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Historical sites

Holy Monastery of Arkadi The Arkadi Monastery situated on the island of Crete doesn’t solely belong to this island; it belongs to Greece, Europe and to all five continents – to the whole world. It is one of the Eastern Orthodox Monasteries underlining the catholicity and universality of the Church. Each year the Monastery receives and hosts many visitors and pilgrims from all over the world, from distant civilizations. Here are blended many languages, cultures, traditions, history and polymorphism. Nothing from the above can impede the faith unity, the catholicity of the orthodox spirit, the universality of the ecclesiastical testimony. The Arkadi Monastery has a unique natural beauty, a prestigious history, numerous legends deeply rooted in the time, heirlooms and thesaurus richness. Possibly because the old is livelier than the new, and the modern is often more mature than the aged. Each pilgrim and visitor feels something which is exclusively…
The Venetian Marine Fortress of Heraklion The Venetian fortress “Rocca a Mare”, “Castello a Mare”, “Castello”, “Su Kulesi” or “Koules” is situated at the entrance to the Venetian harbor of Heraklion. It is one of the so-called marine fortresses which functioned as forward bastions on the sea within the framework of more general architectural planning. It was occasionally combined with protection of the commercial harbor and docks, as was the case here. According to historical testimony, there was probably a tower at the same site during the second Byzantine or even the Arab period. We do not know what form the fortress had during the first period of the Venetian rule. Early 16th c. Venetian documents mention that the tower had suffered damages and was practically in ruins. With the prevalence of the bastion system (fronte bastionato) and radical changes in the form of fortifications, the old fortress could not…
Spinalonga Island Spinalonga is an arid and barren rocky islet with an area of 8.5 hectares lying at the mouth of the natural port of Elounda in the Lasithi prefecture of Crete. Due to its strategic location, it was fortified and served a variety of roles and purposes over the centuries. In antiquity the islet was walled to protect the ancient city of Olous. In the late 16th century, the Venetians built one of the most important defensive sea fortresses in the Mediterranean within the context of the major fortification works they carried out to defend Crete. Construction, based on the designs of the engineer Genese Bressani, began in 1579, and the initial building phase lasted until 1586. Repairs and alterations to the fortress were carried out both before and during the Cretan War (1645-1669). The fortifications consisted of two zones: the first followed the coastline, and the second was…

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