A historical route from Rethymno to Heraklion #EduTourism
The EduTourism Project aims to extend the tourist season in Crete and Cyprus by developing a well-integrated educational tourism package for young people aged 16-25 years old. One of the most important actions of the Project is the design of educational tourism routes in the intervention areas. A total of eight (8) routes were designed in Crete, six (6) in Cyprus and (3) cross-border routes linking historically, environmentally and culturally Crete and Cyprus. The routes will be included in the EduTourism educational platform accompanied by rich audiovisual material and descriptions for all destinations.
One of the Cretan routes is about historical destinations in the prefectures of Rethymnon and Heraklion and includes the Venetian Fortress of Fortezza, the Tower of Maroulas, the Cave of Melidoni, the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and the Necropolis at Fourni of Archanes.
Starting the route, one can visit the Venetian castle of Fortezza, which is the trademark of Rethymnon. The castle was built by the Venetians in the 16th century and is star-shaped.
The residences inside increased after the Turks occupied it, but the buildings were in poor condition and in the early 20th century the inhabitants were gradually moved outside the fortress and the ruined buildings were demolished.
The next destination is the Tower of Maroula, which is a landmark of the settlement of Maroula, standing tall and visible from a great distance. The tower was built by the Venetians around the 16th century. It is three-storey with a height of 14 meters and has a visual contact with the Rethymnon Fortezza.
Next, the visitor can admire the Cave of Melidoni, also known as Gerontospilios. The Cave is of great interest because of its archaeological findings, its historical importance and its environmental value. Its first room is accessible to the public while the deeper rooms are closed due to archaeological excavations.
The route continues to the centre of Heraklion and the Archaeological Museum which is one of the oldest and largest museums in Europe. Among the innumerable exhibits, the Minoan collection of the museum is the most important and most complete in the world, and is thus rightly considered the main museum of Minoan civilization. The museum is equipped with an audiovisual room and workshops, facilities that encourage the implementation of on-site educational activities and initiatives.
The last destination, the Necropolis (cemetery) at Fourni Archanes, is located on the hill between Ano and Kato Archanes and close to the Minoan settlement of Archanes.
Necropolis is one of the most important archaeological sites in Crete. Its use dates from 2400 BC to 1200 BC and most of the burial buildings show a long period of use with successive burials.
The EduTourism project is implemented within the framework of the INTERREG V-A Cooperation Programme “Greece – Cyprus 2014-2020” and is co-funded by the European Union (E.T.P.A.) and the National Funds of Greece and Cyprus.