1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Candia

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CANDIA, formerly the capital and still the most populous city of Crete (q.v.), to which it has given its name. It is situated on the northern shore somewhat nearer the eastern than the western end of the island, in 35º 20' N. lat. and 25º 9' E. long. It is still surrounded by its extensive Venetian fortifications; but they have fallen into disrepair, and a good part of the town is in a dilapidated condition, mainly from the effects of earthquakes. The principal buildings are the Venetian loggia (now Prefecture), the mosques, which are fourteen in number, the new cathedral, the two Greek churches, the Armenian church, the Capuchin monastery, the bazaars and the baths. There are also some beautiful Venetian fountains. The town is the seat of a Greek archbishop. A highly interesting museum has been formed here containing the antiquities found during the recent excavations. The chief trade is in oil and soap, both of which are of excellent quality. The coasting trade, which is of considerable importance, is mainly carried on in Turkish vessels. The manufacture of leather for home consumption is an extensive industry, and wine of good quality is produced in the neighborhood. The harbour, which had grown almost inaccessible, was deepened by Mustapha Pasha between 1820 and 1840. It is formed for the most part by the ancient moles, and was never deep enough to admit the larger vessels even of the Venetians, which were accustomed to anchor in the port of the neighbouring island Standia. A short distance from St George's Gate there was a small village exclusively inhabited by lepers, who numbered about seventy families, but they have now been transported to Spinalonga. The population of the town is estimated at from 15,000 to 18,000, about half being Mahommedan Greeks. The site of Candia, or, as it was till lately locally known, Megalo castro (the Great Fortress), has been supposed to correspond with that of the ancient Heracleion, the seaport of Cnossos, and this appellation has now been officially revived by its Greek inhabitants. The ruins of Cnossus are situated at the distance of about 3 m. to the south-east at the village of Makryteichos or Long Wall. Founded by the Saracens in the 9th century, Candia was fortified by the Genoese in the 12th, and was greatly extended and strengthened by the Venetians in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. It was besieged by the Turks under the vizier Achmet in 1667; and, in spite of an heroic defence, in which the Venetians lost 30,000 in killed and wounded, it was forced to surrender in 1669. (See also Crete.)