Greece's Heraklion Opens Exhibition Dedicated To 23-Year Ottoman Siege Of Candia - Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd November, 2019) The Greek city of Heraklion, which is located on the island of Crete, opened an exhibition, dedicated to the great siege of the Venetian port of Candia (currently Heraklion) by the Ottoman troops, which lasted for 23 years and is one of the longest sieges in history, Greek media reported on Saturday.

The exhibition called "Cretan War 1645-1669" is held at the Vikelaia library in Heraklion and will last until December 20, the Kathimerini newspaper reported.

This weekend, Heraklion also hosts a scientific conference on the siege of Candia, which presents documents from Italian, Greek and UK libraries.

Both events are commemorating the 350th anniversary of the fall of Candia.

The Most Serene Republic of Venice captured Candia in 1204 as part of the Fourth Crusade, which targeted the weakening Byzantine Empire.

For centuries, Venice was one of the leading powers in the Mediterranean but its positions became threatened with the rise of the Ottoman Empire, which started in the 15th century.

Despite the decisive naval victory in the 1571 Battle of Lepanto, when the Ottoman navy was defeated by the Holy League involving Venice, the most serene republic gradually ceded its positions in the eastern Mediterranean.

In 1644, the Knights of Malta attacked an Ottoman convoy, which was heading from Alexandria to Constantinople (currently Istanbul), and sheltered in Candia, which was used as a casus belli by the Turks, who sent 60,000 troops to seize Crete.

The Ottoman Empire failed to take the city immediately and in May 1648, started a siege, which lasted for 23 years. On September 27, 1669, commander of the Venetian troops in Candia Francesco Morosini surrendered to Grand Vizier Ahmed Koprulu. Under the surrender terms, the remaining 3,600 defenders of the city along with the Christian population were allowed to leave Candia.

The siege of Candia is the second-longest siege in history. The longest one is the 1694-1720 siege of Ceuta by Morocco, which failed to take the city that still belongs to Spain.