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Elounda - later times

 

The period of Venetian rule is the rebirth of the city. In documents from 1376 the new name of the city appears - Elounda. Huge water reservoirs and three round stone windmills, closed today, were built to extract salt. The Venetians fortified the coast to defend it against pirates and the Turks. At that time, a fortress was built on the nearby island of Spinalonga, which was captured by the Turks in 1715. The Turkish times slowed down the city's development, although the salt obtained here was still profitable.

In 1913, Crete united with Greece. From 1928 until the outbreak of World War II, British airlines' seaplanes made stopovers here for refueling. Unfortunately, precisely in order to prevent a possible Allied landing, the Germans captured Elounda.

Elounda - present times

 

Today Elounda is a city with hotels for wealthy tourists. There are many fishing boats in the port where you can buy fresh fish. Ships depart from here (for around € 20) to nearby Spinalonga. The city itself is very pleasant to walk around and the port itself with lots of palm trees is a very nice place to rest after seeing the sunken ruins of an ancient city, an early Christian basilica, stone windmills or a canal from which small boats leave the bay to the open sea.

Olous is a sunken ancient city

 

Olous was the city of Polis in antiquity. It had its own port and minted its own coins. There was also an important center of worship here. The city was famous for the wooden statue of Vritomaris, the Cretan version of the goddess Arteminid. The statue was carved by Daedalus himself, the famous mythological sculptor and architect. The city got rich thanks to the trade in grinding stones, which were used to polish metal. They were mined in quarries in the Karfi area.

The reign of the Romans further strengthened the position of the polis. In the 5th century CE a basilica was erected on the site of an ancient temple, where the remains of a mosaic can be admired to this day. It was the seat of the bishop.

The Byzantine period is a difficult period for coastal regions. There were frequent pirate raids from the 7th century AD by the Saracens. Residents, fearing for their property and lives, moved inland.

In 780 there was a landslide. The city lies on the border of tectonic plates. A large part of the building was flooded. To this day, you can admire the walls protruding from the sea level. In good weather, you can also see the outlines of buildings.

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Keramejkos