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ABOUT HERAKLIO

Heraklion is the capital of Heraklion Prefecture, with an international airport named after the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The ruins of Knossos, which were excavated and restored by Arthur Evans, are nearby.It is the largest city and capital of Crete. It is also the fourth largest city in Greece. Its name is also spelled Herakleion (transliteration of ancient/Katharevousa name), or Iraklio, with other variants. For centuries it was known as Candia a Venetian adaptation of the Latin word "Candida o Candidus" referring to whiteland.

Heraklion is close to the ruins of the palace of Knossos, which in Minoan times was the biggest centre of population on Crete. It is thus very likely that there was a port here as long ago as 2000 BC. There is, however, no archaeological evidence of the port.The present city of Heraklion was founded in 824 AD by the Saracens (an Arabic Muslim people). They built a moat around the city for protection.The Saracens allowed the port to be used as a safe haven for pirates, much to the annoyance of the nearby Byzantine Empire.

Photos by Andy_Crete