Lions of Heraklion or Morozini Fountain, as is the official name: The historic monument of Crete’s capital. It adorns the Eleftherios Venizelos square, which is also known as the Lion’s square, while offering precious water to the passers-by. What are all these reasons though, that led to their construction? Which are the elaborate elements that make them unique? Why are they a meeting point of locals and tourists? Learn all about it through our new article-dedication!
The Lions of Heraklion were made to quench the thirst of the Cretans!
Until the 17th century, the town of Chandakas, today’s Heraklion, was constantly facing a water shortage problem. To solve this out a Venetian official of the town, Francesco Morozini, planned and implemented the construction of its new aqueduct, 15 kilometers long, which transported the waters of various sources to the city. The project was completed in a period of just 14 months and was inaugurated on the time’s celebration day of the patron Saint Mark, on the 25TH of April 1628. From then, since now, the water of the aqueduct feeds the Morozini Fountain, known by the name “Lions”. Now, the water of “Lions” is characterized by an excellent quality as it is cleaned by a special filter of zeolite, which reduces the chlorine and its derivatives.
A monument of high artistic value
The Lions were crafted with emphasis on every detail. The Fountain incorporates a tank adorned by embossed coats of arms and representations from the marine realm such as dolphins, tritons, mythological monsters and sea demons. The water flows from the mouth of four axially positioned lions resting on a pedestal in the center of Fountain and supporting a marble basin. The original construction of the Fountain was including in its center a large statue of Poseidon, which, however, was destroyed during the Ottoman occupation in Crete. That’s why until its destruction, the monument was named “The Fountain of Giant (Tsigante)”. In 1847, Turks changed the Fountain’s shape, adding marble pillars to the rim of the basil and golden letters with the name that they gave it: “Abdul Mejit Fountain”. Furthermore, they pierced the lobes and installed taps, destroying the reliefs. The monument was restored to its original form in 1900.
The Lions are the meeting point of Heraklion!
Because of the central location, the Lions constitute the ideal point to start your walk in Heraklion of Crete. Close to them, there are located the best cafes and bars of the town, as well as points of interests such as the Historical Museum of Heraklion, the Basilica of Saint Markos, Loggia, Saint Titos and of course the venetian port of Heraklion with Koules fortress and the venetian war ports. You can also stay in the beautiful square that accommodates them, enjoying your souvlaki, ice-cream or coffee. To reach Heraklion and its Lions, first you have to organize your trip by ship. That’s why you should better book your ticket in FAST FERRIES, travelling with the new super modern high speed THUNDER. Make your reservation now in www.fastferries.com.gr and…
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