Meet our island CRETE
Crete has been loved by many people, who have been studied it or visited it during the centuries. Some have considered it as the most beautiful island of the world, a miniature continent. Homer refers to it as a gaia (country) and not as an island, bearing in his mind its extent and significance. The Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle, regarded Crete as an example of state and legislative organisation, an ark of ancient values. In our days, its touristic resorts are overrun by millions of tourists. However, there are some corners, secret and quiet places, always there for those who approach them with respect and awe. Such places are referred in many corners of megalonisos in this guide and are suggested for demanding visitors.
The beauty of Crete is a result of the simultaneous co-existence of natural and cultural environment. In Crete there are mountainous ranges resembling the Alps, deserts and small jungles, but also regions with almost arctic or almost tropical climate. One rarely meets this variety of landscape in a region which is relatively limited. The Cretan environment is a result of a thousand-year-old interaction between the human activity and the natural world. The material culture left by human activities is placed in a perpetual dialogue with the Cretan nature, on the ridge of this oblong “wild beast which lies in the sea”. Crete is compared to a wild beast by the most distinguished of its children, Nikos Kazatzakis; a beast agatho (decent), good, bright. In one of his books he points out: “Crete was enlightened before dark Europe. And here the soul of Greece accomplished its target: it brought god to human scale”.
Many significant Cretologists have worked hard in order to know today the landscape of Crete and its great civilisation, which has been created here, and has formed a foundation of the classical Greek and European culture. The importance of Cretan civilisation has been proved by their research.The adventure of the inhabitants in this large Greek island can be observed through the historical periods.
The terms Prehistory, Historical Times, Neolithic, Minoan, Mycenean, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, etc. have a time, historical and cultural significance, and not only a national or racial one.Crete experienced the great Prehistory with its peak the Minoan Civilisation, the Antievity with important cultural achievements, the Dark Ages with remarkable cultural formation: the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine art and the Cretan Renaissance, as well as the Modern times marked by struggles for the national liberation and prosperity.
This text is a part from our book “CRETE”