Heraklion is the capital of Crete and one of the Mediterranean region’s most fascinating and vibrant cities.
The Chandax of the Arabs and Byzantines, the Candia of the Venetians, was one of the island’s major ports and markets, and at times one of the most economically active towns in the wider region.
Heraklion is the fourth largest city in Greece.
According to the results of the 2011 census, the municipality’s population is 173,993 people and it extends over an area of 684.3 km2 (264.2 sq mi).
Historical places to visit are the Palace of Knossos, the Archaeological Museum, the Historical Museum and the Natural History Museum.
In the heart of the city you can see Byzantine monuments standing next to Venetian buildings, whereas in the villages one can admire numerous abandoned monasteries and ancient churches.
The Minoan palace is the main site of interest at Knossos, an important city in antiquity, which was inhabited continuously from the Neolithic period until the 5th c. AD.
The visitor also can admire a number of finds that come from different periods of time, and different parts of Crete, in the various rooms of the Archaeological Museum, where treasures of the Palace of Knossos hold an important place.
The Historical Museum with its various collections offers to the visitor a trip through time from the first centuries A.D. until nowadays, with emphasis on the dramatic history of the city of Heraklion and the Natural History Museum of Crete (NHMC) demonstrates with an impressive manner the natural environment of eastern Mediterranean area with special emphasis on Greece and Crete.
Mayor of the city since 2014 is Mr Vassilis Labrinos.
The main goal of the Municipality of Heraklion is to attract international interest and to turn this region into a centre of creation and development.
For that reason, the municipal authority is building communication channels with other European cities and at the same time, participates in activities concerning education, city planning, economy, politics, foreign affairs etc. Heraklion has been selected as one of the Smart21 Communities of 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the Intelligent Community Forum and has been awarded European distinction and the second European Prize in the Dosta!-Congress Prize as recognition of the excellent efforts and its municipal program for the implementation of its social services pertaining to social inclusion and anti-discrimination.
The Municipality of Heraklion is a member of the “Eurotowns”, Eurocities”, “Balkan cities”, “Local Urban Development (LUDEN)” networks and of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC).
These networks promote the exchange of information and good practices between the participants, facilitating the organization of joint events, the implementation of joint projects and the conduct of mutual research.
Mayor: Vassilis Labrinos
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