Tradition of Air & Water

LIMITED WATER RESOURCES IN CRETE, DUE TO ITS GEOGRAPHICAL POSITION, FORCED ITS INHABITANTS TO CONSTRUCT COLOSSAL PROJECTS FOR WATER SUPPLY IN CITIES.

Even today, the surviving parts of the long aqueduct of Lyktos, that brought water to ancient Hersonissos, and the giant Venetian aqueduct, which brought water to the center of Candia (the contemporary city of Heraklion) from springs in Arhanes and Skalani, are awe-inspiring.

In major cities, water was provided through elaborate fountains, with the most famous being the surviving Morosini Fountain in the center of Heraklion. In many areas of Crete where water is scarce, such as the north mountainous part of the province Mirabello, large cisterns and wells are still used.

Although rivers in Crete are mainly seasonal, visitors will be impressed by some of the most beautiful stone bridges in Greece. The most famous is the arched bridge of Preveli. The ancient bridges of Eleftherna, built in the ekforic system, and Elliniki Kamara (Greek Bridge) at Vrysses have are of great archaeological importance.

TipABOUT 12.000 METAL WINDMILLS OPERATED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PREVIOUS CENTURY AT LASSITHI PLATEAU, FORMING THE FIRST WIND FARM IN THE WORLD WITH ESTIMATED INSTALLED POWER OF 5MW.

In western Crete, where rainfalls are quite frequent, water mills were used for grinding grain. However, in drier Eastern Crete residents used the wind for their needs. Indeed, many clusters of windmills, called milotopi, are met in most places, especially at northern Mirabelo. The windmills of Ambelos at Lassithi Plateau form the largest milotopi in Greece. Apart from grinding grain, the need for pumping water to irrigate crops at the plateaus of Lassithi and Ziros inspired the construction of lightweight metal windmills that pumped water from wells.

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