Crete's Heraklion (Iraklion) Prefecture Overview Page Five
Heraklion Capital of Crete
South of Knossos:
Mt. Yiouhtas 811 meters. Rises amid rolling agricultural country and can be seen from the sea when approaching Heraklion. It's profile as seen from the north is said to resemble that of Zeus in the post-Minoan period. Vineyards and farms dominate the landscape. Just 2 km south of Knossos is a beautiful and impressive aqueduct right by the road, which appears medieval but was in fact built during a brief period of Egyptian rule (1832-40) as a water source for the city of Heraklion. The area around it is very lush and green, with thick vegetation.
Myrtia/ Kazantzakis Museum (Open March-Oct daily 9am-7pm; closed Sun; Nov-Feb Sun only 10am-3pm;3 euros). On central platia in an old bourgeois mansion where Kazantzakis parents once lived. Crete's most famous writer lived from 1883-1957.Though his life-time output was prolific and varied, his best-known book is 'The Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas' (1946) (titled 'Zorba the Greek' in English), and inspired by a Macedonian miner whom Kazantzakis hired to work a lignite mine with him (not in Kazantzakis' native island of Crete, where the book is set, but in the Mani, in the Peloponnese).
Kazantzakis was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize, with the Orthodox church fighting him because of his heterodox ideas and scathing descriptions of Orthodox Papa-des (fathers). The tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis pictured left is entirely devoid of G.O. symbolism except for a stark cross.
Enjoyable museum collection and lovely drive. Collection includes diaries, photos, translations, costumes, first editions, manuscripts. Video documentary in Greek.