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Crete

Largest Greek island / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Crete (/krt/ KREET; Greek: Κρήτη, Modern: Kríti [ˈkriti], Ancient: Krḗtē [krɛ̌ːtεː]) 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. Crete rests about 160 km (99 mi) south of the Greek mainland, and about 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Anatolia. Crete has an area of 8,450 km2 (3,260 sq mi) and a coastline of 1,046 km (650 mi). It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea, with the Sea of Crete (or North Cretan Sea) to the north and the Libyan Sea (or South Cretan Sea) to the south. Crete covers 260 km from west to east but is narrow from north to south, spanning three longitudes but only half a latitude.

Quick facts: Native name .mw-parser-output .nobold{font-w...
Crete (Kriti)
Native name:
Κρήτη
Island of Crete, Greece
NASA photograph of Crete
Kriti_in_Greece.svg
osm-intl,7,a,a,250x200.png
Geography
LocationEastern Mediterranean
Coordinates35°12.6′N 24°54.6′E
Area8,450 km2 (3,260 sq mi)
Area rank88
Highest elevation2,456 m (8058 ft)
Highest pointMount Ida (Psiloritis)
Administration
RegionCrete
Capital cityHeraklion
Largest settlementHeraklion (pop. 144,442[1])
Demographics
DemonymCretan, archaic Cretian
Population624,408 (2021)[2]
Population rank73
Pop. density74.9/km2 (194/sq mi)
Ethnic groupsGreeks;
historically, Minoans,
Eteocretans,
Cydonians and Pelasgians
Additional information
Time zone
  • GMT +2
ISO codeGR-M
HDI (2019) 0.879[3]
very high · 3rd of 13
Close

Crete and a number of islands and islets that surround it constitute the Region of Crete (Greek: Περιφέρεια Κρήτης), which is the southernmost of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece, and the fifth most populous of Greece's regions. Its capital and largest city is Heraklion, on the north shore of the island. As of 2020, the region had a population of 636,504.[4] The Dodecanese are located to the northeast of Crete, while the Cyclades are situated to the north, separated by the Sea of Crete. The Peloponnese is to the region's northwest.

Crete was the centre of Europe's first advanced civilization, the Minoans, from 2700 to 1420 BC. The Minoan civilization was overrun by the Mycenaean civilization from mainland Greece. Crete was later ruled by Rome, then successively by the Byzantine Empire, Andalusian Arabs, the Venetian Republic, and the Ottoman Empire. In 1898 Crete, whose people had for some time wanted to join the Greek state, achieved independence from the Ottomans, formally becoming the Cretan State. Crete became part of Greece in December 1913.

The island is mostly mountainous, and its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east. It includes Crete's highest point, Mount Ida, and the range of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) with 30 summits above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) in altitude and the Samaria Gorge, a World Biosphere Reserve. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). The Nikos Kazantzakis airport at Heraklion and the Daskalogiannis airport at Chania serve international travelers. The Minoan palace at Knossos is also located in Heraklion.[5]

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