Iraklion

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Iráklion (ērä´klēôn) or Candia (kăn´dēə), city (1991 pop. 116,178), capital of Crete governorate and Iráklion prefecture, N Crete, Greece, a port on the Sea of Crete. It is the largest city on Crete and ships wine, olive oil, raisins, and almonds. Tourism is especially important to the city. Iráklion was founded (9th cent.) by the Muslim Saracens. In 961 it was conquered by the Byzantine emperor Nicephorus II, and in the 13th cent. it became a Venetian colony. The Venetians, who named the city Candia, fortified it and improved its port. In 1669 it was captured by the Ottoman Turks after a two-year siege. It was the capital of Crete until 1841, and in 1913 it passed to Greece. Iráklion has a museum of Minoan antiquities that were excavated at the site of ancient Knossos, just outside the city. Among Iráklion's historic monuments are a cathedral, several mosques, and remains of Venetian walls and fortifications.

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Iráklion (Heraklion or Candia) Seaport and largest city on the island of Crete, s Greece; capital of Iráklion prefecture. Founded in the 9th century by the Saracens, it was conquered by the Byzantines in 961, the Venetians in 1204, and the Ottoman Turks in 1669. It became part of Greece in 1913. The ruins of Knossos are nearby. Tourism is important. Exports: wine, olive oil, almonds and raisins. Pop. (2001) 263,868.