Central market, 1866 Street in Heraklion

The Heraklion central market, 1866 Street

Heraklion central market is on 1866 Street, running from the Meidani to Kornarou Square. The street name refers to one of the most important Cretan risings to overthrow the Turkish yoke. The same is true of the parallel 1821 Street (on your right hand).

heraklion central marketThe Heraklion central market is lined with shops selling souvenirs, cheap clothes and shoes, fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices, cheese and meat, along with small cafés and tavernas.

The roads running at right angles to left and right of the market contain yet more shops, supermarkets, a bank and an indoor car park. Near the top of the market, on Karterou Street, are the fishmongers with their stalls full of fish, crying their wares.

The Heraklion central market was where the inhabitants of the city once did their daily shopping, though today the street markets in the suburbs have largely replaced it.

The central market still remains a special part of Heraklion, with its shops squeezed in next to each other, always full of people, always busy and charmingly “old-fashioned” compared to the neighbouring commercial streets with their modern shops and flashy windows.

central market heraklionThe central market, in the heart of the city, is one of the areas that has been inhabitated continually for many centuries. There are remnants of old Heraklion hidden between or even inside the shops, such as the Venetian archway in the Koudoumas coffee shop, or the 16th-century church enclosed by buildings, the only access to it now through Touli’s bakery.

The church of Agios Onuphrios, a single-aisled, domed basilica, is preserved by the relevant archaeological service, but remains closed to the public. You can only see its dome from afar, if you cross to the pavement opposite the Koudoumas coffee-shop and look behind the shop.

At the end of the market – or the start if you’re coming from Kornarou Square – are two major Heraklion monuments: the Venetian Bembo Fountain and the neighbouring café, which was once the Sebil (charity fountain) of Haci Ibrahim Agha.

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