|iteia is the capital of the Eparchy by the same name and stands at the head of Siteia Bay. The landscape here is not so wild as elsewhere on Crete and the mountain ranges on the horizon are much gentler. The surrounding countryside is green and fertile.|
The beach, with its fine, white sand, running down to clear blue waters, is a constant invitation to bathe.
In 1508, an earthquake destroyed the town and in 1538 pirates sacked it. At about 1651, the Venetians themselves ruined their own castle to prevent it falling into the hands of Turks. These ruins can still be seen today, to the east of the town.
nly a tower with three floors has survived, together with some other buildings protected by a polygonal defensive wall with battlements. Before the Venetians, the Genoese had built a fortress in Siteia in 1204.
On the northern side of the fortress, there was under the Venetians the Santa Maria Monastery, which was demolished by the Turks.
On its ruins was built a little chapel, and since then the area has been used as a cemetery.
iteia was the birthplace of the famous Cretan poet Vincenzo Kornaros, who wrote his verse-play Erotokritos. Examples of the prosperity and culture of the ancient city can be admired in the Archaeological Museum, which has been housed in a modern building since 1984 and is the third largest in Crete.
The town also has a Folklore Museum, with collections of textiles, local costumes and domestic utensils, which give visitors a full picture of what life used to be like in these parts.
t the theatre, which is against the renovated part of the city wall, there are interesting cultural events each summer.
There are ferry sailings from Siteia to the Dodecanese, the Aegean islands and Kavala in northern Greece. Since 1984 there has also been an airport, which is only 10 minutes from the centre of town.
Photos and text taken from "Crete - today and yesterday"
and "Crete - A tour of all the towns and villages"
The Lasithi Plateau