The picturesque harbor of Heraklion welcomes those arriving by ship at Crete’s greatest city that is also the fourth largest harbor in Greece.
In common with much of the history of this city, the imposing castle located at the harbor dates back to Venetian times and was built between 1523 and 1540.
Today, the archaeological search for ruins from the time of the ancient Minoers has become increasingly more important. In addition, work on the ruins that date from the earlier history of the town, when it was ruled by Turkey, has also gained momentum.
The remains that date back to Venetian rule, such as some sections of the massive town wall and the Loggia, are part of the town’s most well preserved buildings. Built between 1626 and 1628, with its classic beauty, the Venetian Loggia is one of the city’s most beautiful buildings. During the 17th century, the aristocracy used this building as a kind of social meeting place, a club house and celebration hall. Today, it is considered to be a fine example of traditional Venetian architecture.
The Morosini Fountain dates back to Venice’s prosperous years. It was once part of the town’s urban water supply and was named after an important civil servant.
Although the city has moved with the times and developed into an important centre of tourism, it has managed to retain a significant part of its history. The old town of Heraklion owes its unique flair to the splendid architectural relics of the Venetians.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore oneof these protected monuments.