While enjoying a stroll in the promenade of Heraklion, make a stop at the crossroads of 25th August street and the seafront avenue, at the “Eighteen Englishmen Square”, a small square with a long history!
In the late 19th century (1898), the Muslim populations of the countryside gathered at Heraklion, seeking refuge and protection, yet creating tension in the city. On the occasion of the appointment of a Christian Director at the Customs’ Office, and while the new employees were on their way to take on duties, furious Muslims (bashi-bazouks) attacked the civilians and the accompanying British military force on 25 August 1898. Soon, the violence spread across the city and dozens of Christians fell to this massive riot – among them, 17 British soldiers and the Vice-Consul of Britain, Lysimachos Kalokairinos. The response of the Great Powers was immediate; seventeen Muslims were executed for leading the riots. These violent incidents provided the occasion for rapid changes in the political situation on the island.