Islet of Spinalonga being put forward for UNESCO heritage status


The Culture Ministry said on Friday it will submit the final nomination file to UNESCO at the end of the month seeking the declaration of Crete’s Spinalonga islet, with its impressive 16th century Venetian fortress, a World Heritage Site.

The announcement was made after Central Archaeological Council (KAS) gave its approval to the ministry’s management plan for the islet, which was also a leper colony in the 20th century, up until 1957.

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

Spinalonga Fortress is the second most visited archaeological site in Crete after the palace of Knossos, and sixth in Greece. The last Greek monument to be included on the list was the archaeological site of Philippi in northern Greece in July 2017.