History of Agios Nikolaos
Aghios Nikolaos (capital of the prefecture) is a small town with 8.000 inhabitants. The town is built on the ruins of ancient town Lato. The lake, which is the town's symbol, is 64 m deep.
Aghios Nikolaos port has boats travelling to and from Piraeus, as well as islands. It is also connected to Heraklion through a perfect road network and the route via asphalted roadways to other large cities of the prefecture is very comfortable.
The city is found built on the ruins of the ancient city of Latos as ancient inscriptions show. According to Mythology, the goddess Athena and the goddess Artemis preferred the city’s lake for their bath. In 1958, the archaeologist Professor N. Platon excavated Late Minoan and Hellenistic graves and brought to light female statuettes and a plethora of vessels which were dated to those periods.
During Venetian rule the Genouates built their fortress Mirabello, which the Turks demolished in 1647. The inhabitants of the area took part in all of the battles for liberation from the Turks and at Mount Mirabella of Saint Nicholas, D.Kotzias in 1827 managed to run a blockade against the Egyptian fleet and destroy their ships.