Heraklion. Crete, Greece
Eleftheriou Venizelou Square, which the locals call Liondaria (Lions), is the best point to begin your tour of the city. In the centre of this small triangular square, the Morosini Fountain has been preserved in its original position - this is the famous
fountain which was built in 1628 by the Venetian Governor of the city, Francisco Morozini (a different person from the man who defended the city against the Turkish siege).
This is the heart of the city, a meeting-place and the centre of traffic 24 hours a day. Most of the shops around the square are patisseries and cafeterias that are always full. Here you will find the celebrated bougatsa (a sweet pie) shop “Kir-Kor” which, truly, makes excellent bougatsa but serves tiny portions and charges a lot for. In the far part of the square are the little bars frequented by young people.
Directly opposite the Liondaria is the Loggia, the Society of Venetian nobles which today has been restored and houses the Town Hall's Council Chamber. The Town Hall itself is housed in the restored building of the Venetian Barracks, next door to the Loggia.. Enclosed within the northern wall of the Town Hall is a sculpture which in the old days adorned another of the Venetians' fountains, the Sangrento Fountain that was situated at the north-west corner of the Loggia. Many years ago, opposite the Loggia and facing the Morozini fountain was the Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), the seat of the Venetian Duke and his Council, a most elegant building of which nothing remains. The third building that completed the nucleus of Venetian Cadia was the church of St. Mark built in 1239, i.e. in the very early years of Venetian rule.