Buy Property in Crete and taste the Cretan way of living !!!
Crete, the largest and southernmost of the Greek Islands, is a land of astonishing diversity and natural beauty. Buy property in Crete and discover this alluring isle forms a vibrant collage of ochre-coloured ruins, electric blue seas, buttermilk-coloured beaches and silver-green olive groves. Crete is an island where the stark beauty of snow-capped mountains contrast with the lush allure of flower-filled plains; where unspoilt fishing villages sit side by side with sophisticated beach resorts; where the humble charm of inland hamlets is the perfect antidote to the lavish architecture of old Venetian cities; and where the sacred tranquility of the siesta hour allow you to prepare for the vivacious exuberance of a village wedding or a lively summertime festival.
Crete is not only famed for its cheeses, wines and olives, honey is also one of the island’s finest products and a jar of it makes for a tasty souvenir. There are plenty of jewellery shops selling high quality silver and gold. Dolphins are considered lucky so they tend to feature in much of the jewellery.
The taverna’s and bars of Crete serve up a mouth watering array of typical Greek dishes as well as a few Cretan specialities. For those willing to try the exotic, Saligaria stifado is a snail stew served with tomatoes, onions and herbs. Crete excels in cheese, Kaltsounia are small cheese pies coated with sesame seeds or cinnamon. You can also find plenty of small cheese makers around Rethymnon producing feta and Graviera, not unlike Gruyere. There’s plenty to wash it down with too and it’s not just Ouzo. If you buy property in Crete look out for the real Raki, a spirit distilled from grape skins, and Mournoraki, a brandy produced from mulberries.
Buy Property in Crete, an island of history and culture !!!
If you buy a property in Crete, you will become part of the myth too. According to mythology, Crete is the mythical land of King Minos. Legend says that he refused to sacrifice a bull to the gods and Poseidon, to punish him, made his wife fall in love with a bull. From this union Minotaur was born and hid in a labyrinth. Another legend says that, to avenge the death of his son by the Athenians, King Minos made them send seven young girls and boys to Crete and gave them in sacrifice to Minotaur. During an expedition the famous mythical hero Theseus, son of the King of Athens, left with the young Athenians and, with the help of Ariadne, King Minos’daughter, he managed to kill Minotaur and find his way out of the labyrinth. The Minoan civilization started on Crete, one of the most important civilizations of the world (2600-1150 BC). They built palace-states, the famous and superb palaces of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakros, and established a naval empire in the Mediterranean. This great civilization was stopped by the huge waves caused by the eruption of the volcano of Santorini Greece (in 1450 BC) and by the invasion of the Achaeans and the Dorians.The Roman occupation came in 69 AC and lasted until 330 AC, followed by the Byzantine era during which the wealth of Crete is visible in the beautiful mosaic floor of the basilicas, built during these times.
Then Crete fell under the domination of the Arabs in 824, and stayed under it for 137 years. During those years the city of Heraklion was founded, first called Handak.In 1204, the Venetians conquered the island of Crete; they fortified old castles built by the Arabs, built new ones, and founded new fortified cities such as Chania and Rethymno. The city of Rethymno is the only one that had remained intact from the Renaissance, with its beautifully decorated piazzas, its superb fountains and its fine churches and palaces . During those years, arts flourished such as painting and literature; the famous painter El Greco (Domenicos Theotocopoulos) started in this epoch and artists and scholars from Constantinople and other parts of the old Byzantine Empire, came to Crete.
In 1669 the island fell under the Ottoman rule which lasted until about 1900. Then Crete was declared an autonomous state and, in 1913, was united with the newly built independent Greek State. Buy a property in Crete and meet with history.
Chania is the second biggest town in Crete, with a population of 60.000. It is the administrative, economical, communications and commercial centre of the area, in other words the perfect place to buy property in Crete. Chania is built on the site of the ancient city of Kydonia.
This site was inhabited from Neolithic times and through all phases of the Minoan Period. Kydonia developed into a very important center of the Minoan civilization and it was famous for its pottery workshops. During the Roman period Kydonia was an important city. Kydonia was destroyed in 828 AD by the Saracene pirates. During the Byzantine period Chania ceased to be an important city. When the Venetians came they settled in Kastelli, the hill which commands the harbor, and they fortified it. They built Santa Maria cathedral, as well as a palace, theatre and houses for their nobility. The city flourished as an economical and intellectual center. The fear of a Turkish invasion forced the Venetians to enclose the entire town with a wall and a moat. In 1645 the Turks occupied Chania after a two months siege. In 1850 they transferred the capital of the island there. With the liberation of Crete from the Turks, in 1897, Chania became the capital of the autonomous Cretan State. In 1913, along with the rest of Crete, it was united with the rest of the Greek State. Chania was the birth place of one of the greatest statesman of the new Hellenic Republic, Eleftherios Venizelos. Venizelos’ influence on the history of Greece was paramount, from his participation to the talks with the Ottomans that resulted to granting Crete independence in 1897, to the final union of Crete with Greece in 1913.
If you are interested in feeling the signs of the past in the present, just buy a property in Crete.
Chania is one of the nicest towns in Crete, with wonderful houses, parks and squares and a well designed historic town. The Public Market is an impressive building in the town center, built at the beginning of the present century (1911) and houses grocery stores, butchers’ shops, a fish market and vegetable shops. The Public Gardens, next to the Market, are ideal for those in search of shade and tranquility. Northeast of the gardens is the beautiful neighborhood of Chalepa where the residences of Prince George and Eleftherios Venizelos were. The old city has preserved to a great extent the distinctive atmosphere and charm of the Venetian and Turkish periods. Entire Venetian, Turkish and Jewish quarters are saved, with well preserved buildings in the narrow picturesque streets.
One of the most significant buildings is the large Venetian church of Aghios Frankiskos which today houses the Archaeological Museum of Hania. The old city leads at the harbour, where many Venetian and Turkish buildings are preserved. At the entrance of the harbour, at its northwest point, is the renovated fort “Firkas”, built on 1629, that today houses the Maritime Museum of Hania as well as being a summer theatre, where drama performances are presented. Opposite the Firkas fort, is the magnificent Venetian lighthouse, built in the 16 century and restored by the Egyptians. The harbor is protected by a Venetian breakwater, built of huge stones. At the center of the breakwater are the ruins of a fortress. West of Chania, at a distance of 4.5 km, is the hill of Profitis Ilias, where the memorial and tomb of Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophokles are located. Chania can be the starting point for a tour to the western Crete, a part of the island with magnificent natural beauty.
There are lots of places worth seeing , within driving distance (one to two hours) , the most famous being the Samaria Gorge. This is a National Park of Greece that starts at the village of Omalos, at an altitude of 1227 m. and ends after a walk of approximately 18 Km to the beach of Agia Roumeli. The Gorge is open from May to the beginning of October and is definitely a must for everyone. Be sure that if you buy a property in Crete you will never get bored.