Public Works and Infrastructure
At the time new regime was installed, the town suffered from a lack of basic infrastructure. The small size of the port and the age-old problem of silting made it impossible for large steamships to dock. The old Venetian gates were deemed inadequate to cater for communication with the hinterland, since their limited dimensions prevented large carriages and carts from circulating freely. Population growth and the destruction wrought by the dramatic events of 28th August 1898 called for changes to the town plan.

The Cretan State showed great interest in all of the above problems, and set about implementing major public works projects. A new stone quay was built at the harbour, and the demolition of the Mole Gate, the Arsenal Gate and part of the Venetian arsenals facilitated communication between the commercial centre in the town and the port. New breaches in the walls next to the St. George Gate and the Pantocrator Gate (Chania Gate) also aimed to ease traffic flow.

There were of course plans which could not be carried out for lack of money. Without doubt, the most ambitious of these was the railway line planned to link Heraklion to the large, fertile Messara Plain. The railway would have enabled the rapid, low-cost transportation of agricultural produce to the port, which had become the main commercial hub and export centre.



1898  |  1899  |  1900  |  1902  |  1905  |  1906  |  1908  |  1909  |  1910  |  1911  |  1912  |  1913
Panoramic view of the port, with the small and large Koules visible at the entrance, 1932 (Benaki Museum, Athens)
A detail from the St. George Gate (Historical Museum of Crete, S.C.H.S, Heraklion)
View of the Venetian shipyards, 1900 - 1905 (G. Gerola, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)
An embankment being constructed at the St. Francis Bastion, now Ikarou Ave., 1900 - 1905 (G. Gerola, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)
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