1776 Ottoman Sebil (Philanthropic Fountain) in Heraklion, Crete

1776 Ottoman Sebil (Philanthropic Fountain) in Heraklion, Crete


At the Kornarou Street (after you finish your walking 1866 street which hosts the Heraklion Central Market), you will bump into an Ottoman landmark, often called as the Turkish Pumphouse and the Venetian Bembo Fountain.


This landmark used to be a Philantrhopic (sebil)* fountain, built in 1776 by Hadji Ibrahim Aga.

It is worth to mention that in order to build and preserve it, Hadji Ibrahim Aga dedicated almost all his property. The building is polygonal with arched windows, under each one there used to be a water tap.

Right behind it, you cannot miss the Bembo Fountain (built between 1552 – 1554). It was named after the Venetian Gianmatteo Bembo who built it and it was actually the first fountain to bring spring water in the city.

*sebil or sabil refers to a public water fountain, usually built at crossroads in order to provide drinking water for travelers and enable purification prior to the prayer.



More information about the Turkish Fountains here

Read some reviews from TripAdvisor users

By MontherYASEEN, Amman Jordan

Lovely walk in Heraklion

One of the things that you are going to watch while you walking there is the Turkish Pump-house you ll enjoy the walk and you ll feel the the effects of other cultures on the place go and enjoy your time as we did many cafes and restaurants around to take dinner or lunch as we did .

By lbp121 Luton, United Kingdom


There is little to say what it was so I found that info on here! Old and historic, attracting many photographs, but not mine. Unattractive building at the end of a cheap shopping street.

By giorgo11, Athens

It is Ottoman

This is an Ottoman monument, not Turkish. It was built during the Ottoman period by a Turk citizen of the city. It was a philanthropic place, as it was serving free water to the people. Now, it is renovated, but the cafeneio(a coffee shop since early 20th century) because of the archaeologists who always create problems in our country remains closed. I hope it will be in use again as it is very important point of the old city and a very old and traditional cafeneio (coffee shop).

By BarbieMegaTraveller, Sydney – Australia

Needs a little fix up & an opportunity for its glory days to return

The area at the Turkish Pumphouse is lovely with markets and shops all around, while also being peaceful with great views of ruins.

The pumphouse used to be a great water provider in its day, as well as a place for people to meet and gather. I understand the inside used to provide a tea/coffee house but now it’s just a shell, not operational which is such a shame. I can imagine this being quite the hub, a thing of beauty.

By StefanSerban, Bucharest Romania

Nice place to walk by

It’s a nice place, nearby a local basar. In the surroundings there are many restaurants, shops and other activities to do. If you are visiting Heraklion’s center is a good place to start.