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Sunday, 3 August 2014


Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands. It has a total land area of 3,219 square miles.

NASA photograph of Crete

The Cretan Minoian Culture started in the 15th century before Christ. They chose kings to rule over them for seven years each.

The palace of Knossos had a labyrinth, where visitors would get lost unless they used a string behind them to find their way back.

The Cretans were the first people to build stone theaters where many people were amused by parades and music.

In about 1450 B.C., the Greek Mycenaeans captured Crete, after Knossos had been shaken by an earthquake.

Cretan men of 1500BC wore only a short loincloth. It was fastened at the waist by a wide belt. This was tightly cinched to give the effect of a very small waist and round, full hips.

Women's clothing of the same era was designed to produce the same results. It consisted of a long, full, multitiered skirt and a small jacket. The skirt was brightly colored and patterned. The jacket covered only the back and arms.

Crete, having obtained self rule from Turkey after the First Balkan War, was annexed by Greece on December 1, 1913.

After the first mainly airborne invasion in military history, Crete surrendered to Nazi Germany on June 1, 1941.

Crete has the highest ratio of guns per person in the European Union, which they use for festivities. They fire their guns during baptisms, weddings and other social events. In fact, during birthday parties, some people give themselves a 21-gun salute.

Sources Travelzoo UK, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.

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