Sabbionara Gate

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In Sabbionara bastion there is one of the three beach gates – the second one is in the bastion of Saint Andrew and the third one is in the bay of Dermatas. The Venetians originally called it “Mikro Martinengo” (Little Martinengo), after the name of the commander Girolamo Martinengo. Then the name Sabionara, the “Gate of Sand” prevailed because it was built on the sandy beach (sabbia in Italian). The Sabionara Gate was completed in 1603 and, like all the gates of the coastal wall, was smaller in size, and featured a simpler architectural structure and simpler morphological elements than the main gates. After the Turkish occupation of the city, the bastion of Sabbionara was rebuilt and its gate served the needs of the inhabitants for centuries. Then much of it was covered by the embankments for the construction of the commercial port and newer buildings. The city-facing aspect of the gate bears an elegant gabled façade and has recently been brought to light again, while its simple exit to the sea has been preserved intact. As for the bastion of Sabbionara, in more recent years, it has acquired a practical use: its flat part is home to a 1930s building, the former “Commercial School of Heraklion” which today houses the 6th High School of Heraklion.

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