The Culture Ministry of Greece has submitted the final nomination file for the island of Spinalonga to be included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
“It will be Crete’s first site to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” Culture Ministry Secretary General Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki said.
The island of Spinalonga, officially known as Kalydon, is located in the Gulf of Elounda in north-eastern Crete, in Lasithi, next to the town of Plaka. The island is further assigned to the area of Kalydon. It is near the Spinalonga peninsula and is Crete’s second most visited archaeological site, after the Palace of Knossos, and the sixth in Greece.
It attracts thousands of visitors every year due to its unique architecture and historical significance. The island features an impressive well-preserved fortification, which was built in the 16th century by the Venetians for defense purposes.
Crete has managed to secure 900,000 euros in EU funding for the third phase on the archaeological site, which also includes maintenance works on its fortification and buildings.
From the early 20th century and until 1957, Spinalonga was used as a leper colony, while the last inhabitant left the island in 1962.