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Zorba the Greek

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history of Crete

souvenirs from Greece

Greek mythology

confessions of Zeus

with a child in Crete

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Not much, just 4 km south of the Venetian aqueduct described above, there is a less impressive - Morozini. It is difficult to see on the spot, because huge vineyards cover it effectively. The Morozini aqueduct is important because its name is exactly the same as the most famous fountain in Heraklion. All this because thanks to the same Italian governor, a 15-kilometer aqueduct was designed and built, bringing spring water from the slopes of the sacred mountain to the Morozini fountain. The construction took 14 months. The ceremonial inauguration took place on April 25, 1628. On the day of the patron saint of the city, St. Mark.


To those who came here, I suggest a place that is today underestimated and closed to tourists. Not much further, because it is enough to drive 4 km on an extremely picturesque and asphalt road to the viewpoint, from where there is a beautiful view of Heraklion, the airport, the sea and the surrounding area. The archaeological site, located on the Gouchta slope, was discovered relatively recently, in 1979. The heyday of this place falls on the 17th century BC, i.e. the period of the first Minoan palaces. The Anemospilia Sanctuary is a small temple with four rooms. An altar with the iconic vessels on which blood sacrifices were made was discovered here.


Human remains were also found, the death of which probably occurred simultaneously from a fall from a rock and a fire. Unfortunately, there are many indications that human sacrifice was made here, because the three remains, one woman and two men, were probably priests who died saving themselves during the earthquake, but the bones of the fourth man indicate a completely different cause of death. According to anthropologists and forensic doctors, everything indicates that the victim was a human being.


coordinates for navigation:

Morozini aqueduct:            35.25995, 25.15711

Anemospilia sanctuary:     35.25577, 25.14455

location - see map in the tile at the bottom of the page

Venetian Aqueduct in Crete

On the outskirts of the tiny town of Agia Eirini Spilia, you can see a very well-preserved section of the aqueduct. Its creation dates back to the 2nd century AD. He provided water to the Minoan Knossos. The water, supposedly exceptionally clean, came from a spring in the Kounaviano Gorge (an extremely charming gorge due to its lush vegetation, rivers, mini waterfalls, abandoned chapels and women carved into the rock). The city was then a Roman colony. An interesting fact is that for a distance of about a kilometer, the water ran through a tunnel carved in the rock.


The work went smoothly, but the famous Tunnel of Eupalinos on Samos, which was built in the 6th century BC, was cut from two opposite sides. The two strands were to meet halfway. It operated after a slight correction, but given that it required great precision, Eupalinos was hailed as the first architect, and he himself gained enormous fame and money. But let's go back to the aqueduct in Crete


In 1204, as part of the Fourth Crusade, Venice bought Heraklion for a thousand pieces of silver. A city called Candia was suffering from a drinking water shortage. In the 17th century, there were 1,270 wells and 273 cisterns here. The water, however, tasted salty. In 1639, renovation and expansion of the remaining aqueduct from ancient times began. Another invader, the Ottoman Turks, underestimated the role of the structure and the aqueduct was not used at the time.


coordinates for navigation:

Venetian aqueduct:      35.284697, 25.166594

location - see map in the tile at the bottom of the page


Ancient Lappa


Apparently, the great ruler of Mycenae, Agamemnon, appreciated this place many centuries BCE. He founded a settlement that grew enormously over time. Strong enough that it connected the northern coast of Crete with the south. If the legend is true, it can only testify to the great knowledge and insight of the leader of the fight for Troy. Why? Because Crete literally dries up in the summer. High temperatures and no rain for several summer months do this. In the vicinity of hotels or monuments where tourists travel, there is a beautiful and blooming greenery, but it is enough to walk a few meters for lush vegetation to give way to dry ones.


It is different in the small town of Argyroupolis. Built on the remains of an ancient city, it literally abounds in natural springs. Nowhere is there such lush and abundant greenery. Numerous stone shots with mini-waterfalls created in the Venetian times make many tourists come here every day. The taverns offer not only good food, but also a playground for children. So you can fully rest. For those interested, I will add that the authentic floor mosaics in the buildings, which were made of materials recovered from ancient times, still delight. I was personally delighted with aqueducts from Roman times. They are overgrown so you have to work a bit to find them.


However, something else is most delightful to me. Literally 1.5 km northeast of the so-called green oasis, you can visit the forgotten and underrated Ancient Lappa, an ancient necropolis with tombs hidden in the rock. You have to leave the car (otherwise you will not be able to get here) in front of the gate with a sign, there is no parking here, because hardly anyone comes here. After a short walk, you will reach a small church known as the "five virgins". Supposedly, in the 3rd century CE young praying women were murdered here. A single wall with a bell tower, typical of Greece, leads to a "different" reality. Among the beautiful greenery and among the water intakes, you can freely visit the ancient tombs carved in the rocks.


coordinates for navigation:

Green oasis:      35.28641, 24.33208

Ancient Lappa:   35.29333, 24.34248

location - see map in the tile at the bottom of the page


The most important monument in Crete not to be missed is the Minoan Palace in Knossos. Although there are many tourists here every day, these archaeological excavations are a must. Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is next to Rhodes the most famous and most crowded. There is a lot to discover on each of the islands. Some monuments are very "fashionable", others little known.

Here you can read about several places that are open 24 hours a day and can be visited at any time of the day or night. Although I do not recommend tourism after dark, because reaching them is not easy. The biggest advantage of these monuments is that they are not visited by crowds of tourists. You may not meet anyone.