Crete - City of USA
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea at 8,336 kmē .
Crete was the center of the Minoan civilization , the oldest Greek civilization.
Today Crete is one of the thirteen peripheries of Greece and a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece. While it keeps its own local cultural traits.
For centuries the island was known by its Italian name Candia, from the medieval name of its capital Heraklion, Chandax . In Classical Latin it was called Creta and in Turkish Girit.
Crete is the location of significant ancient history, which provides popular modern day tourist destinations. They include the Minoan sites of Knossos and Phaistos, the classical site of Gortys, the Venetian old city and port of Chania, the Venetian castle at Rethymno, and the Samaria Gorge.
The first human settlements on the island, dating to the aceramic Neolithic, used cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and dogs, as well as domesticated cereals and legumes; ancient Knossos was the site of one of these major Neolithic sites. Crete was the center of Europe's most ancient civilization; the Minoan. Early Cretan history is replete with legends such as those of King Minos, Theseus, Minotaur, Daedalus and Icarus passed on orally via poets such as Homer. Crete was involved in the Mithridatic Wars, initially repelling an attack by Roman general Marcus Antonius Creticus in 71 BC. Nevertheless, a ferocious three-year campaign soon followed under Quintus Caecilius Metellus, equipped with three legions, and Crete was finally conquered by Rome in 69 BC, earning for Metellus the title "Creticus". Gortyn was made capital of the island, and Crete became a Roman province, along with Cyrenaica.
During World War II, the island was the scene of the famous Battle of Crete where in May 1941, German paratroopers sustained almost 7,000 casualties, meeting fierce resistance by the locals and the British Commonwealth force, commanded by General Sir Bernard Freyberg. As a result, Adolf Hitler forbid further large scale airborne operations there during the war.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African, mainly falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is primarily temperate. The atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is fairly mild. Snowfall is common on the mountains between November and May, but rare in the low lying areas, especially near the coast when it only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours.
The south coast, including the Messara plain and Asterousia mountains, falls in the North African climatic zone, and thus enjoys significantly more sunny days and high temperatures throughout the year. In southern Crete date palms bear fruit and swallows remain year around, not migrating to Africa.
For centuries Crete has held intact its own distinctive rich and proud culture. Cretan Greek has been maintained as the spoken dialect, and Cretan wine is a traditional drink. The island is known for its music, and it has many indigenous dances, the most noted of which is probably the Pentozali.
Crete is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. Today, the island's tourism infrastructure caters to all tastes, including a very wide range of accommodation; the island's facilities take in large luxury hotels with their complete facilities swimming pools, sports and recreation, smaller family-owned apartments, camping facilities and others. Visitors reach the island via two international airports in Heraklion and Chania, or by boat to the main ports of Heraklion, Chania, Rethimno, and Agios Nikolaos.
USA National Bird : Bald Eagle
USA National Flower : Rose Rosa
USA National Game : Baseball