Greece Seeks UNESCO Heritage Status for Spinalonga Islet (video)



Greece’s Culture ministry submitted a nomination to UNESCO on Tuesday asking them to declare Crete’s Spinalonga islet, with its impressive sixteenth-century Venetian fortress, a new “World Heritage Site”.

The Central Archaeological Council of Greece had earlier given its approval to the ministry’s management plan for the islet. Spinalonga had also served as a leper colony in the 20th century, up until the year 1957.

“The possible inclusion of the islet will make it the first site in Crete to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” noted Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki, the secretary general of the Culture Ministry.

Spinalonga Fortress is the second-most visited archaeological site in Crete after the palace of Knossos, and is the sixth most popular site in the nation of Greece.

Located in the Gulf of Elounda on northeastern Crete, Spinalonga is known for its small pebble beaches and shallow aquamarine waters, as well as its Fortress and abandoned leper colony. The island can easily be accessed from Plaka, Elounda and Agios Nikolaos.

The last Greek monument to be included on the UNESCO list was the archaeological site of Philippi in northern Greece, which was added in July of 2017.