Places to visit in Heraklion
Archaeological Museum of Heraklion: It is regarded as one of Europe's most important museums. The museum brings together archaeological finds from all over Crete, covering over 5500 years of the island's history. Justly regarded as the home of Minoan civilisation par excellence, the museum houses the most important collection of Minoan antiquities the world over. Since November 2006 the museum has been closed for interior renovation. A small temporary exhibition housing the museum's most important exhibits is on view in a specially designed room on the north side, off I. Chatzidaki St.
Historical Museum: Founded in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies (S.C.H.S.), the Historical Museum of Crete (H.M.C.) presents a comprehensive view of Cretan history from early Christian times to the present day.
Museum of the Battle of Crete and National Resistance: The museum's aim is to collect, preserve and exhibit relics from 1941-1945 in an appropriate manner, as well as to document and disseminate information on the people's struggle during the Battle of Crete and the German-Italian occupation.
Museum of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai: Situated northeast of the Cathedral of St. Minas, this church once belonged to the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai. St. Catherine's now serves as an exhibition venue owned by the Archdiocese of Crete. It houses works representative of the Cretan Renaissance, the most outstanding of which are portable icons by Michail Damaskinos.
Natural History Museum: Operating within the wider University of Crete framework, the Natural History Museum of Crete fulfils all the roles demanded of a comprehensive, modern museum by: keeping and developing collections, carrying out research into the natural world, contributing to teaching at all levels in the education system, promoting the unique nature of habitats in Crete and the Mediterranean.
Museum of Visual Arts: it was established in order to support cultural and artistic activity of all kinds, with particular regard to the advancement and strengthening of the visual arts and the promotion of work by Cretan artists.
Knossos: The remains of the town of Knossos - a town that used to be the centre of the Minoan civilisation until it was burnt down in 1400 BC - can be found 5 klm from Heraklion city. Here, you will find the greatest Minoan palace of the period 2000 - 1400 BC. The palace's remains with its huge complex of many chambers and corridors, with complicated design and structure cover an area of 20,000 sq.m. It is consisted of the ancient town with the palace, the small palace, the bi-level royal mansion and the royal tomb.
Phaestos: the second largest Minoan palace can be found in the ancient town of Phaestos, located 60 km southwest of Heraklion. It has been an economic and religious centre during the Minoan times and it spreads at 8,400 sq.m. It includes the Minoan palace, the tomb and 3 km farther, in Agia Triada, the remains of a royal mansion and the Sarcophagus.
Other places of special interest
The prefecture of Heraklion has many more archaeological sites, remains from the Minoan or post Minoan Periods, such as the ancient towns of Malia, Gortys and Tylissos.
You can also visit many monasteries in the such as the monasteries: Agarathos, St John Theologos, Epanosifi, Apezanon, Odigitrias, St Georgios Gorgolainis, Varsamonerou, Koudouma, Kardiotissis, Palianis, Savathianon, Kalivianis and the St Titos church in Heraklion.
Other monuments presenting a historic importance are many of the Venetian buildings scattered around the city of Heraklion, such as the St Marcus Basilica, the Koules Fortress, Lodgia, the Morosini Fountain, and the Venetian walls that surround the town.
Sources: www.heraklion-city.gr, wikipedia