Heraklion is the largest urban center in Crete, the capital of the region and the economic center of the island. The city is also the commercial and scientific center of the island. Has a strategic geopolitical position in the southeastern Mediterranean, linking three continents and many different cultures.
Heraklion with 142,112 inhabitants (2001) and total area of 120 sq km, is the fifth largest in area and population of the town of Greece, the capital and largest port of Crete. The main economic sectors of the city are tourism, agriculture and trade. It has industrial area 4 km southeast of the center. Heraklion also has one of the largest airports in motion the country (airport "Nikos Kazantzakis") and a very important commercial port.
Heraklion is close to the palace of Knossos in the period of the Minoan civilization had the greatest concentration of population in Crete.
The city of Heraklion, was built in 824 when they occupied the shores of the Saracen pirates in Abu Hafez. They built a large fort with a moat around a large perimeter from which the city developed and adopted its original name Chandax. The Saracens made the city as its capital and base for pirate activities which angered the Byzantine Empire.
In 961 the Byzantines attacked the city, slaughtered the Saracens, the sacked and burned. The rebuilt and the dominance lasted for 243 years. The city entered the Cretan State in 1908 which in turn was annexed to Greece in 1913. During the liberation of the city was named by the Heraklion Minoan settlement that was the point, since the 7th century under the "Geographic" Strabo ("... has port for Knossos Heraklion).