued to modify the building up until 1584, because he considered it to be too high and exposed on the hill of Aghios Athanassios, in the west of the city. The imposing and luxurious style of the building is testified to in written records of that time referring to 49 doors, 81 windows, two staircases as well as galleries. Unfortunately, none of the buildings of this complex could be preserved, except for part of the prison, which Barocci had built east of the main residence, and for the cathedral, which was situated opposite the remarkable residential complex of buildings and was dedicated to Aghios Nikolaos. The temple of Sultan Ibrahim was built on the ruins of the cathedral of San Nicolo during the Turkish occupation. New elements such as the large semi-circular dome, the apse of Michrab in the centre of the southeastern side as well as the minaret, which was built next to the entrance, characterised the transformation of the cathedral into a Muslim temple.

This text is cited Jan 2004 from the Tourism Promotion Committee of Rethymno Prefecture URL below, which contains images.

  The giant Fortezza dominates Rethimnon, and is reputed to be the largest Venetian castle ever built. Designed to shelter the entire population, it included a church, barracks, a hospital, and storerooms.
  The Venetians built the Fortezza during a transitional period in military history. In the fifteenth century, armies began using gunpowder in military activities and this prompted the designing of forts which could withstand this type of attack. The Venetians in Rethimnon did not have adequate funds to complete the Fortezza according to the new formula for defensive structures. They allowed the houses of the town to remain close to the walls, leaving no distancing space or room for a moat. This, as well as other factors, including a cholera epidemic in the fort, led to a rather easy victory for the Turkish invaders in 1645.

  Sites of the Fortress:
Main Gate: The main gate is between the Agios Pavlos and the Agios Nikolaos Bastions that were its protectors. The gate is a tunnel going through the walls, wide and high enough to allow for movement of troops, wagons and artillery.
Artillery Magazine: The Artillery Magazine is the first building on your right as you enter the Fortezza. The bottom floor was used to store the cannons while small arms were kept on the second floor. The flat roofs of the buildings collected rainwater which was then piped to the cisterns. Evidence of the aqueduct system can be seen on the Artillery Magazine.
Cisterns: There were many cisterns in the fort. The flat roofs gathered the water and pipes conducted it to the cisterns. One of the better examples of this is in the Agios Ilias Bastion. It is on the southeast point of the fort, to the left of the artillery magazine (near the open air theatre). This chamber is open and is one of the fort's more interesting sights.
Bishop's Palace: There is some question as to whether this actually was the bishop's quarters, since what remains does not resemble any description of the bishop's palace.
Ibrahim Han Mosque: After a Turkish attack destroyed the cathedral of the city, the Venetians decided to build the new one inside the Fortezza. The Turks converted it to a mosque after they captured Rethimnon and named it after their sultan. The mihrab (prayer niche that points to Mecca) is on the east wall.
Governor's Residence: The original building was very large, but very little of it has survived.
Powder Magazines: Two of three magazines remain. They were located in remote places in the fort. The very thick walls were constructed to withstand cannonball fire and with ventilation holes to keep the powder dry.
Councillor's Residence: This is where one of the two counsellors lived. Their job was to control the residents of Rethimnon. Evidence of a Turkish bath is in the upper northwest corner.
Storerooms: The Venetians put the storerooms at the northern wall to be safer from attack. There were underground storage rooms as well as a level above ground. Notice the ventilation holes in the walls. The passage to the gate lies in the middle of these rooms.
Unidentified Buildings: Archaeologist know little about these buildings. The cement trench on the east side dates from World War II and led into a holding room for Cretan resistance fighters whom the Nazis eventually executed.
Civilian Living Quarters: The occupants of these buildings were poor and construction was therefore not strong, so, little remains of the houses.

This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Venetian Fort

  There were fortifying walls around the city of Sitia from the Byzantine period. These fortifications were restored by the Genoese and by the Venetians but were never very strong. In 1539, the pirate Barbarosa conquered the city and levelled the forts and the town. When the Turks invaded the island the Venetians destroyed the fort so that it would not fall into the hands of Turks. The ruins of a Venetian castle are still visible today. A tower of three storeys has survived. North of the fort there is a little chapel built from the ruins of a Venetian monastery destroyed by the Turks.

This text is cited Mar 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.


Tel: +30 28410 41773
  The islet of Spinalonga is located at the entrance of the Elounta bay. In antiquity there was a fortress of the Olounites. In 1579 the Venetians built an imposing fortress and the islet was used as a military camp during the Venetian - Ottoman wars which ended with the subjection of Crete to the Turks in 1669. It is noteworthy that the fortified Spinalonga was occupied by the Ottomans only in the early 18th century and was used as a settlement until the end of the 19th centrury. From 1903 until 1957, by law of the Cretan and later the Greek State, Spinalonga was established as a settlement for the lepers.


Spileo Arkoudas

  The cave of Our Lady of the Bear (Spileo Arkoudas) is on the path from Gouverneto to Katholiko. The chapel dedicated to the Virgin is inside the cave. At the rear of the cave there is a grey bear-shaped stalagmite with a small pond in front of it. Local legend says that the Virgin Mary turned the bear to stone after she caught it drinking the monks' water. Archaeologist claim that in antiquity the cave was a shrine to Artemis, who was transformed into the shape of a bear. On the first day of February local people come in the evening for the church service and stay in the cave afterwards to celebrate with food and wine.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below.

Peristera Cave

South of the village

Gerani Cave

The Gerani cave displays magnificent stalagmites and boasts 6 halls. Apart from three human skeletons archaeological research has brought to light a variety of bone and stone tools dating back to the Neolithic period. Furthermore important material of palaeontological interest was found, probably relics of more than 100 endemic deer, which must have died towards the end of the Pleistocene period. The human skeletons belonged to people who were probably trapped in the cave, perhaps due to an earthquake.

Ideon Cave

The Ideon Andron is situated on the Nida plateau of Mount Psiloritis, 24 km from the village of Anoghia and 78 km from the town of Rethymno. Initially its extraordinary large entrance impresses visitors to the Ideon Andron, which is at a height of 1538 m. The cave itself is of particularly large dimensions, with a vast central hall and a gallery of 22 m in length. The cave, in which Zeus was raised according to mythology, represented an important place of worship in both the Minoan and the Roman period. The excavation works that were carried out in the interior of the cave revealed an abundance of important finds such as ceramics, gold jewellery, metal objects and of course the famous bronze shields. Since research is still in progress the cave cannot be visited.

Kamares' cave

  The Kamares Cave contained a very distinct form of pottery, "Kamares", dating back to 2000 B.C.; it is now on display in the Iraklion Museum. You can walk to the cave in 4 hours on a difficult path that is not well-marked. From Kamares you can reach the peak of Psiloritis. This is only recommended for experienced hikers.

This text is cited Dec 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.

Bat cave


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