Last modified: 2015-08-10 by ivan sache
Keywords: heraklion |
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Flag of Heraklion, three variants - Images by Eugene Ipavec, 20 January 2010 (left), uncredited, undated (right), and by Olivier Touzeau, 5 October 2013 (right)
The municipality of Heraklion (173,993 inhabitants in 2011, 12,000 ha) was formed in the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities of Gorgolainis (Γοργολαΐνης, 3,171 inh.), Heraklion, Nea Alikarnassos (Νέα Αλικαρνασσός, 12,542 inh.), Paliani (Παλιανή, 2,404 inh.), and Temenos (Τέμενος, 3,218 inh.).
Heraklion is the largest city and capital of Crete. It is also the fourth largest city in Greece. Its name is also spelled Herakleion, a transliteration of the ancient Greek and Katharevousa name, Ἡράκλειον, or Iraklio, among other variants. For centuries it was known as Candia, a Venetian adaptation of the earlier Greek name Χάνδαξ (Chandax, "moat") or Χάνδακας, which in turn came from the Arabic rabḍ al-ḫandaq. The English form Candy, derived from French Candie, meant the city of Candia or all of Crete (as in Twelfth Night 5.1). Under the Ottoman Empire, it was called Kandiye. In the local vernacular, it is often called Κάστρο (Kástro, "castle") and its inhabitants Καστρινοί (Kastrinoí, "castle dwellers").
Heraklion is the capital of Heraklion Prefecture, with an international airport named after the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The ruins of Knossos, which were excavated and restored by Arthur Evans, are nearby.
Aleksandar Nemet, 5 October 2013
A first flag (photo) of Heraklion is white with the emblem of Heraklion and ΔΕΜΟΣ ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟΥ (Town of Heraklion) written under
The emblem is made of a red griffin, surrounded by ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟΝ (Heraklion) in red letters, placed on a white disk outlined with two red rings.
A second flag (photo) of Heraklion is horizontally divided light blue-white with a thin white-light blue fimbriation in the middle and the town's emblem, surmonted
by ΔΕΜΟΣ (top, white letters) and ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟΥ (bottom, light blue letters), reading "Town of Heraklion".
The emblem is made of a purple griffin placed on a white disk outlined with two purple rings, the lettering from the aforementioned emblem being omitted.
The Kokkonis website shows a variant of the second flag, with a darker blue field, the more elaborated seal of the first flag, a different font for the words ΔΗΜΟΣ ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΟΥ, and an outer, blue-white-red thin border.
The griffin (grype for the ancient Greeks) is a chimeric eagle-lion,
common in the ancient Cretan iconograpy. I have not been able to
identify with precision the source of the griffon represented on the
Heraklion emblem - an original found at the Cnossos palace would be
In Le griffon créto-mycénien : inventaire et remarque (Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 81: 203-215 ), André Dessenne lists 50 griffin representations found in Crete.
Aleksandar Nemet, Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 5 October 2013
Flag of Temenos - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 22 January 2015
The seat of the municipality of Temenos was in Profitis Ilias (Προφήτης Ηλίας, 1,471 inh.). Its flag (Kokkonis website) was Burgundy red with the municipal emblem.
Olivier Touzeau, 22 January 2015