Existing since 824 AD what once was known as Chandakas, has developed to be the largest city in Crete, one of the largest in Greece. Although initially a pirates’ hideaway, Heraklion was taken over by the Byzantines until 1204, when it was passed on to the Venetians. Crete and Heraklion, was one of the last areas to be occupied by the Ottoman empire. In 1669, after 22 years of siege and thousands of deaths, Heraklion fell to the Ottomans. In 1908 Crete became independent and 5 years later reunited with the rest of Greece. Its international airport and harbor turned Heraklion into a financial center of Crete. It has developed to concentrate the power of business and the beauty of culture in its wolls. You can visit Heraklion to discover the variety of Orthodox churches, the busy shopping streets with by far the most variety on the island, the exhibitions, its cinemas and to taste the specialities of the area.