The port Heraklion is very busy, being the link between Crete to Piraeus, Thessaloniki and the Aegean islands. On the satellite you can see the passengers' station for those who travel to Piraeus (the port of Athens), Santorini, Mykonos or other Greek islands. Many cruise ships arrive here also. The bus station is very close to the port of Heraklion and you can take a bus to: * East Crete: Kokkini Hani, Gournes, Gouves, Hersonissos, Stalis, Malia, Agios Nikolaos, Ierapetra and Sitia, or * West Crete: Rethymnon, Chania and other smaller towns on the north coast of Crete. The ferry boats that will take you from Heraklion to Athens or the Greek islands. Heraklion koules: The Venetian port of Heraklion with the fortress of Koules. The centre of Heraklion is within walking distance from here. The development of the port of Heraklion followed the general developent of the ports with some differences that were imposed by political and military correlations and influences, and was the result of the interest shown because of the privileged place of Crete on the eastern side of the Mediterranean basin and the special place of Heraklion on the island. In the Minoan times there was much activity on what is today the east side basin of the port where the mouth of the Selamianos river is located, with indications, on the land, of a commercial center for transactions, one of its like existing at the mouth of Karteros river, that went even deeper into the mainland extending up to the Knossos area. Later on, in the Greek and Roman times, the interest was moved to other places and, especially, to Hersonissos until and during the Byzantine years, when during the reign of Nikiforos Fokas, there is a port functioning at Dermatas bay between Xenia Hotel and the Heraklion Fruitmarket. The Venetians moved the Heraklion port where it is today, where, taking advantage of a line of underwater rocks, constructed the (today called) Venetian port, which at the time of its construction, was a really big port, well-built and protected, with docking facilities, service, resupply and repair possibilities; due to all these the port became an important Mediterranean center. During the Turkish occupation, there was no extension of the port . Only the damages suffered during the long siege of the city were repaired. With the liberation and the declaration of the Cretan State, the study for the construction of a new port which could cope with the increased demands that had in the meantime appeared, was given to French engineers (QUELLENEC). This initiative was supported by the public and the early expenses were covered by contributions donated by thepeople of Heraklion.
Places near Heraklion Port
ΚΕΠ ΝΟΜΑΡΧΙΑΚΗΣ ΑΥΤΟΔΙΟΙΚΗΣΗΣ ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟΥ
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.
Castello del Molo (Koules)
The fortress dominating the entrance to the Venetian harbour has been variously referred to as the Castello del Molo, the Rocca a Mare and the Koules.
The Fortress of Koules in Heraklion Crete: The Venetian Castle of Heraklion is called Koules, which means “fortress” in Turkish. It is an impressive fortress that surrounds the harbor of Heraklion, Crete. The Koules Castle is a massive fortress with two storeys that used to guard the entry to the port. The Castle was constructed by the Venetians in the early 13th century, when they conquered the town. The earliest description of the Koules Venetian Castle exists in the work of the Florentine monk Cristoforo Buondelmonti in 1429.The Fortress was primarily built for the storage of the food stuff and the military supplies. It also served as the quarter for the officers and as a prison. A devastating earthquake completely destroyed the Castle in 1303 and it was rebuilt by the Genoese. The fortress was again restored during 1523 – 1540 and got its ultimate form. During the Ottoman rule, the Castle was again transformed to a prison. Several Cretan heroes who revolted against the Ottomans had been imprisoned in the castle and had been killed in the dark dungeons.The architecture of the Castle is the typical Venetian architectural style. The construction was such that the walls of the Castle could protect the breakwater of the harbor. The Castle was made of stones. The ground floor has vaulted roof with broad fanlight. The walls were very thick and were divided into 26 apartments serving as the residence of the “Kastelanos”, the officer responsible for the well-being of the castle, as well as the dwellings of the captains and other officers.A part of the ground floor was also used as the storeroom. There were three carvings of the Lion of St. Mark in the Castle. The one at the sea side of the castle exists to these days. The upper floor and the basis of a minaret were added in the original construction by the Ottomans. Today the Koules Venetian Castle has been cleaned and restored many times. It is visited by thousands of people every year and constists the trademark of Heraklion town.
In the early 20th century Heraklion was the island's largest centre of commerce, and radical changes to the town plan were called for in response to the demands of a modern city.Public works involving the demolition of monuments in the harbour area were initiated by the government of the Independent Cretan State and completed after World War Two.
In the initial phase, the Shipyard Gate and the half bastion protecting it, the Harbour Gate and a sizeable section of the arsenali were knocked down to make room for the sea-front road and an extension to the harbour.
A cargo dock was then built on the site previously occupied by the small Koules. Finally, a modern port serving passenger ferries and cargo vessels was added to the east of the Venetian harbour.
ΤΜΗΜΑ ΠΟΙΝΙΚΟΥ ΜΗΤΡΩΟΥ ΕΙΣΑΓΓΕΛΙΑΣ ΠΡΩΤΟΔΙΚΩΝ ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟΥ
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.
16ο ΝΗΠΙΑΓΩΓΕΙΟ ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟΥ
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.
The shipyards were large oblong buildings with barrel-vaulted roofs, capable of housing ships in need of protection or repair. They were also used for the construction of new vessels. Three separate shipyard complexes were built at different periods.