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  • Relaxing on the grassRelaxing on the grass© Cretazine
Crete as we Live it

Georgiadis park

"Wanna go to the park?" This is a classic line of ‘Herakliotians’ that needs no further clarification. Simply because there is no other park in the city! Well, there are a few “almost” parks in the center, such as the Theotokopoulos Park, but it is surrounded by noisy cafeterias so it is hard to claim it is a park really.

Cretazine Tips

 

  • Near the exit to Eleftherias Square there are public toilets, which are usually clean because a lady takes care of them. Leave a tip on your way out. Alternatively, there is the toilet of the cafeteria.
  • The open organic market is hosted here every Monday, Tuesday and Friday from about 10.00 to 15.00, throughout the year. You will find organic vegetables and fruit, sea salt, olives and other products sold directly by the producers.
  • There is a small playground for kids next to the cafeteria.
  • The cafeteria is open all day throughout the summer and becomes a pleasant bar at nights. Weather willing, it is also open some winter days too, usually when there is a market.
  • The annual three-day eco-meeting takes place in Georgiadis Park, usually in the beginnings of June, and it is one of the most interesting festivals of the city. Organic producers, artists, crafters, musicians and a variety of people active in organic cultivation, natural building, DIY culture and alternative living gather from all around Greece to present their views and products to the public. There are educational seminars, free concerts and improvised parties at the end of each day!

 

Published in  Inside the Walls
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The only “real” park of the city...

Those of you that come from cities with huge parks, such as Berlin, Brussels, ect, may be laughing that we are so excited with this little green spot near the city center, but really, this is the only "real" park we have! In the sense that it is relatively quiet, isolated from the busy city life, with enough free space for kids and pets to play, and most importantly: it is the only park that was claimed and defined by the citizens!

Situated between Dimokratias Street and Eleftherias’ Square (Freedom Square), extending over the “stuffed” Venetian trench, the park was named after Mayor Minas Georgiadis who was executed by the Germans on the 3rd of June 1942. You will see his bust on the central pathway. Today the park is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee or drink during the warm summer days and nights and you can also shop local organic products directly from the producers three times a week. Plus, if you are lucky, you might find yourself in one of the cultural events and festivals that often take place in the park, especially during the summer.

The park that was “saved” by the citizens!  

If you were in Heraklion a few years ago, Georgiadis Park was simply a "green passage" near the center for the locals. And then something changed.  The small building in its center became a cafeteria, various festivals and events “sprouted” on its fertile ground, and the open organic market was established in the area around the cafeteria. The park was brought back to life and even acquired a "fan club" of people from different backgrounds and age groups who come here regularly to enjoy a cold beer or coffee, attend one of the free concerts or just relax laying on the grass. It was during the process of this park-revival when the “ambitious” plans of the Municipality to convert part of Georgiadis Park into an underground parking lot became known to the public. According to the study, almost 1/3 of the trees and plants were to be removed and whatever remained from the park was to be covered by “recreational” facilities of doubtful quality. Among others, the study referred to “a cage full of birds” and a playground featuring games such as “scooter”, “jet ski” and “sports car”! Not exactly what one would expect to find in the greenest corner of the center… All this led to the suspicion that the park would no longer be a free public space accessible to all.  

In a city where free public spaces are not exactly found in abundance and the Municipality’s “allergy” to trees has been proven several times, the citizens reacted immediately. “Patrol” groups were formed to protect the park, signatures were collected and the issue received much publicity in social media and local press. As an effect, the plans of the Municipality were “frozen”. For the time being at least! As part of Georgiadis Park fan club, we can only wish that the only intervention on it will be extending it and making it greener!