5 facts about the site and the battle on the Kopsas hill
The chapel of the prophet Elias is located at the top of a hill that dominates the coastal area east of Heraklion. The view from this place is really impressive. But this hill was also a battlefield during the battle of Crete in May 1941.
Location: Overlooking the coastal plain area and the road from Heraklion to the eastern part of the island.
Natural environment: Hill, steep on the eastern slopes.
Manmade environment: Single-nave, barrel vaulted chapel dedicated to prophet Elias.
History: On May 21 & 22, 1941, a Greek company of local newly recruited soldiers fought against a company of German paratroopers. The Greeks won in this case, and this battle was one of the few minor wins of the Allies during the Battle of Crete.
Significance and aftermath: The impugnable by that time German troops in that case lost. The battle was won by the Greeks due a composition of: 1. personal courage, 2. good leadership, and 3. excellent positioning and taking advantage of the local geomorphology, with steep and rocky slopes.
For more about the history of the place read our article about five lessons learned by the battle there.