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The area of Sitia was first settled during the Neolithic era (3.500 BC). During the Minoan period (2800 BC – 1050 BC), the area blossomed and was at the time called Itia or Itida. Its exact location was never discovered. Most archeologists claim that it was located at the current location of Petras. With the Dorian Invasion, the Eteocretes (indigenous Cretans), expanded their area of influence to eastern Crete, where they settled, particularly at Presos. During the 2nd century BC, the residents of Presos resettled to Itia, since their city was destroyed by the Ierapitnious. That fact provided a new dynamic potential to the growth of the city. Throughout the centuries, Sitia flourished and declined, time and again. It was conquered, destroyed and rebuilt. What’s certain, is that it had an active part in history up until World War 2, and its numerous monuments are the legacy of the current residents. During the Venetian period, the city flourished. Forts were built, as well as walls from which Kazarma is still standing. The Venetians used to call the city “A milestone and the light ofCrete”. An earthquake caused great damage in 1508. In 1538, the infamous pirate, Hayreddin Barbarossa, relentlessly laid siege to the city and destroyed the outer houses and a large part of the wall. From that point forward, began a period of decline. In 1651, the Venetians themselves destroyed the city, lest to avoid it falling to the hands of the Turks. In 1870, it was rebuilt by Avni Pasa. In 1941, Sitia was occupied by the Italians, and during the war, the Italians departed and the Germans took their place. The Sitians’ resistance was an obligation, given their history.


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