History of Agios Nikolaos – Crete

History of Agios Nikolaos – Crete

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Agios Nikolaos is built on the site of the port of Lato, an important ancient city. The ancient port was also known as “Lato pros Kamara”.

The two cities flourished in archaic and classical times, had their own currency and worshipped the deity Eilithia, patroness of childbirth. Lato pros Kamara, in particular, experienced its greatest prosperity in 800-700 BC. dominating and controlling the entire surrounding area. The port city continued to exist until the 6th century A.D. but from then on, until almost the 13th century, there is not much information available.

After the overthrow of the Byzantine Empire by the Crusaders, Crete was sold to the Venetians. However, before settling on the island, the Genoese pirates ravaged Crete. In 1206, the Genoese Henry Pescatore settled on the hill of Kefali and built an imposing fortress. The fitting name Mirabello from the Latin “beautiful viewpoint” is still in use today for the whole bay.

A little later the fortress and the area fell into the hands of the Venetians. During the following centuries, the area faced various destructions, natural catastrophes and humans, and in the 17th century AD was conquered by the Ottomans.

During the years of Venetian rule, the port continued to have significant commercial activity and the settlement was inhabited mainly by fishermen. With the consolidation of Turkish rule in 1645, the settlement was slowly deserted. The four centuries of Ottoman rule brought a lot of changes to