Homes in the mountain villages are arranged amphitheatrically on the slopes or on hilltops and, thus, creates a natural fortress for protection from pirate raids. The semi-circle follows the shape of the Hill and is centered on the Church, the square and the cafe. The building is more often dense and continuous-as generally in fortified settlements, where the main concern is protection from pirates-and elsewhere sparse and free. The settlements-in harmony with the environment-bound because of their position on the Hill is divided into three neighborhoods: Panwchwri, Mesochoria and Katochori.
The settlements were few until the mid-19th century, due to the scourge of pirate raids that forced residents to congregate in large cities or within its fortified the island, in the most inaccessible and fortified by their nature sites. After the end of the 19th century the settlement was devastated old Venetian coastal locations-Agios Nikolaos (Castel Mirambello), Sitia, Palaiochora (Selino), Panormo (Castel Milopotamo).
The folk House
The Cretan folk House belongs to the type of platymetwpoy or stenometwpoy monospitoy. It is unassuming, with simple cubic form and with minimum openings one-storey and single spaced. The materials are stone, wood and paint. Cretans use them in their natural state or very little processed, with a primitive sense of material, thereby continuing to form but also in the construction of the primordial type of prehistoric Crete's home. Has a strict, ascetic character. Many times difficult to tell from the mountain where it is hooked.
The character of the Cretan House is justified by the harshness of space but also of life. The mountain, source of life and shelter, the constant revolutions and disasters have made Cretan not believes in the permanence of the edifice. Forced to build it from scratch over the ruins of his home, the way a Clipboard and builds fast, thus giving the character of the provisional. In sophisticated form of the House was a wooden loft sofas, deep in the unique oblong room. Even more sophisticated form was the two-story house, in which the ground floor is the location and the animal stall and the upper floor (attic) is for the accommodation of people. Later were built outside the House a store place (small building) and the stable (achiri) for animals, so the ground floor (portego) was released and served as the main space of the House. The roof of the House was flat (flat) and was made from trunks and branches (mesodokia). Over these they placed shrubs or reeds and over a layer of clay. The clay was covered with the blade, an argillaceous soil that ensure impermeability and home insulation.
A type of dwelling is widespread enough stone. It owes its name to the arch, the semicircular arch culvert which facilitate housing and doling out the single space into segments with relevant functional autonomy. The stone is rarely Windows. The light and the air coming into the House through the door and out of an opening in the roof, the anifora (updraft).
The floors were earthen or smeared with clay soil and in some cases in mountainous and rocky places, the floor consisted of the flat rock minimally processed. As the House itself, so the household effects of being frugal. The form: the loom, chairs, a mirror, a large sofa, the kasela to guard the dowry, the lamp-holder oil lamp lighting the house, the hand mill for the grinding of grain, the earthenware oil, the wine jars, the pitchers and the pitchers for water. The stone built wine press with dual mode-pressing the grapes, bed for the rest of the year-complements the functions of 'kamarospito'. Of course all of this depends on the economic situation of each family.