Take a look around this stunning Venetian monument, also the site of the Heraklion town hall.
Visit the Heraklion Loggia and admire the blend of Ionic and Doric architectures that harken back to the time when the city was ruled by the Venetians. Imagine noblemen holding meetings in the columned halls or enjoying a performance in the open arcade area. Look for details such as the reliefs of lions and coats of arms and admire the excellent restoration on this ancient building.
Heraklion Loggia was built between 1626 and 1628 and designed by the architect Francesco Morosini. It was the fourth loggia to be built by the Venetians during their reign of Crete and is the only one that still stands today. A painstaking restoration process began in 1915 and ended shortly after World War II. With the monument brought back to its former glory, you can appreciate what is widely considered to be the finest Venetian structure on the island of Crete.
Approach the building from the street and you will notice its rectangular shape and attractive, columned exterior. These arches look equally appealing at night when soft lighting illuminates them from within. Spend time admiring the stonework and note the square columns on each of the corners, a typical feature of Venetian architecture.
Step inside and head to the large, open arcade. This is one of the most impressive areas of the loggia. Imagine performances and events taking place here and the Venetian noblemen watching. See if you can discern the differences in architectural styles between the upper and lower floors. The ground floor is an example of typical Doric architecture while the upper floor, with its smaller, enclosed arches, is more typical of the Ionic style. Look closely at the stonework to see reliefs of lions, St. Mark and coats of arms engraved into the walls.
The Heraklion Loggia is located on 25th of August Street in the center of town, next to the Armeria. It is open daily and free to enter. Note that some parts have restricted access as it is also the site of the operational Heraklion town hall.