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{{Other uses|Crete (disambiguation)}}{{short description|The largest and most populous of the Greek islands}}{{Use dmy dates|date=July 2019}}

| etymology =| location = Eastern Mediterranean| archipelago =| waterbody =| total_islands =| major_islands =| area_km2 = 8450| area_footnotes =| rank = 88| length_km = | length_footnotes =| width_km = | width_footnotes =| coastline_km = | coastline_footnotes =| elevation_m = 2456| elevation_footnotes =Mount Ida (Crete)>Mount Ida (Psiloritis)Greece}}Administrative regions of Greece>Region#Administration>Crete| country_capital = Heraklion| country_largest_city = Heraklion| country_largest_city_population = 224,253Cretan), archaic (wikt:Cretian|Cretian)| population = 632,674| population_as_of = 2017| population_footnotes =| population_rank = 73| population_rank_max =| density_km2 = 75| density_rank =| density_footnotes =| ethnic_groups =Greeks| timezone1 =GMT +2| utc_offset1 =| timezone1_DST =| utc_offset1_DST =Human Development Index>HDI (2017) 0.869HTTPS://HDI.GLOBALDATALAB.ORG/AREADATA/SHDI/>TITLE=SUB-NATIONAL HDI – AREA DATABASE – GLOBAL DATA LABLANGUAGE=ENgreenList of Greek regions by Human Development Index>2nd| website =}}Crete (, {{transl|el|Kríti}} {{IPA-el|'kriti|}}; Ancient Greek: , KrḗtÄ“) is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica. It bounds the southern border of the Aegean sea. Crete lies approximately {{convert|160|km|mi|abbr=on}} south of the Greek mainland. It has an area of {{convert|8336|km2|mi2|abbr=on}} and a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi).Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete (), the southernmost of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the region is the fifth most populous region of Greece. Its capital and largest city is Heraklion, located on the northern shore of the island. {{As of|2011}}, the region had a population of 623,065. The Dodecanese are located to the northeast of Crete, while the Cyclades are situated to the north, separated by the Sea of Crete. The Peloponnese is to the region's northwest.Humans have inhabited the island before 130,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic age. Crete was the centre of Europe's first advanced civilization, the Minoans, from 2700 to 1420 BC; the Minoan civilization was overrun by the Mycenaean civilization from mainland Greece. Later, Crete would fall under Roman rule, and afterwards the Byzantines Empire, Arabs, the Venetian Republic, and the Ottoman Empire successively ruled Crete. The Cretan people, who maintained a desire to join the Greek state, achieved independence from the Ottomans in 1898 as the Cretan State and became part of Greece in December 1913.The island is mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east; the range of Lefka Ori contains Crete's highest point, Mount Ida. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). The Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion and the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania serve international travellers. The palace of Knossos, a Bronze Age settlement and ancient Minoan city, lies in Heraklion in Crete.Ancient Crete Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics


The island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC,Stephanie Lynn Budin, The Ancient Greeks: An Introduction (New York: Oxford UP, 2004), 42. repeated later in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible (Caphtor). It was also known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu, strongly suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island.O. Dickinson, The Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 1994), 241–244.The current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te (*Krētes; later Greek: , plural of ),Found on the PY An 128 tablet. ke-re-si-jo (*Krēsijos; later Greek: ),Found on the PY Ta 641 and PY Ta 709 tablets. "Cretan".WEB, The Linear B word ke-re-si-ji, Palaeolexicon. Word-study tool for ancient languages,weblink {{LSJ|*krh/s|Κρής}}, {{LSJ|krhsi/ai|Κρήσιος s.v. κρησίαι|ref}}. In Ancient Greek, the name Crete () first appears in Homer's Odyssey.Book 14, line 199; Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon Its etymology is unknown. In Latin, it became Creta.The original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš ( < , but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq (modern Iraklion), both the city and the island became known as (Chandax) or (Chandakas), which gave Latin, Italian and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit ().

Physical geography

File:Mount Ida chain Messara plain from Phaistos Crete Greece.jpg|thumb|Messara PlainMessara PlainFile:Vai R05.jpg|thumb|The palm beach of Vai ]]File:Lefka Ori.jpg|thumb|Lefka OriLefka OriFile:Psiloritis3(js).jpg|thumb|View of PsiloritisPsiloritisCrete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea.

Island morphology

The island has an elongated shape: it spans {{convert|260|km|mi|abbr=on}} from east to west, is {{convert|60|km|mi|abbr=on}} at its widest point, and narrows to as little as {{convert|12|km|mi|abbr=on}} (close to Ierapetra). Crete covers an area of {{convert|8336|km2|mi2|abbr=on}}, with a coastline of {{convert|1046|km|mi|abbr=on}}; to the north, it broaches the Sea of Crete (); to the south, the Libyan Sea (); in the west, the Myrtoan Sea, and toward the east the Karpathian Sea. It lies approximately {{convert|160|km|mi|abbr=on}} south of the Greek mainland.

Mountains and valleys

Crete is mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains:
  • The White Mountains or Lefka Ori {{convert|2454|m|ft|abbr=on}}
  • The Idi Range (Psiloritis {{Coord|35.18|N|24.82|E|}} {{convert|2456|m|ft|abbr=on}}
  • Kedros {{convert|1777|m|ft|abbr=on}}
  • The Dikti Mountains {{convert|2148|m|ft|abbr=on}}
  • Thripti {{convert|1489|m|ft|abbr=on}}
These mountains lavish Crete with valleys, such as Amari valley, fertile plateaus, such as Lasithi plateau, Omalos and Nidha; caves, such as Gourgouthakas, Diktaion, and Idaion (the birthplace of the ancient Greek god Zeus); and a number of gorges.

Gorges, rivers and lakes

The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead (at Kato Zakros, Sitia) and Richtis Gorge and (Richtis) waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia.WEB,weblink Gorge of the Dead,, 13 September 2012, WEB,weblink Richtis gorge,, 13 September 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 31 July 2012, dead, WEB,weblink Richtis beach and gorge,, 20 April 2010, 13 September 2012, WEB,weblink Richtis gorge and waterfall,, 25 February 2011, 13 September 2012, The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, and Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit.Photos of Agia Lake Crete TOURnet. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was formerly a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi.Lake Voulismeni {{webarchive|url= |date=20 July 2011 }} Lakes that were created by dams also exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, and the lake of Mpramiana Dam.File:HaGorgeExit.jpg|Ha GorgeFile:Samaria Gorge 09.jpg|Samariá GorgeFile:Crete Aradaina3 tango7174.jpg|Aradaina GorgeFile:Venetian Bridge over Megalopótamos River, Préveli, Crete.jpg|Venetian Bridge over Megalopotamos River

Surrounding islands

A large number of islands, islets, and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by archaeologists and biologists. Some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Off the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located {{convert|26|nmi|km|0}} south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.


Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African, mainly falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is primarily Mediterranean. The atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is fairly mild. Snowfall is common on the mountains between November and May, but rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a truly exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius (mid 80s to mid 90s Fahrenheit), with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s.The south coast, including the Mesara Plain and Asterousia Mountains, falls in the North African climatic zone, and thus enjoys significantly more sunny days and high temperatures throughout the year. There, date palms bear fruit, and swallows remain year-round rather than migrate to Africa. The fertile region around Ierapetra, on the southeastern corner of the island, is renowned for its exceptional year-round agricultural production, with all kinds of summer vegetables and fruit produced in greenhouses throughout the winter.Rackham, O. & Moody, J., 1996. The Making of the Cretan Landscape, Manchester University Press,weblink Western Crete (Chania province) receives more rain and is more erosive compared to the Eastern part of Crete.JOURNAL, Panagos, Panagos, Christos, Karydas, Cristiano, Ballabio, Ioannis, Gitas, Seasonal monitoring of soil erosion at regional scale: An application of the G2 model in Crete focusing on agricultural land uses, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 27, 147–155, 10.1016/j.jag.2013.09.012, 2014, 2014IJAEO..27..147P,


Crete is the most populous island in Greece with a population of more than 600,000 people. Approximately 42% live in Crete's main cities and towns whilst 45% live in rural areas.Crete, p.44, by Victoria Kyriakopoulos.


| subdivision_type = CountryGreece}}| leader_title = Regional governor| leader_name = Stavros Arnaoutakis| leader_party = PASOKRegional units of Greece>Regional units| parts_style = listChania (regional unit)>ChaniaHeraklion (regional unit)>HeraklionRethymno (regional unit)>Rethymno| p4 = Lasithi| seat_type = Capital| seat = Heraklion| area_total_km2 = 8335.88| elevation_max_m =| population_total = 623065| population_as_of = 2011HELLENIC STATISTICAL AUTHORITY DATE=12 SEPTEMBER 2014 URL-STATUS=DEAD ARCHIVEDATE=8 SEPTEMBER 2015, | population_demonym =| population_density_km2 = autoEastern European Time>EET| utc_offset1 = +2Eastern European Summer Time>EEST| utc_offset1_DST = +3| iso_code = GR-Mweblink}}}}Crete with its nearby islands form the Crete Region (, Periféria Krítis), one of the 13 regions of Greece which were established in the 1987 administrative reform.Π.Δ. 51/87 "Καθορισμός των Περιφερειών της Χώρας για το σχεδιασμό κ.λ.π. της Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης" (''Determination of the Regions of the Country for the planning etc. of the development of the Region, ΦΕΚ A 26/06.03.1987 Under the 2010 Kallikratis plan, the powers and authority of the regions were redefined and extended. The region is based at Heraklion and is divided into four regional units (pre-Kallikratis prefectures). From west to east these are: Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion, and Lasithi. These are further subdivided into 24 municipalities.The region's governor is, since 1 January 2011, Stavros Arnaoutakis, who was elected in the November 2010 local administration elections for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement.


Heraklion is the largest city and capital of Crete. Chania was the capital until 1971. The principal cities are: File:Venetian Fortress in Heraklion Crete NE side.jpg|Venetian fortress in HeraklionFile:Kreta - Chania - Kathedrale der drei Märtyrer.jpg|Chania cathedralFile:Rethymno Fortezza Mosque 02.JPG|Rethymno Fortezza Mosque


{{further|Economy of Greece}}The economy of Crete is predominantly based on services and tourism. However, agriculture also plays an important role and Crete is one of the few Greek islands that can support itself independently without a tourism industry.The rough guide to Crete, Introduction, p. ix by J. Fisher and G. Garvey. The economy began to change visibly during the 1970s as tourism gained in importance. Although an emphasis remains on agriculture and stock breeding, because of the climate and terrain of the island, there has been a drop in manufacturing, and an observable expansion in its service industries (mainly tourism-related). All three sectors of the Cretan economy (agriculture/farming, processing-packaging, services), are directly connected and interdependent. The island has a per capita income much higher than the Greek average, whereas unemployment is at approximately 4%, one-sixth of that of the country overall.As in many regions of Greece, viticulture and olive groves are significant; oranges and citrons are also cultivated. Until recently there were restrictions on the import of bananas to Greece, therefore bananas were grown on the island, predominantly in greenhouses. Dairy products are important to the local economy and there are a number of speciality cheeses such as mizithra, anthotyros, and kefalotyri.

Transport infrastructure

File:Kreta - Europastraße75 2.jpg|thumb|European route E75 near HeraklionHeraklion


The island has three significant airports, Nikos Kazantzakis at Heraklion, the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania and a smaller one in Sitia. The first two serve international routes, acting as the main gateways to the island for travellers. There is a long-standing plan to replace Heraklion airport with a completely new airport at Kastelli, where there is presently an air force base.


The island is well served by ferries, mostly from Athens, by ferry companies such as Minoan Lines and ANEK Lines.

Road Network

Although the road network leads almost everywhere, there is a lack of modern highways, although this is gradually changing with the completion of the northern coastal spine highway.WEB,weblink New road in Crete set to improve journey times and safety-Projects,, en, 2018-01-18,


Also, during the 1930s there was a narrow-gauge industrial railway in Heraklion, from Giofyros in the west side of the city to the port. There are now no railway lines on Crete. The government is planning the construction of a line from Chania to Heraklion via Rethymno.Rackham, O. & Moody, J., 1996. The Making of the Cretan Landscape, Manchester University Press,ΤΟΠΙΟ: Αγνωστα Βιομηχανικά Μνημεία Ι: υπολείμματα του βιομηχανικού σιδηροδρόμου Ηρακλείουweblink


Newspapers have reported that the Ministry of Mercantile Marine is ready to support the agreement between Greece, South Korea, Dubai Ports World and China for the construction of a large international container port and free trade zone in southern Crete near Tympaki; the plan is to expropriate 850 ha of land. The port would handle 2 million containers per year, but the project has not been universally welcomed because of its environmental, economic and cultural impact.No Container Transshipment Hub in Timbaki {{Webarchive|url= |date=23 January 2007 }}. Retrieved 27 May 2007. As of January 2013, the project has still not been confirmed, although there is mounting pressure to approve it, arising from Greece's difficult economic situation.There are plans for underwater cables going from mainland Greece to Israel and Egypt passing by Crete and Cyprus: EuroAfrica Interconnector and EuroAsia Interconnector.EuroAsia Interconnector Project and ProgressWEB,weblink EuroAfrica Interconnector, en-GB, 2019-04-18, They would connect Crete electrically with mainland Greece, ending energy isolation of Crete. Now Hellenic Republic covers for Crete electricity costs difference of around €300 million per year.WEB,weblink Η ηλεκτρική διασύνδεση EuroAsia Interconnector θα εξασφαλίσει ενεργειακά την Κρήτη, Cretalive, 2019-04-18,


File:AMI - Stierrhyton.jpg|thumb|upright|Minoan rhyton in the form of a bull, Heraklion Archaeological MuseumHeraklion Archaeological MuseumFile:Minoan fresco depicting a bull leaping scene, found in Knossos, 1600-1400 BC, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete (30547636456).jpg|alt=|thumb|Minoan fresco from Knossos, Heraklion Archaeological MuseumHeraklion Archaeological MuseumFile:Knossos Westbastion 05.jpg|alt=|thumb|Palace of KnossosKnossosHominids settled in Crete at least 130,000 years ago. In the later Neolithic and Bronze Age periods, under the Minoans, Crete had a highly developed, literate civilisation. It has been ruled by various ancient Greek entities, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Emirate of Crete, the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire. After a brief period of independence (1897–1913) under a provisional Cretan government, it joined the Kingdom of Greece. It was occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

Prehistoric Crete

In 2002, the paleontologist Gerard Gierlinski discovered fossil footprints left by ancient human relatives 5,600,000 years ago.WEB, Chung, Emily, One hell of an impression,weblink CBCnews, 26 February 2018, The first human settlement in Crete dates before 130,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic age.WEB,weblink Strasser F. Thomas et al. (2010) Stone Age seafaring in the Mediterranean, Hesperia (The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens), vol. 79, pp. 145–190,, 15 December 2010, 13 September 2012, Wilford, J.N., On Crete, New Evidence of Very Ancient Mariners The New York Times, 15 February 2010.Bowner, B., Hominids Went Out of Africa on Rafts Wired, 8 January 2010. Settlements dating to the aceramic Neolithic in the 7th millennium BC, used cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and dogs as well as domesticated cereals and legumes; ancient Knossos was the site of one of these major Neolithic (then later Minoan) sites.C. Michael Hogan. 2007 Knossos fieldnotes The Modern Antiquarian Other neolithic settlements include those at Kephala, Magasa, and Trapeza.

Minoan civilization

Crete was the centre of Europe's first advanced civilization, the Minoan ({{nowrap|c. 2700–1420 BC}}). This civilization wrote in the undeciphered script known as Linear A. Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos, Theseus and the Minotaur, passed on orally via poets such as Homer. The volcanic eruption of Thera may have been the cause of the downfall of the Minoan civilization.

Mycenean civilization

In 1420 BC, the Minoan civilization was overrun by the Mycenaean civilization from mainland Greece. The oldest samples of writing in the Greek language, as identified by Michael Ventris, is the Linear B archive from Knossos, dated approximately to 1425–1375 BC.WEB, Cynthia, Shelmerdine, Where Do We Go From Here? And How Can the Linear B Tablets Help Us Get There?,weblink 27 March 2008, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 October 2011,

Archaic and Classical period

After the Bronze Age collapse, Crete was settled by new waves of Greeks from the mainland. A number of city states developed in the Archaic period. There was very limited contact with mainland Greece, and Greek historiography shows little interest in Crete, and as a result, there are very few literary sources.During the 6th to 4th centuries BC, Crete was comparatively free from warfare. The Gortyn code (5th century BC) is evidence for how codified civil law established a balance between aristocratic power and civil rights.In the late 4th century BC, the aristocratic order began to collapse due to endemic infighting among the elite, and Crete's economy was weakened by prolonged wars between city states. During the 3rd century BC, Gortyn, Kydonia (Chania), Lyttos and Polyrrhenia challenged the primacy of ancient Knossos.While the cities continued to prey upon one another, they invited into their feuds mainland powers like Macedon and its rivals Rhodes and Ptolemaic Egypt. In 220 BC the island was tormented by a war between two opposing coalitions of cities. As a result, the Macedonian king Philip V gained hegemony over Crete which lasted to the end of the Cretan War (205–200 BC), when the Rhodians opposed the rise of Macedon and the Romans started to interfere in Cretan affairs.In the 2nd century BC Ierapytna (Ierapetra) gained supremacy on eastern Crete.

Roman rule

Crete was involved in the Mithridatic Wars, initially repelling an attack by Roman general Marcus Antonius Creticus in 71 BC. Nevertheless, a ferocious three-year campaign soon followed under Quintus Caecilius Metellus, equipped with three legions and Crete was finally conquered by Rome in 69 BC, earning for Metellus the title "Creticus". Gortyn was made capital of the island, and Crete became a Roman province, along with Cyrenaica that was called Creta et Cyrenaica. Archaeological remains suggest that Crete under Roman rule witnessed prosperity and increased connectivity with other parts of the Empire.BOOK, Jane Francis and Anna Kouremenos, Roman Crete: New Perspectives, 2016, Oxbow, Oxford, 978-1785700958, In the 2nd century AD, at least three cities in Crete (Lyttos, Gortyn, Hierapytna) joined the Panhellenion, a league of Greek cities founded by the emperor Hadrian. When Diocletian redivided the Empire, Crete was placed, along with Cyrene, under the diocese of Moesia, and later by Constantine I to the diocese of Macedonia.

Byzantine Empire – first period

File:Crete MoniArkadiou1 tango7174.jpg|thumb|Arkadi MonasteryArkadi MonasteryCrete was separated from Cyrenaica {{circa|297}}. It remained a province within the eastern half of the Roman Empire, usually referred to as the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire after the establishment of a second capital in Constantinople by Constantine in 330. Crete was subjected to an attack by Vandals in 467, the great earthquakes of 365 and 415, a raid by Slavs in 623, Arab raids in 654 and the 670s, and again in the 8th century. In {{circa|732}}, the Emperor Leo III the Isaurian transferred the island from the jurisdiction of the Pope to that of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.Kazhdan (1991), p. 546

Arab rule

File:The Cretan Saracens defeat the Byzantines under Damianos.jpg|thumb|The Byzantines under the general Damian attack Crete but are defeated by the Saracens, {{circa|828}}, as depicted by Ioannes Scylitzes (see Skylitzes ChronicleSkylitzes ChronicleIn the 820s, after 900 years as a Roman, and then Eastern Roman (Byzantine) island, Crete was captured by Andalusian Muladis led by Abu Hafs,Reinhart Dozy, Histoire des Musulmans d'Espagne: jusqu'à la conquête de l'Andalousie par les Almoravides (French) pg. 711–1110, Leiden, 1861 & 1881, 2nd edition who established the Emirate of Crete. The Byzantines launched a campaign that took most of the island back in 842 and 843 under Theoktistos. Further Byzantine campaigns in 911 and 949 failed. In 960/1, Nikephoros Phokas' campaign completely restored Crete to the Byzantine Empire, after a century and a half of Arab control.

Byzantine Empire – second period

In 961, Nikephoros Phokas returned the island to Byzantine rule after expelling the Arabs.Panagiotakis, Introduction, p. XVI. Extensive efforts at conversion of the populace were undertaken, led by John Xenos and Nikon "the Metanoeite".{{sfn|ODB|loc="Crete" (T. E. Gregory, A. Kazhdan), pp. 545–546}}{{sfn|Treadgold|1997|p=495}} The reconquest of Crete was a major achievement for the Byzantines, as it restored Byzantine control over the Aegean littoral and diminished the threat of Saracen pirates, for which Crete had provided a base of operations.In 1204, the Fourth Crusade seized and sacked the imperial capital of Constantinople. Crete was initially granted to leading Crusader Boniface of Montferrat in the partition of spoils that followed. However, Boniface sold his claim to the Republic of Venice, whose forces made up the majority of the Crusade. Venice's rival the Republic of Genoa immediately seized the island and it was not until 1212 that Venice secured Crete as a colony.

Venetian rule

File:Frangokastello R03.jpg|thumb|right|FrangokastelloFrangokastelloFrom 1212, during Venice's rule, which lasted more than four centuries, a Renaissance swept through the island as is evident from the plethora of artistic works dating to that period. Known as The Cretan School or Post-Byzantine Art, it is among the last flowerings of the artistic traditions of the fallen empire. The most notable representatives of this Cretan renaissance were the painter El Greco and the writers Nicholas Kalliakis (1645–1707), Georgios Kalafatis (professor) ({{circa|1652}}–1720), Andreas Musalus ({{circa|1665}}–1721) and Vitsentzos Kornaros.BOOK, Tiepolo, Maria Francesca, Tonetti, Eurigio, I greci a Venezia, Istituto veneto di scienze, 2002, 201, 978-88-88143-07-1, Cretese Nikolaos Kalliakis, BOOK, Boehm, Eric H., Historical abstracts: Modern history abstracts, 1450–1914, Volume 46, Issues 3–4, American Bibliographical Center of ABC-Clio, 1995, 755, 701679973, Between the 15th and 19th centuries the University of Padua attracted a great number of Greek students who wanted to study medicine. They came not only from Venetian dominions (where the percentage reaches 97% of the students of Italian universities) but also from Turkish-occupied territories of Greece. Several professors of the School of Medicine and Philosophy were Greeks, including Giovanni Cottunio, Niccolò Calliachi, Giorgio Calafatti..., BOOK, Convegno internazionale nuove idee e nuova arte nell '700 italiano, Roma, 19–23 maggio 1975, Accademia nazionale dei Lincei, 1977, 429, 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., Under the rule of the Catholic Venetians, the city of Candia was reputed to be the best fortified city of the Eastern Mediterranean.M. Greene. 2001. Ruling an island without a navy: A comparative view of Venetian and Ottoman Crete. Oriente moderno, 20(81), 193–207 The three main forts were located at Gramvousa, Spinalonga, and Fortezza at Rethymnon. Other fortifications include the Kazarma fortress at Sitia. In 1492, Jews expelled from Spain settled on the island.A.J. Schoenfeld. 2007. Immigration and Assimilation in the Jewish Community of Late Venetian Crete (15th–17th centuries). Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 25(1), 1–15 In 1574–77, Crete was under the rule of Giacomo Foscarini as Proveditor General, Sindace and Inquistor. According to Starr's 1942 article, the rule of Giacomo Foscarini was a Dark Age for Jews and Greeks. Under his rule, non-Catholics had to pay high taxes with no allowances. In 1627, there were 800 Jews in the city of Candia, about seven percent of the city's population.Starr, J. (1942), Jewish Life in Crete Under the Rule Of Venice, Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, Vol. 12, pp. 59–114. Marco Foscarini was the Doge of Venice during this time period.

Ottoman rule

File:Vue du siege de Candie en 1669.jpg|thumb|Depiction of the Siege of CandiaSiege of CandiaFile:Crete - ethnic map, 1861.jpg|thumb|Greek Orthodox (blue) and Cretan Muslim/Turkish (red) ethnic makeup of the island in 1861]]File:Mosquée Kara Musa Pasha.JPG|thumb|Kara Musa Pasha mosque, RethymnoRethymnoThe Ottomans conquered Crete in 1669, after the siege of Candia. Many Greek Cretans fled to other regions of the Republic of Venice after the Ottoman–Venetian Wars, some even prospering such as the family of Simone Stratigo (c. 1733 – c. 1824) who migrated to Dalmatia from Crete in 1669.BOOK, Carlo Capra, Franco Della Peruta, Fernando Mazzocca, Napoleone e la repubblica italiana: 1802–1805, Skira, 2002, 200, 978-88-8491-415-6, Simone Stratico, nato a Zara nel 1733 da famiglia originaria di Creta (abbandonata a seguito della conquista turca del 1669), Islamic presence on the island, aside from the interlude of the Arab occupation, was cemented by the Ottoman conquest. Most Cretan Muslims were local Greek converts who spoke Cretan Greek, but in the island's 19th-century political context they came to be viewed by the Christian population as Turks.Demetres Tziovas, Greece and the Balkans: Identities, Perceptions and Cultural Encounters Since the Enlightenment; William Yale, The Near East: A modern history Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1958) Contemporary estimates vary, but on the eve of the Greek War of Independence (1830), as much as 45% of the population of the island may have been Muslim.William Yale, The Near East: A modern history by (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1958) A number of Sufi orders were widespread throughout the island, the Bektashi order being the most prevalent, possessing at least five tekkes. Many among them were crypto-Christians who converted back to Christianity in subsequent years, while many Cretan Turks fled Crete because of the unrest, settling in Turkey, Rhodes, Syria, Libya and elsewhere. By 1900, 11% of the population was Muslim. Those remaining were relocated in the 1924 Population exchange between Greece and Turkey.WEB,weblink Vakantie Kreta – De beste Tips & Reviews {{!,|language=nl|access-date=2019-04-18}}During Easter of 1770, a notable revolt against Ottoman rule, in Crete, was started by Daskalogiannis, a shipowner from Sfakia who was promised support by Orlov's fleet which never arrived. Daskalogiannis eventually surrendered to the Ottoman authorities. Today, the airport at Chania is named after him.Crete was left out of the modern Greek state by the London Protocol of 1830, and soon it was yielded to Egypt by the Ottoman sultan. Egyptian rule was short-lived and sovereignty was returned to the Ottoman Empire by the Convention of London on 3 July 1840.Heraklion was surrounded by high walls and bastions and extended westward and southward by the 17th century. The most opulent area of the city was the northeastern quadrant where all the elite were gathered together. The city had received another name under the rule of the Ottomans, "the deserted city". The urban policy that the Ottoman applied to Candia was a two-pronged approach. The first was the religious endowments. It made the Ottoman elite contribute to building and rehabilitating the ruined city. The other method was to boost the population and the urban revenue by selling off urban properties. According to Molly Greene (2001) there were numerous records of real-estate transactions during the Ottoman rule. In the deserted city, minorities received equal rights in purchasing property. Christians and Jews were also able to buy and sell in the real-estate market.The Cretan Revolt of 1866–1869 or Great Cretan Revolution () was a three-year uprising against Ottoman rule, the third and largest in a series of revolts between the end of the Greek War of Independence in 1830 and the establishment of the independent Cretan State in 1898. A particular event which caused strong reactions among the liberal circles of western Europe was the Holocaust of Arkadi. The event occurred in November 1866, as a large Ottoman force besieged the Arkadi Monastery, which served as the headquarters of the rebellion. In addition to its 259 defenders, over 700 women and children had taken refuge in the monastery. After a few days of hard fighting, the Ottomans broke into the monastery. At that point, the abbot of the monastery set fire to the gunpowder stored in the monastery's vaults, causing the death of most of the rebels and the women and children sheltered there.

Cretan State 1898–1908

{{unreferenced section|date=March 2018}}File:Revolutionnaires therissos.jpg|thumb|Revolutionaries at TherisoTherisoFollowing the repeated uprisings in 1841, 1858, 1889, 1895 and 1897 by the Cretan people, who wanted to join Greece, the Great Powers decided to restore order and in February 1897 sent in troops. The island was subsequently garrisoned by troops from Great Britain, France, Italy and Russia; Germany and Austro-Hungary withdrawing from the occupation in early 1898. During this period Crete was governed through a committee of admirals from the remaining four Powers. In March 1898 the Powers decreed, with the very reluctant consent of the Sultan, that the island would be granted autonomy under Ottoman suzerainty in the near future.Pinar Senisik, The Transformation of Ottoman Crete, Revolts, Politics and Identity in the Late Nineteenth century p. 165. I. B. Tauris, 2011.In September 1898 an outbreak of rioting in Candia, modern Heraklion, left over 500 Cretan Christians, and 14 British servicemen, dead. As a result, the Admirals ordered the expulsion of all Ottoman troops and administrators from the island, a move that was ultimately completed by early November. The decision to grant autonomy to the island was enforced and a High Commissioner, Prince George of Greece, appointed, arriving to take up his post in December 1898.Robert Holland and Diane Markides, The British and the Hellenes: Struggles for Mastery in the Eastern Mediterranean 1850–1960. p. 81. Oxford University Press, 2005. The flag of the Cretan State was chosen by the Powers, with the white star representing the Ottoman suzenraity over the island.(File:Flag of Cretan State.svg|thumb|Flag of Cretan State)In 1905, disagreements between Prince George and minister Eleftherios Venizelos over the question of the enosis (union with Greece), such as the Prince's autocratic style of government, resulted in the Theriso revolt, one of leaders of which being Eleftherios Venizelos.Prince George resigned as High Commissioner and was replaced by Alexandros Zaimis, a former Greek prime minister, in 1906. In 1908, taking advantage of domestic turmoil in Turkey as well as the timing of Zaimis's vacation away from the island, the Cretan deputies unilaterally declared union with Greece.With the break out of the First Balkan War, the Greek government declared that Crete was since then part of the Greek territory. This was not recognised internationally until 1 December 1913.

Second World War

File:Bundesarchiv Bild 141-0864, Kreta, Landung von Fallschirmjägern.jpg|thumb|German paratroopers landing on Crete during the Battle of CreteBattle of CreteDuring World War II, the island was the scene of the famous Battle of Crete in May 1941. The initial 11-day battle was bloody and left more than 11,000 soldiers and civilians killed or wounded. As a result of the fierce resistance from both Allied forces and civilian Cretan locals, the invasion force suffered heavy casualties, and Adolf Hitler forbade further large-scale paratroop operations for the rest of the war. During the initial and subsequent occupation, German firing squads routinely executed male civilians in reprisal for the death of German soldiers; civilians were rounded up randomly in local villages for the mass killings, such as at the Massacre of Kondomari and the Viannos massacres. Two German generals were later tried and executed for their roles in the killing of 3,000 of the island's inhabitants."Some Noteworthy War Criminals" {{webarchive|url= |date=1 April 2012 }}, Source: History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War, United Nations War Crimes Commission. London: HMSO, 1948, p. 526, updated 29 January 2007 by Stuart Stein (University of the West of England), accessed 22 January 2010


File:Kreta-Matala07.jpg|thumb|Matala beach]]Crete was one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. 15% of all arrivals in Greece come through the city of Heraklion (port and airport), while charter journeys to Heraklion seven years ago made up 20% of all charter flights in Greece.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} Overall, more than two million tourists visited Crete some years back,{{When|date=August 2011}} when the increase in tourism was reflected in the number of hotel beds, rising by 53% in the period between 1986 and 1991.Today, the island's tourism infrastructure caters to all tastes, including a very wide range of accommodation; the island's facilities take in large luxury hotels with their complete facilities, swimming pools, sports and recreation, smaller family-owned apartments, camping facilities and others. Visitors reach the island via two international airports in Heraklion and Chania and a smaller airport in Sitia (international charter and domestic flights starting May 2012)Charter flights to Sitia in 2012 {{webarchive |url= |date=1 October 2011 }} or by boat to the main ports of Heraklion, Chania, Rethimno, Agios Nikolaos and Sitia.Popular tourist attractions include the archaeological sites of the Minoan civilisation, the Venetian old city and port of Chania, the Venetian castle at Rethymno, the gorge of Samaria, the islands of Chrysi, Elafonisi, Gramvousa, Spinalonga and the Palm Beach of Vai, which is the largest natural palm forest in Europe.


Crete has an extensive bus system with regular services across the north of the island and from north to south. There are two regional bus stations in Heraklion. Bus routes and timetables can be found on KTEL website.KTEL bus services

Holiday homes and immigration

Crete's mild climate attracts interest from northern Europeans who want a holiday home or residence on the island. EU citizens have the right to freely buy property and reside with little formality.On the Rights of Citizens of the Union'', EC Directive 2004/58 EC (2004) A growing number of real estate companies cater to mainly British immigrants, followed by German, Dutch, Scandinavian and other European nationalities wishing to own a home in Crete. The British immigrants are concentrated in the western regional units of Chania and Rethymno and to a lesser extent in Heraklion and Lasithi.

Archaeological sites and museums

There is a large number of archaeological sites which include the Minoan sites of Knossos, Malia (not to be confused with the town of the same name), Petras, and Phaistos, the classical site of Gortys, and the diverse archaeology of the island of Koufonisi which includes Minoan, Roman, and World War II ruins. The latter, however, has restricted access for the last few years due to conservation concerns so it is best to check before heading to a port.There are a number of museums throughout Crete. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum displays most of the archaeological finds of the Minoan era and was reopened in 2014.Archaeological sites and Museums in Crete ExploreCrete.comFile:Gortys R02.jpg|View of GortynFile:Festos1(js).jpg|Archaeological site of PhaistosFile:Knossos south propylaeum.jpg|Ruins of the Palace of KnossosFile:Archaeological Museum of Chania.jpg|Archeological Museum of ChaniaFile:AMC Intern of Museum of Chania (Crete) 2.jpg|Museum of ChaniaFile:Chania naval museum.jpg|Chania Naval museumFile:Pluto Serapis and Persephone Isis Heraklion museum.jpg|Pluto and Persephone in Heraklion MuseumFile:Jars in Malia Crete the two.jpg|Jars in Malia, Crete

Fauna and flora


Crete is isolated from mainland Europe, Asia, and Africa, and this is reflected in the diversity of the fauna and flora. As a result, the fauna and flora of Crete have many clues to the evolution of species. There are no animals that are dangerous to humans on the island of Crete in contrast to other parts of Greece. Indeed, the ancient Greeks attributed the lack of large mammals such as bears, wolves, jackals, and poisonous snakes, to the labour of Hercules (who took a live Cretan bull to the Peloponnese). Hercules wanted to honor the birthplace of Zeus by removing all "harmful" and "poisonous" animals from Crete. Later, Cretans believed that the island was cleared of dangerous creatures by the Apostle Paul, who lived on the island of Crete for two years, with his exorcisms and blessings. There is a natural history museum, the Natural History Museum of Crete, operating under the direction of the University of Crete and two aquariums – Aquaworld in Hersonissos and Cretaquarium in Gournes, displaying sea creatures common in Cretan waters.

Prehistoric fauna

Dwarf elephants, dwarf hippopotamus, dwarf mammoths, dwarf deer, and giant flightless owls were native to Pleistocene Crete.Van der Geer, A.A.E., Dermitzakis, M., De Vos, J., 2006. Crete before the Cretans: the reign of dwarfs. Pharos 13, 121–132. Athens: Netherlands Institute.PDFCrete: 10 Fun Facts and Interesting Insights


Mammals of Crete include the vulnerable kri-kri, Capra aegagrus cretica that can be seen in the national park of the Samaria Gorge and on Thodorou,WEB, Αναρτήθηκε από admin,weblink ΤΟΠΙΟ: Θοδωρού, η άγνωστη νησίδα του Βενετικού ναυτικού οχυρού, των κρι-κρι και η απαγόρευση προσέγγισης,, 26 March 2013, Dia and Agioi Pantes (islets off the north coast), the Cretan wildcat and the Cretan spiny mouse.Thodorou Islands off Platanias ExploreCrete.comCretan Ibex, by Alexandros Roniotis CretanBeaches.comCretan wildcat {{Webarchive|url= |date=11 February 2011 }} CretanBeaches.comCretan spiny mouse{{Dead link|date=July 2019 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} Other terrestrial mammals include subspecies of the Cretan marten, the Cretan weasel, the Cretan badger, the long-eared hedgehog, and the edible dormouse.Terrestrial mammals of Crete CretanBeaches.comThe Cretan shrew, a type of white-toothed shrew is considered endemic to the island of Crete because this species of shrew is unknown elsewhere. It is a relic species of the crocidura shrews of which fossils have been found that can be dated to the Pleistocene era. In the present day it can only be found in the highlands of Crete.BOOK, Atlas of terrestrial mammals of the Ionian and Aegean islands,weblink De Gruyter, 43, 9783110254587, 30 October 2012, It is considered to be the only surviving remnant of the endemic species of the Pleistocene Mediterranean islands.BOOK, Evolution of Island Mammals,weblink Wiley, 35, 9781444391282, 14 February 2011, Bat species include: Blasius's horseshoe bat, the lesser horseshoe bat, the greater horseshoe bat, the lesser mouse-eared bat, Geoffroy's bat, the whiskered bat, Kuhl's pipistrelle, the common pipistrelle, Savi's pipistrelle, the serotine bat, the long-eared bat, Schreibers' bat and the European free-tailed bat.Wildlife on Crete IntoCrete.comFile:Kri-kri 1.jpg|The Kri-kri (the Cretan ibex) lives in protected natural parks at the gorge of Samaria and the island of Agios Theodoros.File:Male Cretan ibex.jpg|Male Cretan ibexFile:Kritikos Lagonikos 02.jpg|Cretan Hound or Kritikos Lagonikos, one of Europe's oldest hunting dog breeds


A large variety of birds includes eagles (can be seen in Lasithi), swallows (throughout Crete in the summer and all the year in the south of the island), pelicans (along the coast), and cranes (including Gavdos and Gavdopoula). The Cretan mountains and gorges are refuges for the endangered lammergeier vulture. Bird species include: the golden eagle, Bonelli's eagle, the bearded vulture or lammergeier, the griffon vulture, Eleanora's falcon, peregrine falcon, lanner falcon, European kestrel, tawny owl, little owl, hooded crow, alpine chough, red-billed chough, and the hoopoe.Birds of Crete We-love-crete.comChecklist and Guide to the Birds of Crete {{Webarchive|url= |date=29 May 2013 }}

Reptiles and amphibians

Tortoises can be seen throughout the island. Snakes can be found hiding under rocks. Toads and frogs reveal themselves when it rains.Reptiles include the aegean wall lizard, balkan green lizard, Chamaeleo chamaeleon, ocellated skink, snake-eyed skink, moorish gecko, turkish gecko, Kotschy's gecko, spur-thighed tortoise, and the stripe-necked terrapin.Native Reptiles of Crete at Aquaworld Aquaworld Aquarium.There are four species of snake on the island and these are not dangerous to humans. The four species include the leopard snake (locally known as Ochendra), the Balkan whip snake (locally called Dendrogallia), the dice snake (called Nerofido in Greek), and the only venomous snake is the nocturnal cat snake which has evolved to deliver a weak venom at the back of its mouth to paralyse geckos and small lizards, and is not dangerous to humans.The Snakes of Crete by John McClaren CreteGazette.comTurtles include the green turtle and the loggerhead turtle which are both endangered species. The loggerhead turtle nests and hatches on north-coast beaches around Rethymno and Chania, and south-coast beaches along the gulf of Mesara.Crete p. 69, by Victoria KyriakopoulosAmphibians include the green toad, American toad, common tree frog, and the Cretan marsh frog.


Crete has an unusual variety of insects. Cicadas, known locally as Tzitzikia, make a distinctive repetitive tzi tzi sound that becomes louder and more frequent on hot summer days. Butterfly species include the swallowtail butterfly. Moth species include the hummingbird moth.Feeding time for a hummingbird moth {{Webarchive|url= |date=14 March 2012 }} There are several species of scorpion such as Euscorpius carpathicus whose venom is generally no more potent than a mosquito bite.

Crustaceans and molluscs

River crabs include the semi-terrestrial Potamon potamios crab. Edible snails are widespread and can cluster in the hundreds waiting for rainfall to reinvigorate them.


Apart from terrestrial mammals, the seas around Crete are rich in large marine mammals, a fact unknown to most Greeks at present, although reported since ancient times. Indeed, the Minoan frescoes depicting dolphins in Queen's Megaron at Knossos indicate that Minoans were well aware of and celebrated these creatures. Apart from the famous endangered Mediterranean monk seal, which lives in almost all the coasts of the country, Greece hosts whales, sperm whales, dolphins and porpoises.Marine mammals of Crete {{webarchive|url= |date=7 February 2011 }} These are either permanent residents of the Mediterranean or just occasional visitors. The area south of Crete, known as the Greek Abyss, hosts many of them. Squid and octopus can be found along the coast and sea turtles and hammerhead sharks swim in the sea around the coast. The Cretaquarium and the Aquaworld Aquarium, are two of only three aquariums in the whole of Greece. They are located in Gournes and Hersonissos respectively. Examples of the local sealife can be seen there.Cretaquarium {{webarchive|url= |date=26 June 2011 }} Cretaquarium.grGreat Britons in Crete, John Bryce McLaren {{webarchive |url= |date=19 March 2011 }} BritsinCrete.netSome of the fish that can be seen in the waters around Crete include: scorpion fish, dusky grouper, east Atlantic peacock wrasse, five-spotted wrasse, weever fish, common stingray, brown ray, mediterranean black goby, pearly razorfish, star-gazer, painted comber, damselfish, and the flying gurnard.Fish from Crete at Aquaworld Aquaworld AquariumFile:Loggerhead sea turtle.jpg|The loggerhead sea turtle nests and hatches along the beaches of Rethymno and Chania and the gulf of Messara.


Common wildflowers include: camomile, daisy, gladiolus, hyacinth, iris, poppy, cyclamen and tulip, among others.Fielding, J. and Turland, N. "Flowers of Crete", Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, {{ISBN|978-1842460795}}, 2008 There are more than 200 different species of wild orchid on the island and this includes 14 varieties of Ophrys Cretica.Crete p.68 by Victoria Kyriakopoulos Crete has a rich variety of indigenous herbs including common sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.The Flora of Crete Rare herbs include the endemic Cretan dittany. and ironwort, Sideritis syriaca, known as Malotira (Μαλοτήρα). Varieties of cactus include the edible prickly pear. Common trees on the island include the chestnut, cypress, oak, olive tree, pine, plane, and tamarisk. Trees tend to be taller to the west of the island where water is more abundant.File:044 Dracunculus vulgaris at Akrotiri peninsula, Crete, Greece.jpg|Snake lily (Dracunculus vulgaris)File:Ophrys cretica-001.jpg|The Ophrys Cretica orchid.

Environmentally protected areas

There are a number of environmentally protected areas. One such area is located at the island of Elafonisi on the coast of southwestern Crete. Also, the palm forest of Vai in eastern Crete and the Dionysades (both in the municipality of Sitia, Lasithi), have diverse animal and plant life. Vai has a palm beach and is the largest natural palm forest in Europe. The island of Chrysi, {{convert|15|km|0|abbr=off}} south of Ierapetra, has the largest naturally-grown Juniperus macrocarpa forest in Europe. Samaria Gorge is a World Biosphere Reserve and Richtis Gorge is protected for its landscape diversity.


File:Zeushoehle.jpg|thumb|upright=0.9|"Diktaean Cave"]]Crete has a rich mythology mostly connected with the ancient Greek Gods but also connected with the Minoan civilisation.According to Greek Mythology, The Diktaean Cave at Mount Dikti was the birthplace of the god Zeus. The Paximadia islands were the birthplace of the goddess Artemis and the god Apollo. Their mother, the goddess Leto, was worshipped at Phaistos. The goddess Athena bathed in Lake Voulismeni. The ancient Greek god Zeus launched a lightning bolt at a giant lizard that was threatening Crete. The lizard immediately turned to stone and became the island of Dia. The island can be seen from Knossos and it has the shape of a giant lizard. The islets of Lefkai were the result of a musical contest between the Sirens and the Muses. The Muses were so anguished to have lost that they plucked the feathers from the wings of their rivals; the Sirens turned white and fell into the sea at Aptera ("featherless") where they formed the islands in the bay that were called Lefkai (the islands of Souda and Leon).Caroline M. Galt, "A marble fragment at Mount Holyoke College from the Cretan city of Aptera", Art and Archaeology 6 (1920:150). Hercules, in one of his labors, took the Cretan bull to the Peloponnese. Europa and Zeus made love at Gortys and conceived the kings of Crete, Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon, and Minos.The labyrinth of the Palace of Knossos was the setting for the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in which the Minotaur was slain by Theseus. Icarus and Daedalus were captives of King Minos and crafted wings to escape. After his death King Minos became a judge of the dead in Hades, while Rhadamanthys became the ruler of the Elysian fields.


{{See also|Cretan School|Cretan literature|Music of Crete|Cretan cuisine}}Crete has its own distinctive Mantinades poetry. The island is known for its Mantinades-based music (typically performed with the Cretan lyra and the laouto) and has many indigenous dances, the most noted of which is the Pentozali.Cretan authors have made important contributions to Greek Literature throughout the modern period; major names include Vikentios Kornaros, creator of the 17th-century epic romance Erotokritos (Greek Ερωτόκριτος), and, in the 20th century, Nikos Kazantzakis. In the Renaissance, Crete was the home of the Cretan School of icon painting, which influenced El Greco and through him subsequent European painting.Crete is also famous for its traditional cuisine. The nutritional value of the Cretan cuisine was discovered by the American epidemiologist Ancel Keys in the 1960, being later often mentioned by epidemiologists as one of the best examples of the Mediterranean diet.António José Marques da Silva, La diète méditerranéenne. Discours et pratiques alimentaires en Méditerranée (vol. 2), L'Harmattan, Paris, 2015 {{ISBN|978-2-343-06151-1}}, pp. 49–51Cretans are fiercely proud of their island and customs, and men often don elements of traditional dress in everyday life: knee-high black riding boots (stivania), vráka breeches tucked into the boots at the knee, black shirt and black headdress consisting of a fishnet-weave kerchief worn wrapped around the head or draped on the shoulders (sariki). Men often grow large mustaches as a mark of masculinity.Cretan society is well known for notorious family and clan vendettas which persist on the island to date.Brian Murphy: Vendetta Victims: People, A Village – Crete's `Cycle Of Blood' Survives The Centuries at The Seattle Times, 14 January 1999.Aris Tsantiropoulos: WEB,weblink Collective Memory and Blood Feud: The Case of Mountainous Crete, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 31 March 2012, dmy-all,  {{small|(254 KB)}}, Crimes and Misdemeanours 2/1 (2008), University of Crete. Cretans also have a tradition of keeping firearms at home, a tradition lasting from the era of resistance against the Ottoman Empire. Nearly every rural household on Crete has at least one unregistered gun. Guns are subject to strict regulation from the Greek government, and in recent years a great deal of effort to control firearms in Crete has been undertaken by the Greek police, but with limited success.File:Sfakia-dance.jpg|Dancers from Sfakia.File:Vamos - Kafenion 3.jpg|Old man from Crete dressed in the typical black shirt.File:Koukouvagia.jpg|Dakos, traditional Cretan salad.


Crete has many football clubs playing in the local leagues. During the 2011–12 season, OFI Crete, which plays at Theodoros Vardinogiannis Stadium (Iraklion), and Ergotelis F.C., which plays at the Pankritio Stadium (Iraklion) were both members of the Greek Superleague. During the 2012–13 season, OFI Crete, which plays at Theodoros Vardinogiannis Stadium (Iraklion), and Platanias F.C., which plays at the Perivolia Municipal Stadium, near Chania, are both members of the Greek Superleague.

Notable people

File:El Greco - Portrait of a Man - WGA10554.jpg|thumb|upright|Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) ]]File:Venizelos--lifeofvenizelosw00chesuoft.png|thumb|upright|Eleftherios VenizelosEleftherios VenizelosNotable people from Crete include:

See also




  • BOOK, Εισαγωγικό Σημείωμα ("Introduction"), XI–XX, Nikolaos M., Panagiotakis, Crete, History and Civilization, I, Vikelea Library, Association of Regional Associations of Regional Municipalities, 1987, Greek,
  • Francis, Jane and Anna Kouremenos (eds.) 2016. Roman Crete: New Perspectives. Oxford: Oxbow.

External links

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