Crete, the Perfect Destination for Historians

November, 2013 by Chantel Ledbetter

Crete, also known as Candia in Latin and Girit in Turkish, is Greece’s largest island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, with an area of 8,336 square kilometers. It is also one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. Its population is greater than 600,000 people. The region is divided into four smaller areas which, from west to east, are Chania , Rethymno , Heraklion and Lasithi. The largest city is Heraklion, which is also the capital. Popular tourist destinations include Knossos, Gortis, Festos, the Venetian fortress in Rethymno, and the mountain gorge of Samaria. Car rental Crete is a great way to explore all these exciting places.

Crete has always been important location in the Mediterranean, as it is positioned very near to three different continents. It is 110 kilometers from the European mainland, 175 kilometers from Asia and 300 kilometers from the coast of Africa. It has been inhabited since ancient times and enjoys a rich history that is as full of legend as it is of fact. In fact, Crete is the location of the infamous minotaur and its labyrinth. Car rental in Crete will give you the mobility you need to seek out legendary locations!

The Minoan civilization, which inhabited the island from 2600 to 1400 B.C., is considered the first great civilization in Europe. Its monuments can still be seen in the archaeological site of Knossos, Gortis and Festos. There are many different theories as to when and how the Minoans arrived on Crete. The most widely accepted theory is that they came from Asia Minor around 2600 B.C. Scholars assume that they were Indo-Europeans, although this cannot be proven because no writing has survived from that time period. Archaeological excavations indicate that the Minoans were a rich civilization with a strong devotion to the arts.

In the Middle Ages, the island was part of the Roman Empire and then the Byzantine Empire. Arab rule came to Crete for nearly a century from 824 A.D. to 960 A.D. Then it went back to the Byzantine Empire and, during the Fourth Crusade, came under the dominion of the Venetian Republic. Walls and buildings built during the reign of this Mediterranean city-state are still standing in the cities of Rethymno, Chania and Heraklion. The Cretan territory was known as the Duchy of Candia during this period. Traces of each historical period are accessible with car rental Crete.

The long Cretan War of 1645 to 1669 ended the Venetian period and the Ottoman Turks came to power. Crete remained under Ottoman rule despite its participation in the Greek Revolution of 1821 to 1828. Further rebellions between 1866 and 1869 resulted in Crete becoming an autonomous republic within the Ottoman Empire. In 1913, it officially became a part of Greece.

See thousands of years of world history yourself with car rental Crete! Take a look online today at your options for car rental Crete, and get ready for a historian’s dream adventure! Visit Website.

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