Every Wednesday, at 11:00 Heraklion Municipality offers free city tours! Surprised? So was I! And of course I decided to participate to the very first one.
I had contacted the tourism office (firstname.lastname@example.org) a few days before, to let them know about my participation. When Wednesday finally arrived, I went to the info point (Google Location here) shortly before 11 in the morning.
What can you do before the tour starts?
Before the tour starts, you may discover the city interactively by checking out the information stands inside the Info-Point or you can get to know the other citizens or city visitors that will be there waiting for the tour.
Who is making the tour?
A professional tour guide will be your host, when I attended there
were both Greek and English visitors so the tour took place in both
How long will it last?
The tour will last for approximately 1 hour, depending on the questions and on how many people are attending.
Which places will we visit? What will we learn?
The tour starts outside the Morosini Fountain where the tour guide describes the Venetian City, how the square used to be 400 years ago and mentions monuments that are no longer present. (such as the Voltone Gate)
Then, the group visits the Basilica of Saint Mark, that was built in 1239 as the Cathedral of Crete at the time. This was a very important building for Crete and now it houses the Heraklion Municipality Art Gallery that you can visit and enjoy especially during art exhibitions.
Just a few steps down the road 25th of August, you will visit the Loggia, now housing the Municipality of the city, and built in 1628 by Provveditore Generale Francesco Morosini to serve as a meeting point for aristocracy members. Learn all about how this building was used during the Ottoman occupation and how it was restored to how it looks like today.
Walk down the street and admire the imposing Saint Titus that used to be the city’s largest temple during the Second Byzantine Period and the seat of the Latin Archibishop. Destroyed by the 1856 earthquake, the temple was reconstructed again to what we see before us.
Keep your cameras on – if you are lucky, you may get to admire flocks of pigeons flying all together and creating a beautiful photo setting.
The tour continues down the road at the 25th of August and finishes at its end, with our city’s emblem, Koules Fortress at the back ground. Learn all about the fortress and if you have more time, you can go visit it!
More information (Greek) https://www.heraklion.gr/municipality/municipality-press-releases/xenagiseis-tourismos-130120.html