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Today only two of the four gates are preserved: the Gate of Pantokrator or the Chania Gate on the west side and the Gate of lisous the new gate along the southern side of the wall. At the southernmost point of the peribolus is the Martinengo bastion, the highest point of the castle and furthermore impregnable. Here is also the grave of the famous Nikos Kazantzakis. On a stoneplate you can read the inscription of a phrase stated by the author, "I hope nothing, I fear nothing, I am free". The basilica of St. Mark, the Venetian Lotzia, beautiful fountains, old churches such as Agios Titos,the fortress, the Venetian shipyards and many more scattered monuments make our walk through the city.

A visit to Heraklion's Archaeological Museum is a must. You can see one of the world's most important collections with objects from Knossos, Phaistos, Gortyna, Arhanes and of other places on Crete. Nearby is the Historical Ethnographic Museum and ecclesiastical works of art. The local specialty of Heraklion is Hochli snails cooked in different ways.


If you taste them without being to Id what it is, you will find them delicious. In Heraklion's 11 rakadika" you can enjoy the traditional " mezedes appetisers , baked potatoes 11 oftes patates", tasty cheeses and olives. The traditional Cretan sweets are "Kaltsounia" which you can find anywhere on the island. Don't forget to visit the "mahairadika", workshops where the famous Cretan knives are made by experienced hand crafters. Near Heraklion you can swim at the organized beaches of Ammoudara, Linoperamata and Kartero. Here we also find the ruins Of the Minoan city of Amnisos and a villa with impressive frescos.

In the same area the Cave of Eileithias is situated, which was the sanctuary of the goddess of fertility, in , at the Picturesque village of Fodele Domenikos Theotokopoulos was born, more famous under the name of El Greco, one of the greatest painters Of the Renaissance period. Brilliant palaces and magnificent residences surrounded Heraklion during antiquity.

The Minoan civilization flourished in Crete from to 13C and was considered to be one of the most important in Greece. While it lasted, more than one hundred cities prospered and grew into significant centres of civilization. Most Of them were repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes and other natural phenomenon but each time they were rebuilt and were more magnificent than before.

In the Minoan Civilization's Golden Age BC art evolved in this cities leaving us a significant cultural inheritance and Considerable unique findings. Knossos is Crete's most significant archaeological site It was here that Arthur Evans" the English archaeologist discovered the ruins of the greatest and most luxurious Minoan palace. The first palace was built around BC and was destroyed some years later.

It was quickly rebuilt, this time more imposing and more magnificent than before thus marking the Neoanactoric. Classified as a National park, Samaria Gorge is one of the most spectacular natural parks in Europe. Starting south of the settlement of Omalos, 42 Km south of Hania, spans for 18 Km as far as the south Crete coast. The only way to see the gorge is to walk through its entire length, sometime between May and October when passage is permitted, but rest assured that the five or so hours that you spend in this gorge will award you with incredible views.

The Battle for Crete

Take the pedestrian path walk at Xyloskalo, the gorge's entrance, and start your descend in the gorge. After about three hours of walk at a normal pace, you will have descended by meters of altitude on a zigzag path that brings you to the deserted village of Samaria with its 14th century chapel. You will notice that although the sun is high in the sky, the gorge is always in the shadow. Used as a hide out during war years, is now haunted by the Cretan "ibex" known as "Kri-Kri", the chin bearded wild goat of Crete with thick, curved, ridged horns, and only if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of one.

Equally rare is "Dictamon" a herb very much appreciated locally, found on the cliffs of the gorge. One mile before Agia Roumeli at the southern exit of the gorge, is the famous "Sideroportes" Iron Gate , where the rock wall rises meters on either side of the passage, only 3 meters wide. Remember that the walk through is a one way venture as you start from an altitude of about m above sea level going down to zero.

For this reason you will probably use public transport from Hania to arrive early morning in Omalos, and at midday you can catch a boat from Agia Roumeli to Chora Sfakion. From there, again by bus, you will arrive exhausted back to Hania to meet your transport. Alternatively you can buy this excursion as a package sold locally in many resorts.

You will be picked up from your hotel, very early in the morning and will be brought back in the evening. A slightly more expensive method but worth trying it. Eileithyia was a goddess that protected childbirth and this cave was the most important place of her worship. According to tradition she was born by Hera inside this cave, which is also mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey t The finds proove that it was continuously used from Neolithic until late Roman times, with more intensive occupation noted for the Neolithic, Minoan, and late Roman periods.

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Evidence for cult practice in the Early Christian times 5th century A. Restricted investigation was carried out in by Joseph Chatzidakis. The site was systematically excavated by Spyridon Marinatos in The Odeion is dated to the 1st century A. Beneath it there was an Archaic, round building which had the stones of the Law Code of Gortyn built in its walls. These stones were again built in the theatre of the Roman period. The Odeion was destroyed by the Arabs in A. In , parts of the large inscription Code of Gortyn were accidentally brought to light.

Excavations in the area of the Odeion were begun in by F. Halbherr and L. Pernier, and completed in The Odeion has been consolidated and the north circular wall, where the inscription is built, is protected within a small structure. The Odeion has two entrances on the north side, and an orchestra, almost semicircular in plan, lined with white and grey marble slabs.

The raised stage skene was also paved with bricks and marbles. Four niches for statues were constructed in the north wall of the stage. Of the cavea only three rows of benches are preserved. In the north, circular wall of the Odeion, the Code of Gortyn has been built. The Palace of Phaistos with its superb architectural composition and its almost perfect construction, is considered to be the finest and most typical of all Minoan palaces. The tanks returned, halted briefly while last-minute words were exchanged, then ground forward. A group of Maori broke into a haka.

Others in the line promptly took up the call. Soon the entire formation was bellowing its pack ferocity. The men swarmed up the lane in the wake of the clattering armour, elements of 18 Battalion in spontaneous support on the left. An anti-tank grenade knocked it out. The crew scrambled free.

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Automatic fire from the houses opposite threatened to stem the flow. Others stood firm, turning stampede into mauling retreat, but by midnight Galatos was back in New Zealand hands. Almost immediately, though, German mortar shells from outside the village began to rain down, and the order to withdraw soon followed.

Yet the frenetic assault had bought valuable breathing space, enabling the New Zealand line to fall back on the neighbouring village of Daratsos in relatively good order. In one of the tavernas at the edge of the village square, I sat with Bill Smith—born and bred in Gore and still living there at the age of 83—as he shared his recollections of the famous occasion.

He spoke calmly, his voice rich with a southern burr. It was a mad rush—just a frenzied rush. I had a rifle and bayonet and a captured German pistol. Anyone who had turned up had been made welcome, served food and wine at long rows of trestle tables, and treated to a performance of traditional Cretan dancing. During May 26, having reoccupied Galatos, the Germans renewed their advance. It was clear to Freyberg that his forces were in an untenable situation and that to save even a proportion of them evacuation would have to be arranged without delay.

A last reserve of British troops was to relieve 5 Brigade and, with the two relatively fresh Australian battalions already in place, to hold the line until a commando unit, expected to arrive by ship at Souda Bay, could be deployed to cover a general retreat over the White Mountains to the south coast.

The Name of the Castle

From the tiny beach at Hora Sfakion, the Royal Navy would once again ferry to safety such men as it could. Freyberg also chose this moment to alter his chain of command. But, with 2 Greek Regiment now dispersed, the Australians in Prison Valley had been outflanked, and both they and 5 Brigade had already retired to avoid encirclement.

As a result, the British found themselves advancing into a void and by next morning had been cut off. Small parties fought their way back east to rejoin the main force, but the majority either perished or were taken prisoner. The Maoris returned with their bayonets dripping blood.

I reckon they made the Germans timid, which helped us get away.

Operation Mercury - Battle of Crete - WW2 [HD COLOUR]

As 42nd Street was abandoned on the evening of May 27, Creforce Headquarters joined the exodus south. At daybreak, 23 Battalion repelled another mountain regiment in a vicious engagement involving hand-to-hand fighting. When sniper and mortar fire then plagued the continuing withdrawal, Sergeant Clive Hulme infiltrated the German lines and added to an already astounding tally of snipers stalked and shot during the preceding days. Meanwhile the bulk of the Allied army trudged wearily through the foothills towards Vrysses and the looming mountains beyond.

For men already battle-fatigued, footsore, seared by thirst and weak from hunger, the ascent from Vrysses was a gruelling trek. As the unending stream of men and vehicles toiled up the dusty, stony road under a grilling sun, one false crest of glaring shale and limestone heartbreakingly succeeded another. Vehicles that broke down or ran out of petrol were abandoned or tipped into the valley below. Units that could still form up marched in regular fashion; others proceeded in disorder. The angry roar of a foraying Messerschmitt was the signal to flatten in terror against the stony ground.

Reaching Askifou Plain, a fertile oasis of fields and orchards, weary New Zealand and Australian battalions once again took up defensive positions on the night of May 28— Behind a series of rearguard engagements they withdrew across the plain and down Imbros Gorge to the coast, covering the evacuation, over three nights, of many of those ahead of them.

Who was to leave and who to stay? Some resorted to subterfuge, faking wounds or claiming special status. Freyberg himself was airlifted to safety by Sunderland flying boat on the night of May A few hours before he left, a German detachment penetrated towards the coast down a ravine to the west of Imbros Gorge. At Iraklio, the order to evacuate was received with bitter astonishment.

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The British garrison nevertheless withdrew in perfect order, to be spirited away by a Royal Navy squadron. With paratroops now also advancing from Iraklio, there was no escape. Anyone left behind was to surrender. At the urging of Prime Minister Peter Fraser, in Alexandria to do all he could for his beleaguered countrymen and to welcome them off the boats, a fifth vessel was added to the evacuation force.

It was the turn of the last of the rearguard. The rasping of lifting anchor chains across the water spelt out their fate—bitter reward for their efforts. Some 5— troops remained at the mercy of the enemy. Hundreds took to the hills to avoid capture. Some of these eventually escaped by submarine or fishing boat; others hid out for years and took part in the resistance.

Most were eventually taken prisoner. The majority of those left behind had to face the torturous trek back over the mountains to Hania, the unsanitary conditions of a makeshift prison camp, and eventual shipment to stalags in mainland Europe. For those fortunate enough to have been rescued, the threat of air attack was the final ordeal. Shambling down the gangway in Alexandria, some battalions refused to appear defeated.

They fell in on the quayside before marching off in order. For their leaders, the inquest into what had gone wrong loomed. These would prove their worth in the invasion of Normandy and the crossing of the Rhine the following year. In between, however, lay failure at Arnhem. Hitler now turned east, launching Operation Barbarossa just three weeks later. Forewarned by Ultra, General Freyberg prepared to meet the attack at several locations across the island right.

Major airborne assaults at Rethimno and Iraklio, and a smaller one at Kastelli, were contained. A War of Shadows Author W. Boardman and Co. Main article: Damasta sabotage. Archived from the original on The Ariadne Objective , , Random House". Ill Met by Moonlight , , Orion". Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Languages Add links.