31 Facts About Crete


Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, and Corsica.

FactSnippet No. 463,563

Crete was the centre of Europe's first advanced civilization, the Minoans, from 2700 to 1420 BC.

FactSnippet No. 463,564

Crete was later ruled by Rome, then successively by the Byzantine Empire, Andalusian Arabs, the Venetian Republic, and the Ottoman Empire.

FactSnippet No. 463,565

Current name Crete is first attested in the 15th century BC in Mycenaean Greek texts, written in Linear B, through the words and (, ; later Greek:, 'Cretan').

FactSnippet No. 463,566

The original Arabic name of Crete was, both the city and the island became known as () or (), which gave Latin, Italian, and Venetian, from which were derived French and English Candy or Candia.

FactSnippet No. 463,567

Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

FactSnippet No. 463,568

Crete is mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by six different groups of mountains:.

FactSnippet No. 463,569

Mountains in Crete are the object of tremendous fascination both for locals and tourists.

FactSnippet No. 463,570

Rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, and Megas Potamos.

FactSnippet No. 463,571

Western Crete receives more rain and the soils there suffer more erosion compared to the Eastern part of Crete.

FactSnippet No. 463,572

Crete is the most populous island in Greece with a population of more than 600, 000 people.

FactSnippet No. 463,573

However, agriculture plays an important role and Crete is one of the few Greek islands that can support itself independently without a tourism industry.

FactSnippet No. 463,574

Crete is the region in Greece with the fifth highest GDP per capita.

FactSnippet No. 463,575

Crete was the centre of Europe's first advanced civilization, the Minoan.

FactSnippet No. 463,576

Gortyn was made capital of the island, and Crete became a Roman province, along with Cyrenaica that was called Creta et Cyrenaica.

FactSnippet No. 463,577

When Diocletian redivided the Empire, Crete was placed, along with Cyrene, under the diocese of Moesia, and later by Constantine I to the diocese of Macedonia.

FactSnippet No. 463,578

Crete was subjected to an attack by Vandals in 467, the great earthquakes of 365 and 415, a raid by Slavs in 623, Arab raids in 654 and the 670s, and again in the 8th century.

FactSnippet No. 463,579

The reconquest of Crete was a major achievement for the Byzantines, as it restored Byzantine control over the Aegean littoral and diminished the threat of Saracen pirates, for which Crete had provided a base of operations.

FactSnippet No. 463,580

Crete was initially granted to leading Crusader Boniface of Montferrat in the partition of spoils that followed.

FactSnippet No. 463,581

Crete was left out of the new Greek state established under the London Protocol of 1830.

FactSnippet No. 463,582

Crete is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece.

FactSnippet No. 463,583

Crete has an extensive bus system with regular services across the north of the island and from north to south.

FactSnippet No. 463,584

Crete is isolated from mainland Europe, Asia, and Africa, and this is reflected in the diversity of the fauna and flora.

FactSnippet No. 463,585

Mammals of Crete include the vulnerable kri-kri, Capra aegagrus cretica that can be seen in the national park of the Samaria Gorge and on Thodorou, Dia and Agioi Pantes, the Cretan wildcat and the Cretan spiny mouse.

FactSnippet No. 463,586

The population of griffon vultures in Crete is the largest insular one of the species in the world and consists the majority of griffon vulture population in Greece.

FactSnippet No. 463,587

Apart from terrestrial mammals, the seas around Crete are rich in large marine mammals, a fact unknown to most Greeks at present, although reported since ancient times.

FactSnippet No. 463,588

Some of the fish that can be seen in the waters around Crete include: scorpion fish, dusky grouper, east Atlantic peacock wrasse, five-spotted wrasse, weever fish, common stingray, brown ray, mediterranean black goby, pearly razorfish, star-gazer, painted comber, damselfish, and the flying gurnard.

FactSnippet No. 463,589

Crete has a rich variety of indigenous herbs including common sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano.

FactSnippet No. 463,590

Crete has a strong association with ancient Greek gods but is connected with the Minoan civilization.

FactSnippet No. 463,591

Guns are subject to strict regulation from the Greek government, and in recent years a great deal of effort to control firearms in Crete has been undertaken by the Greek police, but with limited success.

FactSnippet No. 463,592

Crete has many football clubs playing in the local leagues.

FactSnippet No. 463,593