Heraklion, the largest city in Crete, has had a turbulent history. The present city of Heraklion was founded in 824 AD by the Saracens, in 961 AD a Byzantine era began until 1204 when Crete was sold to the Venetians. The Turks took over the city in 1669 and dominated until liberation in 1898. Crete unified with Greece in 1913, Heraklion suffered bombings and played the part in the Battle of Crete in 1941, became the capital in 1971 and was an Olympic city in 2004.
The Venetian fortress "Koules" dominates the old harbour. The centre of Heraklion is the Eleftherias square with the St. George Gate and the Archaeological Museum. Morosini fountain with the lions, Venetian loggia, Heraklion market, Saint Minas cathedral and other Venetian buildings, squares, churches, fountains and fortification walls are main attractions of the city.

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