Arhanes Village

Archanes Village Crete Greece

The village of Arhanes (or Archanes) belongs to the Region of Temenos and it is a village with inhabitants over 5000 years. It constitutes a very significant archeological site since according to speculations King Minos had a summer palace in the area.

The name Archanes originated from the fifth century name Archana. The name has its Indoeuropean roots and is related to water. Since ancient times, Archanes (Arhanes) was a source of water, which was often transported to Knossos. Later, during the Venetian Era, water was transported from Archanes to Heraklion Town.

The village is an agricultural community, as it was in antiquity. There is evidence that as early as 1600 BC, the inhabitants of Archanes were involved in wine and olive oil production. Archanes, Heraklion Crete possesses several excellent Minoan monuments, such as a Summer Palace, a sanctuary and a graveyard and was most definitely a significant town in the Minoan Era. It is also believed that Poseidon was worshipped in the area.

The village of Archanes (Arhanes) played a significant role during the struggle against the Nazi occupation in Heraklion Crete. It received an award in the “European Community for Rural Environment and Upgrading of Villages” contest, for complete and sustainable development of exceptional quality. Archanes is part of the Temenos district, located southeast of Heraklion Town.

The natural environment of the surroundings comprises of mountains, gorges and many plain expanses easily cultivated and the buildings reveal the neoclassical architecture.

The village has won a very important prize in the contest of “European Community for Rural Environment and Upgrading of Villages” the aim of which was the distinction of the European Villages, which combining the initiative of their inhabitants and the support of the competent authorities would be upgraded and would develop their area.

In this contest Arhanes took the first prize in the category of villages presenting a complete and sustainable development of exceptional quality.

During the last years the village has shown a remarkable development in all levels and the various difficulties encountered were completely handled by the prefecture, with the constant help of the residents.

Today Arhanes features a Health Center, a Police Station, a magistrate’s court, banks, a post office, a telecommunications center, an open air cinema, restaurants, taverns and traditional coffee shops.

In and around Archanes village, you will find many wonderful Minoan sites, such as the Sanctuary at Anemospilio, the Ancient Graveyard at Fourni, the Minoan Palace in the Tourkogeitonia area. Located just 9 km from Archanes (Arhanes) village is the world known Minoan Palace of Knossos, the most splendid architectural specimen of the Minoan Era.

There are some extraordinary museums in the region, where you can admire artifacts from the everyday life of the Cretans, from ancient to modern times. These are the Archanes Archaeological Museum, the Arcadian House (Folklore Museum) and the Museum of Cretan History and Tradition. The Museum of Agricultural History, work shops and exhibitions of sculptors, engravers and exhibitions of traditional agricultural produce such as grapes and olives, are definitely worth visiting as well.

The Byzantine Churches of Agia Triada and Agia Paraskevi, as well as the Church of Asomatos and the Karydaki Monastery are excellent religious monuments. If you are a nature lover, we suggest visiting the Chosto Nero Cave or trekking and hiking on Mt. Youchtas or Agia Irini Gorge.

In Heraklion Town, just 16 km from Archanes, you can visit the Archaeological, Historical, Ecclesiastical and Natural History Museums. The village of Myrtia, where you will find the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum, is situated a few kilometres from Archanes (Arhanes).

One can visit St Irene’s Gorge, the Morazini reservoir, the Information Center, the Museum of Natural History all in the area surrounding the Youhtas Mountain. Also there are many Minoan Archeological sites such as the sanctuary at Anemospilio, the graveyard at Fourni, a palace at Tourkogeitonia as well as an archaeological collection of discoveries from the excavations in the wider area. The numerous Byzantine churches, the Museum of Agricultural History, the work shops and exhibitions of sculptors, engravers as well as the exhibitions of traditional agricultural produce such as vines and olives are definitely worth visiting. Finally, for those who wish a more intense night life the close town of Iraklio offers a wide selection of bars and night clubs.

Photo Source:commons.wikimedia.org

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