HISTORICAL DATA The development of the port of Heraklion followed the general developent of the ports with some differences that were imposed by political and military correlations and influences, and was the result of the interest shown because of the privileged place of Crete on the eastern side of the Mediterranean basin and the special place of Heraklion on the island.
In the Minoan times there was much activity on what is today the east side basin of the port where the mouth of the Selamianos river is located, with indications,on the land,of a commercial center for transactions,one of its like existing at the mouth of Karteros river,that went even deeper into the mainland extending up to the Knossos area. Later on,in the Greek and Roman times,the interest was moved to other places and,especially,to Hersonissos until and during the Byzantine years,when during the reign of Nikiforos Fokas,there is a port functioning at Dermatas bay between Xenia Hotel and the Heraklion Fruitmarket. The Venetians moved the Heraklion port where it is today,where,taking advantage of a line of underwater rocks,constructed the (today called) Venetian port,which at the time of its construction,was a really big port, well-built and protected,with docking facilities, service,resupply and repair possibilities;due to all these the port became an important Mediterranean center. During the Turkish occupation, there was no extension of the port . Only the damages suffered during the long siege of the city were repaired. With the liberation and the declaration of the Cretan State, the study for the construction of a new port which could cope with the increased demands that had in the meantime appeared,was given to French engineers (QUELLENEC). This initiative was supported by the public and the early expenses were covered by contributions donated by the people of Heraklion.