Short history of Crete

Crete’s location is the main reason for the continuous claim of the island by many occupants. Minoan civilization thrived between 2800 BC to 1400 and the Palaces of Knossos, Malia, Zakros, Phaestus reflect the splendor of the Minoan civilization. It was terminated when the Achaeans and the Dorians made  their presence on the island and the Classical Greek  civilization begun.  Romans moved the capital of Crete to Gortys after their conquest and in 824 Crete was conquered by Arabs who turned today’s Iraklion to a base for pirate attacks in the Mediterranean. Byzantines turn was in 961 and after the conquest of Constantinople by the crusaders in 1204 the Venetians became the new rulers of Crete. The progress during that period was immense both in economical and spiritual form. Cities were rebuild with monuments and fortifications while arts flourished in the form of literature, music , paintings and more. All these were interrupted when Candia (today’s Iraklion) the Crete’s last fortress, surrendered after the longest siege in history by the Ottomans in 1669. Bloody revolutions led to the autonomy of Crete in 1897 and in 1913 Crete became part of the Greek territory honoring the dream of Cretans for the Union. Cretan glory emerged once again in the battle of Crete in 1941 helping to turn  the scales in favor of the Allies.