Spinalonga,Crete island(video)



The island of Spinalonga (from the Greek words spina = thorn and longa = long) is located at the entrance of the Gulf of Elounda and the northern part of the Mirabello Bay. Legend has it that the island got its name from the renowned Logan noblewoman who lived in the fort. The islet has an area of ​​85 acres and the height of 53 meters, while the Greek name is Kalydonia. In ancient times, there was the fortress of Olouniton, which was built to protect the harbor of the ancient city Olous. In 1579 by the Venetians built a powerful fortress on the ruins of the ancient fortress, designed according to the practice of fortification bastion system. This fortress was one of the most important fortresses of the island and was considered impregnable. He remained in the dominion of the Venetians and after the occupation of Crete by the Turks in 1669. During this period there were built the churches of St. Panteleimon and St. George. During the Cretan War (1645-1669), Spinalonga became a refuge for refugees and rebels, called chainidon who, having as basis the islet harassed the Turks. The islet of Spinalonga was the last point of the island that the Ottomans managed to occupy just in 1715. From this period onwards developed into a purely residential center. It is estimated that in 1834 lived on Spinalonga 80 families and in 1881, 227. Today there are several buildings from this period that most of them are two-storey houses walled by high walls, and shops with large magazoportes and tzamota openings. In 1903, by decision of the Cretan State, it was defined as a place of residence for the lepers of Crete, and in the years that followed was the isotopes isolation of all the country leper. The Leper founded in Spinalonga and operated until 1957, had a medical director, nurse, caretaker, cleaners, financial service and priest. Sick people lived in the buildings of the Turkish settlement, but in modern buildings built in the 30s. Large parts of the Venetian walls were destroyed in 1939, with dynamite in order to open the perimeter road that currently exists on the islet. Today, the visitor can be found on the islet of Spinalonga by boats that leave from Agios Nikolaos, the village of Elounda and the seaside resort of Plaka. The latter is likely to have been built by some residents after the establishment of the leprosarium, as the beach of Plaka was the point from where the lepers were passing across the island.

 

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