Heraklion is the capital of Crete since 1971, when it replaced Chania. The town is quite a buzy town as it is the third largest urban area in Greece and the fourth biggest city of Greece, with a city population of about 140.000 persons and urban population of 225.000 inhabitants.
The town planning of Heraklion confuses a little. In the center of the city mix Byzantine churches, Venetian palaces, Turkish fountains, neo-classic buildings and concrete buildings built in the 1950s. Destroyed repeatedly, in particular in August, 1898 and during the Second World War, Heraklion had the worst difficulties managing its development. During the military junta, Venetian buildings nevertheless in a perfect state were levelled.
The preparation of the Summer Olympics of 2004 enormously developed the urban landscape of Heraklion. A part of the city center , like Morossini square and 25th of August street, is pedestrian from now on, the electric and phone cables are systematically buried. A considerable effort was supplied to improve the city living environment.
Theses facts make Heraklion a complexe town to visit, where best and worst mix together. For instance, new improvements alongside bring back to live the sea coastal abandoned buildings and factories and transformed this area in a trendy place for evening coffee, as well as a busy shopping mall. The best time to enjoy Heraklion is at dusk, when businessmen give way to evening onlookers, people who go out for party, coffee. That’s where the heart of the city is beating, in small bars, tavernas, even local music bars.