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IRAKLEIO

Iraklion is the biggest city (133.012 residents) and capital, of the island since 1971 A.D.

It is known as the city with the tens names and in point of fact Iraklion it is the unique city of Crete that has changed so many names (Chandakas, Cantia, Castro, Megalo Castro, Chora etc) reason of disposals of various conquerors.
Geographically it is located in the centre of Crete, and thanks to its long history, constitutes the cradle of European civilization and one of the most ancient and most important cities of Greece.
The history of Iraklion is lost literally into depths of centuries.
It is closely connected to Knossos and the wider region, where recently came on the light some new archaeological discoveries which enrich considerably the existing data base referred to the origin of the city.
The IX century A.D. Iraklion is occupied by Arabs as well as remainder Crete and its name changes in Chandakas, the same period becomes for first time capital of Crete.
In 961 A.D. it is occupied by the Byzantines as entire Crete, while later, In 1207 A.D. it passes under Venetian sovereignty, changing its name in Cantia.
The same period the city is developed considerably in a lot of sectors as literature and arts, shaping progressively the Cretan Regeneration, an original composition of Italian and Cretan elements influencing both the entire island and Greece.
In that particular period made their initial steps “El Greco”, and “M. Damaskinos” as Chortatsis with Erofili and V. Cornaros with Erotocritos who stirred the interest of literary circles.
In 1669 A.D. Iraklion fell toTurks after 21 years of narrow siege which cause the ire of sultan.
In 1851 A.D. it ceases to be capital of Crete and 5 years later the bigger part of city is destroyed by earthquake.
At the period of Turkish possession was born “Nikos Kazantzakis” one of the most important personalities in the newer Greek literature.
Finally in 1913 A.D. Iraklion as the remainder island, is adapted in Greece.
Today Iraklion seems to be an enough developed region of Greece, with particular bent in commerce and sea transport, while it maintains simultaneously the charm and the beauty of Greek cities, following the rhythm of tradition and of Lyra.