Heraklion

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{church, century, christian}
{island, water, area}
{god, call, give}
{land, century, early}
{war, force, army}
{service, military, aircraft}
{country, population, people}
{town, population, incorporate}
{area, part, region}

Heraklion or Iraklion (Greek: Ηράκλειον [iˈraklio]) 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.

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