Lassithi Architecture

Lassithi is famous for its tourist development of some places, like Elounda, Sitia and Ierapetra, and the authentic character of other places. The surrounding regions of Lassithi have a strong traditional character and a unique natural beauty but also a plethora of monuments from the Byzantine times and the Venetian years. The architecture of Lassithi varies from tourist resorts to totally secluded villages in the mountains.

The tour begins from the historical town of Ierapetra, a place that bears witness to the strong Venetian influence through some important structures that still survive. Among them is Kales Fortress, the biggest part of which has been destroyed. There is also a mosque and some interesting churches close to the monuments.

Far away from the capital is Sitia, another location that was under the Venetian rule and that today embellishes the town with a beautiful Venetian fortress, known as Kazarma. Ruins of Minoan settlements, churches, and Byzantine structures are some of the beautiful features added there. The entire area of Lassithi in eastern Crete is filled with old monasteries resting amidst the forested valleys.

Of high interest is the famous Spinalonga, an islet just opposite Elounda and Plaka. The Venetians managed to build an excellent fortification that still retains its architectural beauty. It was used in the 20th century as the place where the lepers found refugee and today it is one of the most famous destinations in Crete. Apart from the medieval remainings there, Lassithi has many surviving buildings and architectural marvels such as fountains and watermills. Among them is also the church of Panagia Kera which was built in the 14th century. In Lassithi, the local architecture is still evident in many places and in most villages, remaining untouched by the massive tourism.

Visitors will find many hotels that have been created in respect to the traditional architecture.