Candia, the current Heraklion was always water shortage. Until the 17th century the city was supplied with water from wells with brackish water, small fountains and water tanks which collect the rainwater. We know that in 1639 there were 1270 wells and 273 reservoirs. The channeling with spring water at the fountain, that survives in today Kornarou Square, from capitan generale Gian-Matteo Bembo in 1552 did not solve the problem.
General Francesco Morosini designed and implemented with the assistance of engineers Zorzi Corner, Raffaello Monnani and Francesco Basilicata, the grandiose project of water supply, the construction of an aqueduct length about 15 kilometers, carrying the waters of several sources from the northern slopes Youchtas. The project lasted only 14 months and inaugurated on the day of the feast of the patron St. Mark, on 25 April 1628. The aqueduct, which is inside the city was undergoing a trilobal bridge, in today’s square “Three Arches”, supplied the Fountain maintained to our days the name of foreseeable Morosini in Piazza delle Biade, today Eleftherios Venizelos Square or on the more popular “Lions”.
The fountain has a tank decorated with reliefs from the marine realm (Tritons, dolphins, mythological monsters, sea demons) and coats of arms. Water flowed from the mouth of four axially spaced lions, which were based on a pedestal in the center of the fountain and marble basin supported. The original construction crowned a marble statue of Neptune on a larger scale of physics, so it was often called the Giant or Tzigante Fountain. Although today is not in operation, it is maintained in good condition, except the statue of Poseidon, which was destroyed either by an earthquake or by human hand during the Ottoman occupation of the city.
(Author: royal Sythiakaki, archaeologist)