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Greece » Crete » Heraklion Prefecture » Heraklion Villages » Hersonissos village
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Hersonissos village, Heraklion Crete

Hersonissos or Limenas Chersonissou is the most cosmopolitan and touristy developed resort of the prefecture and possibly of the island; and of course is one of the most popular tourist destinations.
It is situated some 28 kilometres far from Heraklion at the East and counts approximately 3000 permanent residents.

The place must have been a cosmopolitan one even in the past, as it is shown by the rich and important relics of the past, the most important of them being the Minoan settlement located near the actual church of Aghia Paraskevi at the western part of the port.

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Later in history an independent city with the same name ("Limen", meaning "port" in greek) , the port of the inland city Lyttos, was located at the same area. According to local tradition this city had been founded by the Etruscans who brought in the island the worship of Artemis (Diana) Vritomartis, along with the wooden idol of the goddess, who, thus became the main god of the city.

The town flourished during the Roman era as it is manifested by the ruins of various buildings and constructions, as the constructions of the port, actually visible in the sea just under the surface of the water, an open theatre of the period, ruins of dwellings and a beautiful fountain in the shape of a trunked pyramide, actually found on the pavement of the beach.

Christian era was also a period of flourishing for the area and the town. It had been the seat of a diocese, established by Apostle Titus, the patron saint of Heraklion. There are several christian monuments worth seeing here: the church of Aghia Paraskevi at the port, built within a cave-like  opening of the rock; the small church of Aghios Nikolaos, of the 17th century, a historic church as it is built on the place of an Early Christian basilica, which in turn was built on the ruins of a Roman temple.
Another important christian monument it is found at "Kastri". It is a three-aisle Early Christian Basilica, within which have been buried many eminent clergymen and martyrs. And, finishing with christian monuments, it is worth mentioning the two-aisle, twin church of Aghios Georghios (St. George) on the cape western to the town. The church is dedicated to two saints: the Southern aisle to Aghios Georghios (St. George) and the Northern to Aghios Nikolaos.

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Recent folk tradition do has its place in Limenas. The folk museum of the town, "Lychnostatis" as it is called, is a place keeping the traditional way of life alive and presenting the folk culture of the area.
In the museum there is a good representation of the traditional Cretan dwelling, with  a fruit garden, a traditional oil press construction, a church and a windmill.
In the exhibition hall of the Museum there are presented works of Cretan folk artists, there are organised folk dance performances and educational programs both for adults and for children.

A very wide range of hotels of every category and for all budgets, studios and rooms to let as well as campings are available for the visitors. Many taverns, restaurants, cafes and bars offer good food and drink; there is  also an intense and fascinating nightlife. Swimming is possible at the beach of the town, as well as at the small coves of the area. Facilities of sea sport, including a water park complete the image of the resort.

Access from Herkleio is very easy by public buses with frequent service and taxi, as well as by private or rented car and motorbikes. A small port with yatch facilities is available, whereas in summer excursion boats can get you to the islet of Dia every day.
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