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Dia Island
Category: Island
Prefecture: Heraclion
Address: Heraklio
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Dia Island

Η νήσος Δία ή Ντία βρίσκεται 7 ναυτικά μίλια βορειοανατολικά της πόλης του Ηρακλείου. Αποτελεί μέρος του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικτύου Φύσης (NATURA) 2000, λόγω της πολύ σημαντικής βιοποικιλότητας που συναντάει κανείς στο νησί. Στη Ντία υπάρχει ένας αριθμός προστατευόμενων πλασμάτων: το σαλιγκάρι Albinariaretusa , η σαύρα Pdacriserchardiischiebeli, τα άγρια κουνέλια Oryctolagus, ένα είδος γερακιού, τα γνωστά κρι-κρι και ο αετός που ονομάζεται «μαυροπετρίτης». Αποτελεί πολύ σημαντικό βιότοπο για ενδημικά φυτά με μικρή εξάπλωση στο Νότιο Αιγαίο.

Σύμφωνα με το μύθο, η Ντία ήταν ένα κολοσσιαίο θαλάσσιο τέρας το οποίο πλησίασε κοντά στην Κρήτη και την τελευταία στιγμή ο Δίας το μετέτρεψε σε πέτρα με ένα ισχυρό κεραυνό, δημιουργώντας έτσι το νησί.

Στο νησί δεν υπάρχουν καθόλου υποδομές και παραμένει ανέγγιχτο από την ανθρώπινη οικιστική παρέμβαση. Υπάρχουν καραβάκια που εκτελούν καθημερινά ημερήσιες εκδρομές από διάφορες περιοχές του Δήμου Χερσονήσου, καθώς αποτελεί αγαπημένο προορισμό για στιγμές χαλάρωσης των επισκεπτών δημοφιλούς θέρετρου.

Όπως διασώζει ο Τζουάνες Παπαδόπουλος στο βιβλίο του «Στον καιρό της σχόλης»(Π.Ε.Κ.,Ηράκλειο 2013, σ.162-163), που γράφτηκε λίγο μετά την κατάκτηση της Κρήτης από τους Τούρκους (1669), στην πλευρά του νησιού που έβλεπε προς την πόλη «ήταν τρεις όρμοι, ο πρώτος στη δυτική άκρη,που λεγόταν λιμάνι του Αγίου Γεωργίου, όπου βρισκόταν μια εκκλησία μ’ αυτό το όνομα αλλά ερειπωμένη και δεν τη λειτουργούσαν παρά μόνο όταν ερχόταν κανένα καραβάκι με Ρωμιούς από ξένα μέρη(…).

Ήταν μετά πιο πέρα, περίπου στη μέση αυτού του νησιού, ο όρμος που ονομαζόταν της Παναγίας, που είχε και αυτός την ομώνυμη ορθόδοξη εκκλησούλα του(…). Κι ακόμα παραπέρα απ’ αυτόν τον όρμο βρισκόταν ο τελευταίος, ο πιο βολικός και ευρύχωρος, ο όρμος του Αγίου Νικολάου, με την εκκλησία του, ερειπωμένη όμως…»

Places near Dia Island

Archeological Museum of Heraclion
Archeological Museum of Heraclion 7538 hits
The Herakleion Archaeological Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in Greece, and among the most important museums in Europe. It houses representative artefacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times. The singularly important Minoan collection contains unique examples of Minoan art, many of them true masterpieces. The Herakleion Museum is rightly considered as the museum of Minoan culture par excellence worldwide. 
The museum, located in the town centre, was built between 1937 and 1940 by architect Patroklos Karantinos on a site previously occupied by the Roman Catholic monastery of Saint-Francis which was destroyed by earthquake in 1856. The museum's antiseismic building is an important example of modernist architecture and was awarded a Bauhaus commendation. Karantinos applied the principles of modern architecture to the specific needs of a museum by providing good lighting from the skylights above and along the top of the walls, and facilitating the easy flow of large groups of people. He also anticipated future extensions to the museum. The colours and construction materials, such as the veined polychrome marbles, recall certain Minoan wall-paintings which imitate marble revetment. The two-storeyed building has large exhibition spaces, laboratories, a drawing room, a library, offices and a special department, the so-called Scientific Collection, where numerous finds are stored and studied. The museum shop, run by the Archaeological Receipts Fund, sells museum copies, books, postcards and slides. There is also a cafe. 
The Herakleion Archaeological Museum is a Special Regional Service of the Ministry of Culture and its purpose is to acquire, safeguard, conserve, record, study, publish, display and promote Cretan artefacts from the Prehistoric to the Late Roman periods. The museum organizes temporary exhibitions in Greece and abroad, collaborates with scientific and scholarly institutions, and houses a variety of cultural events.
The first archaeological collection of the town of Herakleion was constituted in 1883 with the initiative of the local Philekpaideutikos Syllogos (Association of Friends of Education), which was headed by the doctor and antiquarian Joseph Chatzidakis. Chatzidakis also obtained permission from the Ottoman authorities to establish the first 'archaeological service'. The collection was housed inside two rooms in the courtyard of the cathedral of Agios Minas, and by 1900 was enriched with private donations, new acquisitions and finds from the first small excavations and surface surveys. After large-scale excavations began on the island in 1900, the archaeological collection came to include the first important finds from these. Around that time the museum was ceded to the newly established Cretan state and was subsequently moved to the barracks building of the modern nome of Herakleion under the first Keepers of Antiquities Joseph Chatzidakis and Stephanos Xanthoudidis. 
The first display room was built in 1904-1907 over the remains of the famous Venetian monastery of Saint Francis, next to the Hounkiar Djami. The antiquities' collection was moved there after the addition of a second room in 1908. In 1912, this small building was given a Neoclassical appearance with the construction of a west wing designed by architect Wilhelm D?rpfeld and Panagis Kavvadias, Secretary of the Athens Archaeological Society. The collection continued to be enriched by the finds from the great excavations by Greek and foreign archaeologists. 
The construction of the current museum began in 1937 on plans by architect Patroklos Karantinos. During the Second World War the museum's antiquities were at great risk, but they were saved thanks to the exertions of Professor Nikolaos Platon. Platon supervised the re-exhibition of the museum's treasures and the museum opened its doors to the public in 1952. The display illustrated the chronological development of Minoan civilization, the history of archaeological research and of the great discoveries on Crete during the early twentieth century (Knossos, Phaistos and Malia palaces etc), and the prevalent theories on Aegean Prehistory. In 1962 the museum bought the collection of the Cretan doctor Stylianos Giamalakis, which was displayed on the first floor. In 1964 the new wing was added to the building and the museum's director Stylianos Alexiou subsequently completed the exhibition. In 2000 the museum acquired the Nikos Metaxas collection, part of which will soon go on display. 
In 1987 the building received new electricity, air conditioning and fire protection installations, and the skylights in the display rooms were replaced with false ceilings and artificial lighting. A new refurbishment based on plans by architect Alexandros Tombazis began in 2002; it will include the re-opening of the original skylights, new electro-mechanical installations (air conditioning, lighting, security, fire protection etc) and a new wing of storerooms to the north of the building. It will also highlight the remains of the Venetian church of Saint Francis on the east side of the atrium.
The permanent exhibition of the Herakleion Archaeological Museum
The collections of the Herakleion Archaeological Museum include unique works of Cretan art, found in excavations across the central and eastern part of the island and which cover a chronological span of roughly 7000 years, from the Neolithic (7000 BC) to the Roman period (3rd century AD). Most objects date to prehistoric times and to the so-called Minoan period, named after the island's mythical king, Minos. They include pottery, carved stone objects, seals, small sculpture, metal objects and wall-paintings, which were discovered in palaces, mansions, settlements, funerary monuments, sanctuaries and caves. 
After the completion of the new exhibition project in April 2014, the exhibition occupies a total of twenty seven rooms. Several important themes, such as Minoan wall-paintings are presented separately from the overall chronological sequence. The objects give a complete image of Cretan civilization, as it developed in different regions and important centres. Social, ideological and economic aspects form the core of the display, with a strong focus on religious and ceremonial practices, mortuary habits, bureaucratic administration and daily life. Explanatory texts, photographs, drawings and models of monuments supplement the exhibition.
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Makasi Gate
Makasi Gate 4131 hits

The Gate Makasi (meaning "switchman" in Turkish) is a military gate of the Venetian Walls of Heraklion, the gallery of which had a length of 110 meters. The gallery leads to the eastern low square of Martinengo bastion, that housed the canons that protected the bastion Bethlehem.
The gallery is used as a memorial for the National Resistance in Crete, as here the Germans imprisoned hundreds of locals in the Second World War. On July 15, 1943, when the so-called Big Blockade of Crete took place, dozens of Christians and Jews were captured and imprisoned here.
On November 4, 1943, many prisoners were transferred to Mauthausen concentration camp, while other 600 boarded on June 8, 1944 in Tanais ferry to Piraeus. However in the open sea, the Germans got rid of the 600 souls by sinking the ship and then announced that the British navy sank ship. The Germans never paid for these atrocities, just like all such stories in Crete.

Region of Crete
Region of Crete 4050 hits

The prefecture of Heraklion is the largest in area, lies between the prefectures of Rethymnon and Lassithi, has the greatest population and the highest per capita income of Crete. Its capital is also Heraklion and the biggest town of Crete. It has approximately 150,000 inhabitants. It concentrates the biggest economical activity of the island and attracts many tourists every year. There are so many sites which worth visiting that you can't decide where to go first. Heraklion is inhabited since antiquity. The ancient towns of Knossos, Phaestos, Malia etc. will bring you to the Minoan era. The Venetian monuments spread all over the town give Heraklion a charming image. Should you come to Heraklion, you mustn't miss visiting the archaeological museum. Heraklion is a very active city, where you can enjoy anything which comes into your mind. The best night life, cinemas, restaurants, luxury hotels, bungalows and anything that you will need to have wonderful vacations. There are seven provinces in this prefecture: Malevizi, Temenos, and Pediada on the north coast and Pirgiotisa, Kainourio, Monofatsi, and Viannos in the centre and on the south coast. The main cities are Timbaki, Ano Viannos, Matala, and Mires. The northwestern area of the prefecture of Heraklion is comprised of the three provinces of Malevizi, Temenos, and Pediada. The main city is Heraklion. This area is the largest of grape - producing areas of Crete and its main products are sultana raisins, Malevizi (Malmsey) wine, and table grapes (Rosaki). In these valleys Sir Arthur Evans, the British archaeologist, excavated the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the remains of a great civilization. A low mountain range rises in the middle of the prefecture and descends into the Messara Plain. These fertile plains have been cultivated for thousands of years and have important Minoan, Greek, and Roman archaeological sites -- Festos, Agia Triada, and Gortys are the major ones. The imposing peak of Psiloritis, 2,456 metres above sea level, is visible from almost all points of the prefecture of Heraklion. It is especially impressive during the winter months when it is snow-capped. The prefecture of Heraklion has many cultural and historical features to offer the visitor. The finest collection of Minoan artefacts in the world and the sites of one of history's greatest civilizations may be of interest as well as the numerous Byzantine churches and Venetian castles and fountains. The historical aspects combine with the scenic landscapes of mountains, valleys, and sea to make this a beautiful and fascinating area. The beaches of Agia Pelagia and Limin Hersonisou (also known as just Hersonissos) on the north coast and Matala and Kali Limenes on the south coast will attract the visitor with their warm, clear seas. There are many fine restaurants and tavernas offering Cretan specialities throughout the area. The eastern part of the Heraklion prefecture has some major tourist resorts near the sea (Limin Hersonisou), some major archaeological sites (Malia), and many important Byzantine churches. The southern area of the prefecture of Heraklion includes the four provinces of Pirgiotisa, Kainourio, Monofatsi, and Viannos. The most prominent physical feature here is the Pediada Messaras. It stretches east from Timbaki to Ano Viannos. The plain is between the low mountain ranges of the south and north. The main products of Messara are cereals, olives, and fruits. and cultivation goes on year-round, aided by the use of hothouses to increase productivity. If you love nature and sea, there are so many beaches in the north and south of the prefecture that will surely cast a spell on you. The plains of Messara give you the opportunity to enjoy the view of numerous fruit trees of all varieties and smell the air of unique natural environment.

Agios Titos
Agios Titos 3927 hits

The church of Saint Titus (First Bishop of Crete) is one of the most interesting religious monuments in the centre of the city. The Skull of the Apostle Saint Titus is kept at the church.

During the 2nd Byzantine period, the church, which was the most official and larger in Chandax, became the cathedral of the new Cretan Diocese. The Venetians later converted it into the Catholic Diosese. During the Ottoman rule, it was converted into a mosque (Vizier mosque) and the bell tower into a minaret. The church has suffered repeated destructions by earthquakes and fires. Nevertheless, conquerors of each period ensured its immediate restoration, since it was the city's most significant religious monument. In 1925 following the population exchange the church came within the juristiction of the Church of Crete.



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Panagitsa Mastaba 3735 hits

The temple of Panagitsa is located in the area of Mastabas in Heraklion. It was built in 1922 by refugees from Asia Minor, who came to Crete.


The temple is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and on its feast day on August 15th, it is honored by the inhabitants of the city and surrounding areas.

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Battle of Crete and National Resistance Museum 3557 hits

The Museum of the Battle of Crete and National Resistance (1941-1945) was founded by the Municipality of Heraklion in May 1994.

Agios Georgios Gate
Agios Georgios Gate 3525 hits

St. George gate is the gate that once connected the Venetian town of Chandaka to eastern Crete. The gate is located to the east of Eleftherias Square just below the statue of Eleftherios Venizelos.


According to an inscription, the gate is built in 1565. Its name comes from a relief decorative representation of St. George, which is today exhibited in the historical museum of the city. The gate was formerly known as Lazareto, because it led to the homonymous sanctuary, and later as Maroulas gate leading to the homonymous district.

A 43 meter-long gallery begins through the gate, which can be visited and usually hosts exhibitions, which ends at the east of Eleftherias Square.



Jesus Gate
Jesus Gate 3448 hits

Jesus Gate (also known as the new Gate) was one of the central gates of Chandax during the Venetian period. It led to the southern provinces and that is also whera thw south road axis of the city ended, the Evans Street of today.

The gate, work of Michele Sanmicheli, is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in the city and is particularliy distinguished for its monumental facade. On each side of the main gate are other openings that correspond to windows and secondary entrances to auxiliary areas within the arcade and that served as ammunition warehouses and a station area for the guards. The place is reconstructed and specially designed to operate as a museum dedicated to the life and works of the great writer Nikos Kazantzakis.

With the appearance of cars in the early 20th century, an opening to the fortification was made to the east of Jesus Gate known as the New Gate, which was bridged over in 1970.

National History Museum
National History Museum 3426 hits
Natural History Museum of Crete in Heraklion city has been functioning and operates under the framework of the University of Crete since 1980, being a pioneer institute at national and European level in the following activities: 

Study and Management of the Natural Environment of Crete Public awareness, education and sensitisation of local people as well as the visitors of the area Link University activities with Cretan society Set up a network of Ecological Museums in Greece and throughout the Eastern Mediterranean 
Eastern Mediterranean is unique at a global level due to the great ecological and cultural complexity. The evenness as well as the contrast, the stability, many affinities and the special features characterizes the area.The aim of the Natural History Museum of Crete is the study, protection and promotion of the special features of the area of Eastern Mediterranean.The foundation and the development of NHMC were favoured by the following conditions:

The potential of the University of Crete and its ability to promote modern technologies in the field of environment The geographical position of Crete, lying it the center of Eastern Mediterranean and the southernmost part of the European Union The warm acceptance and support of the local society 
Structure and OrganizationOn the basis of the presidential law for its establishment and the university rules, NHMC:

Runs in the context of the Faculty of Science of the University of Crete Consists of five departments: zoological, botanical, anthropological, and geological - mineralogical 
The laboratories and collections of the Museum are located at the premises of the University of Crete.11th International congress on the Zoogeography, Ecology and Evolution of the Eastern Mediterranean(21- 25 September 2009, Irakleio, Crete, Greece)For the exhibition halls:Opening Times and AdmissionMonday to Friday: 09:00 to 16:00Weekend: 10:00 to 17:00Natural History Museum of CreteUniversity of CreteSofokli Venizelou Avenue (west of the port of Heraklion)Heraklion, Crete GreeceTel:+30 2810 282740
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Pagritio stadium
Pagritio stadium 3366 hits

This multifunctional arena with football field, 400 meters tartan track, swimming pool and various training facilities can accommodate 26,400 spectators. Since the Olympic Games in 2004, it is home of the football team OFI Crete.

Crusaders Monastery
Crusaders Monastery 3351 hits
It is the Latin monastery of the Crusaders (Crosecchieri) which during the Turkish occupation was made into a mosque with the name of Angebout Pasha. It is of a basilica type with the middle aisle higher than the others. The aisles were connected to each other with two lines of columns that formed arches. The roof of the middle aisle was a two slope one and the other one of one slope.