History of Crete
Musical Instruments of Crete
Cretan Dances
Rebel Songs (Rizitika)
Folk Poetry (Mantinades)
Legends of Crete


Generally Crete has an extent of 8.331 square kilometres and after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and the Corsica, it is in first five largest islands of the Mediterranean.

During the period of the Classic Years (500-69 b.C) the Cretes try to heal their wounds from the European invasion and the island did not present the blossoming that the rest of Greece did. The same season the Roman conquer Crete in one day, creating the first Roman province with its center in Gortyna. After this, the Arabs build the Handaka in Heraklion. Later, the Venetians that bought the land of Crete for a very low price. Finally the Turks where they showed particular interest in the Handaka that they beseiged for 21 entire years. Crete was finally released free after the German occupation in 1945 and thereafter, it remains a jewl for our country.

: The contribution of Crete in Greece
On the 1st of December 1913, it became an official nomination of the union of Crete with Greece and the Greek flag raised on the fortress of Firka in the city of Chania, in the presence of King Konstantinos and Eleftherios Venizelos. However, still before Crete is united with Greece, it contributed substantially in its history. There were many Cretans who fought in Macedonia during 1902-1908. The Cretans that voluntarily fought are calculated to be around 3.000. However, perhaps the most important help of Crete in Greece was with Eleftherios Venizelos. During the dictatorship of Metaksa, in November of 1936 he visited Crete with King George. At Chania the mayor of the city, mr Mountakis, asked from the King to send away the dictator while at the same time armed Cretans in the Varypetro area, were ready to arrest the visitors and take them to Therisso. However this did not happen, since the King's words disorientated the rebels. In 1938 however in Chania burst out a movement against Metaksas that had an inglorious end, since there was not any support from the other parts of Greece. In the failure also contributed the absence of Eleftherios Venizelos who had died 2 years before.

: The War of 1940
The contribution of Crete during the 1940 war was important. The 5th division fought courageously and there were many legends around it. The geographic place of the island has been for years a great desire for conquerors, so now the Germans wanted Crete as a base of supplies for the battle in Africa. The project "Mercury" was layed out, and even if the English knew, they did nothing about the fortification of the island.
This project was based on a scheduled attack from the air on the island. The first goal was the airport of Chania in Maleme where they would be landed the airplanes. On the 20th of May 1941 the attack in Chania, Rethimno and Heraklion began, with planes and parachutists. The force of conquerors was 7th division me 16.000 parachutists, the 5th division of infantry, and 1100 airplanes.
The Cretans were unarmed, as the Dictator Metaksas had denied the equipment of Cretans from the English. As only help their agricultural tools, domestic utensiles and a few arms that were hidden, but mainly their brave soul and the will for freedom, they resisted for 10 days.
Hitler had not taken into consideration the Cretans, so , because of the battle in Crete, the attacks in Malta, Cyprus and the Middle East were cancelled. The attack in Russia was also delayed for 10 days. Reprisal from the Germans was horrible. They killed children, women and old people, and they burned a lot of villages, one of them was Kandanos that was destroyed completely. However the Cretans did not cease they fight in Greece and abroad, while with the help of the English kommandos they sampotaged and delayed the conquerors, who were not able to deal with other battles and conquests. The kidnapping of the German general Kraipe from Spilia near Heraklion on 13 August 1944 from Cretans and English kommandos was also important.
Crete continues to keep an important role not only for Greece but also for entire Europe, as it possesses a very important geographic place which for centuries was the desire of its conquerors.

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