The Venetian fortress of Rocca al Mare (1523–1540) guards the inner harbor of Heraklion.
|Districts:||Nea Alikarnassos, Gazi|
|Mayor:||Ioannis Kourakis (PASOK)|
|Population statistics (as of 2011)|
|- Area:||120 km2 (46 sq mi)|
|- Density:||1,450 /km2 (3,755 /sq mi)|
|Time zone:||EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)|
|Elevation (min-max):||0–33 m (0–108 ft)|
|Postal code:||70x xx, 71x xx, 720 xx|
Heraklion, or Heraclion also Iraklion (Greek: Ηράκλειο Greek pronunciation: [iˈraklio]) is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete, Greece. It is the 4th largest city in Greece.
Heraklion is the capital of Heraklion regional unit. The ruins of Knossos, which were excavated and restored by Arthur Evans, are nearby. The Heraklion International Airport is named after Nikos Kazantzakis.
The Arab raiders from Andalusia who founded the Emirate of Crete moved the island's capital from Gortyna to a new castle they called rabḍ al-ḫandaq 'Castle of the Moat' in the 820s. This was hellenized as Χάνδαξ (Handax) or Χάνδακας and Latinized as Candia, which was taken into other European languages: in Italian as Candia (used under the Venetian rule), in French as Candie, in English as Candy, all of which could refer to all of Crete as well as to the city itself; the Ottoman name was Kandiye.
The ancient name Ηράκλειον was revived in the 19th century and comes from the nearby Roman port of Heracleum ("Heracles' city"), whose exact location is unknown. English usage formerly preferred the classicizing transliterations "Heraklion" or "Heraclion", but the form "Iraklion" is becoming more common.
Heraklion is close to the ruins of the palace of Knossos, which in Minoan times was the largest centre of population on Crete. Though there is no archaeological evidence of it, Knossos may well have had a port at the site of Heraklion as long ago as 2000 BC.
The present city of Heraklion was founded in 824 by the Saracens who had been expelled from Al-Andalus by Emir Al-Hakam I and had taken over the island from the Eastern Roman Empire. They built a moat around the city for protection, and named the city ربض الخندق, rabḍ al-ḫandaq ("Castle of the Moat"). The Saracens allowed the port to be used as a safe haven for pirates who operated against Imperial shipping and raided Imperial territory around the Aegean.
Restored Greek Era 
In 961, Imperial forces under the command of Nikephoros Phokas, later to become Emperor, landed in Crete and attacked the city. After a prolonged siege, the city fell. The Saracen inhabitants were slaughtered, the city looted and burned to the ground. Soon rebuilt, the town of Chandax remained under Greek control for the next 243 years.
Venetian control 
In 1204, the city was bought by the Republic of Venice as part of a complicated political deal which involved among other things, the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade restoring the deposed Eastern Roman Emperor Isaac II Angelus to his throne. The Venetians improved on the ditch of the city by building enormous fortifications, most of which are still in place, including a giant wall, in places up to 40 m thick, with 7 bastions, and a fortress in the harbour. Chandax was renamed Candia and became the seat of the Duke of Candia, and the Venetian administrative district of Crete became known as "regno di Candia" (kingdom of Candia). The city retained the name of Candia for centuries and the same name was often used to refer to the whole island of Crete as well. To secure their rule, Venetians began in 1212 to settle families from Venice on Crete. The coexistence of two different cultures and the stimulus of Italian Renaissance led to a flourishing of letters and the arts in Candia and Crete in general, that is today known as the Cretan Renaissance.
Ottoman Era 
After the Venetians came the Ottoman Empire. During the Cretan War (1645–1669), the Ottomans besieged the city for 21 years, from 1648 to 1669, perhaps the longest siege in history. In its final phase, which lasted for 22 months, 70,000 Turks, 38,000 Cretans and slaves and 29,088 of the city's Christian defenders perished. The Ottoman army under an Albanian grand vizier, Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha conquered the city in 1669. Under the Ottomans, the city was known officially as Kandiye (again also applied to the whole island of Crete) but informally in Greek as Megalo Castro (Μεγάλο Κάστρο; "Big Castle"). During the Ottoman period, the harbour silted up, so most shipping shifted to Chania in the west of the island.
Modern era 
In 1898, the autonomous Cretan State was created, under Ottoman suzerainty, with Prince George of Greece as its High Commissioner and under international supervision. During the period of direct occupation of the island by the Great Powers (1898–1908), Candia was part of the British zone. At this time, the city was renamed "Heraklion", after the Roman port of Heracleum ("Heracles' city"), whose exact location is unknown.
The municipality Heraklion was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 5 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
Heraklion is an important shipping port and ferry dock. Travellers can take ferries and boats from Heraklion to destinations including Santorini, Ios Island, Paros, Mykonos, and Rhodes. There are also several daily ferries to Piraeus, the port of Athens on mainland Greece.
Heraklion International Airport, or Nikos Kazantzakis Airport is located about 5 km east of the city. The airport is named after Heraklion native Nikos Kazantzakis, a writer and philosopher. It is the second busiest airport of Greece, due to Crete being a major holiday destination.
The airfield is shared with the 126 Combat Group of the Hellenic Air Force.
Highway Network 
Public transit 
There are a number of buses serving the city and connecting it to many major destinations in Crete.
From 1922 to 1937, there was a working industrial railway, which connected the Koules in Heraklion to Xiropotamos, for the construction of the harbor.
There is a study from the year 2000 for 2 tram lines in Heraklion. The first line would link the Stadium to the airport, and the second the center of Heraklion and Knossos. No approval has yet been given for this proposal.
In the summer of 2007, at the Congress of Cretan emigrants, held in Heraklion, two qualified Engineers, George Nathenas and Vassilis Economopoulos recommended the development of a railway line in Crete, linking Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion with a total journey time of 50 minutes (30 minutes between Heraklion and Rethymno, 20 minutes from Chania to Rethymno) and with provision for extensions to Kissamos, Kastelli Pediados, (for the planned new airport), and Aghios Nikolaos. No plans exist for implementation of this idea.
Crete has a warm Mediterranean climate. Summers in the lowlands are hot and dry with clear skies. Dry hot days are often relieved by seasonal breezes. The mountain areas are much cooler, with considerable rain in the winter. Winters are mild in the lowlands with rare frost and snow. Because Heraklion is further south than Athens, it has a milder climate.
|Climate data for Heraklion|
|Record high °C (°F)||24.8
|Average high °C (°F)||15.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.6
|Average low °C (°F)||10.0
|Record low °C (°F)||1.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||91.5
|Avg. precipitation days||10.1||9.1||6.9||3.4||1.9||0.5||0.1||0.1||1.3||4.9||6.0||8.9||53.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||117.8||124.7||176.7||228.0||300.7||351.0||372.0||347.2||282.0||198.4||150.0||120.9||2,769.4|
|Source: Hong Kong Observatory NOAA (extremes)|
Colleges, Universities, and Research Centers 
- Heraklion Archaeological Museum
- Historical Museum of Crete
- Natural History Museum
- The Battle of Crete and National Resistance Museum
- Nikos Kazantzakis Museum
- Lychnostatis Open Air Museum
- Collection of Agia Aikaterini of Sinai
- Museum of Visual Arts
The city hosts three football clubs:
- Ergotelis FC – in Heraklion, plays in the second division.
- OFI Crete in Heraklion, plays in the first division.
- Atsalenios – Football Club of Heraklion which plays in the third division.
Famous natives 
Heraklion has been the home town of some of Greece's most significant spirits, including the novelist Nikos Kazantzakis, the poet and Nobel Prize winner Odysseas Elytis and the world-famous painter Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco).
- Elli Alexiou (1894–1988) author
- Aris Diktaios, poet and translator
- Minás Dimákis (1913–1980) poet
- Odysseas Elytis (1911–1996) Nobel awarded poet
- Tess Fragoulis, Greek-Canadian author
- Rea Galanaki (1947–present) author
- Giritli Ali Aziz Efendi (1749-1798), author and diplomat
- Galatea Kazantzaki author
- Nikos Kazantzakis (1883–1957) author
- Pedro de Candia, (1485–1542) author and travel writer, recorded the Spanish Conquest of the Americas
- Ioannis Kondylakis (1862–1920) author
- Vitsentzos Kornaros (1553–1613) author
- Stephanos Sahlikis (1330-after 1391) poet
- Lili Zografou (1922–1998) author
Scientists and Scholars 
- Nicholas Kalliakis (1645–1707)- Greek Cretan scholar and philosopher
- Andreas Musalus (ca. 1665–1721) Greek Cretan professor of Mathematics, Philosopher and Architectural theorist
- Francesco Barozzi (1537–1604) mathematician and astronomer
- Manolis Hatzidakis, archaeologist
- Fotis Kafatos biologist, President of the European Research Council
- Maximos Margunios (1549–1602) scholar, theologian, poet and writer, titular bishop of Kythira
- Marcus Musurus (Markos Mousouros) (1470–1517) scholar and philosopher
- Nikolaos Panagiotakis (1935–1997) byzantinologist
- Peter of Candia also known as Antipope Alexander V, philosopher and scholar.
- Joseph Sifakis (1946–present) computer scientist, co-recipient of the 2007 Turing Award
- Michael N. Katehakis (1952–present) applied mathematician and operations research Rutgers University
- Gerasimos Vlachos (1607–1685), scholar
- Simone Stratigo (ca. 1733–1824), Greek mathematician and an Nautical science expert, whose family was from Heraklion (Candia), Crete.
- Theophanes (ca.1500–1559) painter of icons
- Michael Damaskinos (1530/35-1592/93) painter of icons
- El Greco (1541–1614) mannerist painter, sculpturer and architect
- Georgios Klontzas (1540–1607) painter of icons
- Theodoros Poulakis (1622–1692) painter of icons
- Andreas Ritzos (1422–1492) painter of icons
- Emmanuel Tzanes (1610–1690) painter of icons
- Aristidis Vlassis (*1955) painter
- Konstantinos Volanakis (1837–1907) painter
Film industry 
- Giorgos Anemogiannis, scenographer
- Rika Diallina (1934), actress and model, Miss Hellas
- Ilya Livykou (1919–2002), actress
- Sapfo Notara (1907–1985), actress
- Aleka Paizi, actress
- Yannis Smaragdis (1946), film director
- Rena Kyriakou (1918–1994) pianist
- Fragiskos Leontaritis (Francesco Londarit) (1518–1572) composer
- Christos Leontis (1940) composer
- Giannis Markopoulos (1939) composer
- Manolis Rasoulis (1945-2011) lyrics writer
- Nikos Xilouris (1936-1980) composer and singer
- Notis Sfakianakis (1959) singer
- Constantine Corniaktos (1517–1603) wine merchant and wealthiest man in the Eastern European city of Lviv.
- Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (1955) business woman, lawyer and politician
- Leonidas Kyrkos, politician
- Aristidis Stergiadis (1861–1950) High Commissioner of Smyrna
- Georgios Voulgarakis (1959) conservative politician
- Romilos Kedikoglou (1940) President of the Court of Cassation of Greece
- Maximos Margunios (1549–1602), bishop of Cyrigo (Kythira)
- Kyrillos Loukaris (1572–1637) theologian, Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria as Cyril III and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople as Cyril I
- Meletius Pegas, Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria
- Theodore II (1954) Pope & Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa
- Peter Phillarges (ca. 1339–1410) (also Pietro Di Candia, later Pope Alexander V)
- Maria Spiridaki (1984) fashion model and television presenter
Local TV stations 
International relations 
Twin towns — sister cities 
Heraklion is twinned with:
See also 
- Centre for Technological Research of Crete
- European Network and Information Security Agency
- Foundation for Research & Technology - Hellas
- Handakos Street
- Lions Square
- Minoan civilization
- Siege of Candia (1648–1669)
- TEI of Crete
- University of Crete
- Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
- Encyclopaedia of Islam, s.v. Iķrīṭish
- it was in use by the local people by 1867, see Samuel Gridley Howe, The Cretan refugees and their American helpers, 1867 
- The War for Candia
- Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
- "Climatological Information for Iraklion, Greece" – Hong Kong Observatory
- "Iraklion Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- Lathrop C. Harper (1886). Catalogue / Harper (Lathrop C.) inc., New York, Issue 232. Lathrop C. Harper, Inc. p. 36. OCLC 11558801. "Calliachius (1645–1707) was born on Crete and went to Italy at an early age, where he soon became one of the outstanding teachers of Greek and Latin."
- Rose, Hugh James; Rose, Henry John; Wright, Thomas (1857). A new general biographical dictionary, Volume 5. T. Fellowes. p. 425. OCLC 309809847. "CALLIACHI, (Nicholas,) a native of Candia, where he was born in 1645. He studied at Rome for ten years, at the end of which time he was made doctor of philosophy and theology. In 1666 he was invited to Venice, to take the chair of professor of the Greek and Latin languages, and of the Aristotelic philosophy; and in 1677 he was appointed professor of belles-lettres at Padua, where he died in 1707. His works on antiquities are valuable, and have been published by the marquis Poloni in the third volume of his Supplement to the Thesaurus Antiquitatum."
- Convegno internazionale nuove idee e nuova arte nell '700 italiano, Roma, 19-23 maggio 1975. Accademia nazionale dei Lincei. 1977. p. 429. OCLC 4666566. "Nicolò Duodo riuniva alcuni pensatori ai quali Andrea Musalo, oriundo greco, professore di matematica e dilettante di architettura chiariva le nuove idée nella storia dell’arte."
- Carlo Capra, Franco Della Peruta, Fernando Mazzocca (2002). Napoleone e la repubblica italiana: 1802-1805. Skira. p. 200. ISBN 88-8491-415-9 9788884914156 Check
|isbn=value (help). "Simone Stratico, nato a Zara nel 1733 da famiglia originaria di Creta (abbandonata a seguito della conquista turca del 1669)"
- I︠A︡roslav Dmytrovych Isai︠e︡vych (2006). Voluntary brotherhood: confraternities of laymen in early modern Ukraine. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press. p. 47. ISBN 1-894865-03-0. "…the Greek merchants Constantine Korniakt and Manolis Arphanes Marinetos are added. This second redaction appeared no earlier than 1589, as wealthy Greeks began to join the confraternity at a later date, once it had expanded its activities. Korniakt was actually the wealthiest man in Lviv: he traded in Eastern, Western, and local goods, collected customs duty on behalf of the king, and owned a number of villages."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Herakleion|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Candia.|
- Municipality of Heraklion
- Heraklion information
- Heraklion Information about the city of Heraklion by the TEI of Crete
- Heraklion travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Heraklion at the Open Directory Project
- Heraklion The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation