Bride of the Libyan Sea... The town of Ierapetra is located on the south coast of Crete, along the beach of Ierapetra Bay. It lies south of Agios Nikolaos and southwest of Sitia and is an important regional centre. With its 15,400 inhabitants (2001) it is the most populous town in the prefecture of Lasithi, and the fourth town of Crete. Ierapetra is popularly known as the southernmost town of Europe, nicknamed "bride of the Libyan Sea" because of its position as the only town on the south coast of Crete. Having the great fortune to be the southernmost town of Europe, Ierapetra enjoys the mildest weather, with the least annual rainfall and a temperature that rarely drops below 12 C all year long. History... Ierapetra has had a place in the history of Crete since the Minoan period. The Greek and later Roman town of Hierapytna was on the same sight as present day Ierapetra. In the Classical Age, Ierapytna became the strongest town of eastern Crete. Later, in the 3rd century BC, Hierapytna was infamous for its tendency to piracy. Its importance ended when it was destroyed by the Romans in 67 BC. It was soon rebuilt, but was soon surpassed by the city of Gortyn. Today remains of the Roman harbor can still be seen in the shallow bay. In AD 824 it was destroyed by Arab invaders, only to be rebuilt as a base for pirates (again!). In the Venetian Age, from the 13th to the 17th centuries, Ierapetra - now known by its present name - became prosperous again. The fortress of Kales, built in 1626 to protect the harbor, is a remnant of this period, although local myth says it was built by the Genoese pirate Pescatore in 1212. In July 1798 Ierapetra made a small step into world history: Napoleon stayed with a local family during his voyage to Egypt. The house where he stayed can still be seen. In the Ottoman period a mosque was built in the town. Finds from Ierapetra's past can be found in the local Museum of Antiquities, formerly a school for Turkish children. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a well preserved statue of Persephone. Interesting Sights... Present day Ierapetra, consists of two quite distinct parts, Kato Mera and Pano Mera. Kato Mera is the old town on the southwestern headland. It is characterized by a medieval street layout with narrow alleyways, cul-de-sacs and small houses, creating a village-like atmosphere. The former mosque and the "house of Napoleon" can be found in this neighbourhood, as can Aghios Georgios metropolitan church (built in 1856) in the town?s center. It is considered one of the most interesting churches of Crete. The ceiling of the church has many "blind" domes. Those, as well as the central dome, are wooden (mainly cedar wood). Pano Mera is the much bigger new town, with wider streets and three and four storey houses. Pano Mera is still expanding towards the west, north and east. The awarded beaches of Ierapetra... Ierapetra is build on the longest beach in Crete, offering an endless choise of golden beaches with deep crystal blue waters, far away from industrial areas and ships passing by! All major beaches of Ierapetra from Myrtos to Makris Ghialos, are awarded with the European Committee's "BLUE FLAGS" each single year!
Having the distinction of being the southernmost town facing the African coast, Ierapetra enjoys the smoothest, almost rainless weather in Europe, with a temperature that rarely drops below 12 C all year long!
No doubt, Ierapetra the bridge of the Libyan sea is the sunniest holiday resort in Europe.
The character and charm of the old warm neighborhood has been retained, whilst it has been given new life as a shopping and eating experience for the visitor. A tempting variety of shops, open-air cafes, bars, restaurants and traditional taverns, makes Ierapetra the ideal place to relax, enjoying shopping, eating, drinking or simply wondering around! Ierapetra combines a brilliant past with a present of economic growth and extension. It has the largest population in the prefecture of Lassithi (East Crete) and the fourth largest in all Crete.
In 1981 census 8,570 inhabitants were registered within the town, and the population of the greater Ierapetra community including the villages of Kendri, Gra Lygia, Vainia and Stavros was 10,732.The visitor can take a leisurely walk in the vivid center of the town, along the coast, in the small municipal park near the Town Hall, or in the quiet picturesque narrow streets of Kato Mera - the old part of the town.Pick up a handmade gift from a colorful market stall and enjoy the exciting sounds of busy Cretan life!
Places near Ierapetra
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Kalliopi Sfakianaki Law Office
1 Koraka StIerapetra, Crete, Greece
Tel.: 2842023630, Mobile:6948893049
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Ierapetra’s mosque in Kato Mera area was built according to dates listed in the infrared entrance and the south wall medal, the year of Hegira 1309. (189/892) perhaps the oldest mosque position.
It is a building square with a wooden, four-sided roof plan covered with tiles. In its architecture elements that come from neoclassical and eclectic tendencies are distinguished, that arrived in Crete during the last 19th century decades.
In the mosque’s northwest corner as it is used, a head uncovered today minaret is discovered. The upper portion crashed in the 1953 earthquake.
Ottoman fountain is located in the southwest of the mosque and form with it a remarkable complex of the Ottoman architecture in Crete.
The fountain belongs to the fountain category sebil and a constituted expiation before worshipers entry to the mosque.
ΚΕΠ ΔΗΜΟΥ ΙΕΡΑΠΕΤΡΑΣ
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3ο ΔΗΜΟΤΙΚΟ ΣΧΟΛΕΙΟ ΙΕΡΑΠΕΤΡΑΣ
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The Museum consists of audiovisual content and interactive applications. In particular, LCD screens that display information about Ierapetra, the wider region, the trails, paths etc, exhibitions of holograms that reproduce digital copies of archaeological and other findings and an interactive table that contains digital applications and educational games.
Particularly impressive is the Central 3D projection which shows stereoscopic documentaries devoted to three topics: MINOAN and ANCIENT HISTORICAL PERIOD, BYZANTINE PERIOD, NEWER PERIOD, NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.
The Cathedral of St. Georgios, patron saint of Ierapetra, is three-aisled, with a hemispherical dome based on a high drum. Morphologically, it follows the rhythm of Orthodox churches built under the Turkish rule, and it is characterized by construction elements of the Ottoman architecture. It was built in 1856, according to a founding inscription preserved on the lintel of the south side of the church by a craftsman named Hatzimanolis, who was most likely Carpathian. However, on a map of the region of 1640, a church already appeared in its current position.
All the elements of the superstructure of the church (arches, domes, roof, and central dome) are constructed on a load-bearing wooden frame covered with wood sticks (called bagdouti) coated with mortars of the church. This is a similar construction to that of the newer church of St. Titus in Heraklion.
The southern doorframe has a deep relief lintel between marble half-columns with Ionic column capitals, while the northern is a classic one with a pediment top.
The sides of the church are highlighted by corner pilasters with jewelry-shaped stone carvings. Underneath the stone projecting cornice of the church, there are decorative jewelry-shaped stone carvings between the upper windows. The saddleback roof is covered with roof tiles, while the dome is covered with lead. The external stone walls of the church are also interesting.
St. Georgios is the patron saint and protector of Ierapetra, celebrated with great devotion and faith by its people. There are moving stories of St. Georgios being strongly felt, and of the hoofs of his horse clearly heard, while crossing the narrow streets of the old town as an apparition in the past. During Turkish occupation he protected the people from the whims of the Turks with miraculous interventions, and many of the Turks revered and honored him.
The church received its current form in 2000, with the completion of its restoration.
One might think that the red sea or tropical waters are the only places worth diving in the world, yet the Mediterranean sea gathers so many diverse and rich scenes of underwater landscapes and marine life that it offers the lucky spectator an extraordinary feeling of flying in weightless environment with all the colourful marine life around him.
The coastal waters of Crete are probably the most clean of the Mediterranean.
Visibility reaches up to 40m during summer months and water temperature up to 28.C. The three main habitats of Crete’s coastal waters are: rocky (with extraordinary caverns, gorges and caves), eelgrass beds (Posidonia) and sandy underwater beaches.
Crete is an ideal place to learn diving due to the perfect underwater conditions. Its micro life is very rich and the mediterranean species of fish various.
The presence of antiquities make it an unforgettable destination. The greek diving law has evolved recently to let people explore more dive sites. In our area (southeast Crete), all along the coast there are many dive sites with access from the shore (Peristeras, Psaropoula, Kakki Skala, Agia Fotia island, Achlia...).
There are still many underwater places yet unexplored...
For more information, please contact us directly.
Scuba Dream Diving Centre
Peristeras, Ierapetra 72200
Tel: +30 6944 142292
Facebook: Scuba Dream Diving Centre
The present Metropolis of Ierapetra and Siteia with its seat in the city of Ierapetra occupies the southern and eastern part of the county of Lasithi and includes the former provinces of Ierapetra and Siteia as well as the communities of Kalo Chorio of Merambellou and Kato (Lower) Symi of Viannos. The Metropolis originated from the union of the Diocese of Ierapetra, which is one of the oldest dioceses of Crete with its bishop already participating in the Synod of Sardica in AD 343, and the Diocese of Siteia which was founded already from the 7th or 8th centuries. The Diocese of Ierapetra included the provinces of Merambellou, Lasithi, and Viannos. However, with the creation of the Diocese of Petra which appears already in the 10th century, the Diocese of Ierapetra was named Ieras while a part of its district was detached to be incorporated into that of Petra. The Dioceses of Ierapetra and Siteia were consolidated in the 19th century, initially with the name Ierositeia, while from 1962, they are known as the Metropolis of Ierapetra and Siteia. In the middle Byzantine period, the cathedral church of Ierapetra was the church of the All-Holy Virgin of the Seven Domes, in the settlement of Episkopi, while it seems that the church of the All-Holy Virgin in Apano (Upper) Episkopi and the church of the Holy Apostles in Kato (Lower) Episkopi were used alternately as the cathedral churches of the Diocese of Siteia.
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