Heraklion Gate of Saint George

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Location: Town

After the construction of the Venetian enceinte in the 16th century, access from the town of Heraklion to the surrounding countryside was facilitated by three main vaulted galleries, which were located beneath the lower terraces of the bastions. The inner side boasted imposing Renaissance-style facades decorated with relief sculptures and coats of arms, while the outer side was much simpler.

The gate of Saint George is located on the eastern side of the Venetian walls, beside the Vitturi bastion, and it was constructed between 1562 and 1566. It got its name from a majestic relief representation of Saint George mounted on his horse, which is now exhibited in the Historical Museum of Crete. As it was connected to the quarantine station (Lazaretto) and the Maroula district, it is also known as Gate Lazaretto or Maroula Gate.

Unfortunately, the magnificent facade was damaged by the 1856 earthquake and was eventually pulled down in 1917 to make way for Dimokratias Avenue. All that survives is the 45-meter-long vaulted gallery and its arched entrance. For several years, the gallery was buried beneath the present-day Eleftherias Square, but it was excavated around 2000. Today, it often houses art exhibitions and other cultural events.

Near the Gate of Saint George, visitors can also see a statue of Eleftherios Venizelos, as well as the elaborate Hanialis Fountain, which used to be part of a private house before being moved to its present location.



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