Crete (, ; Ancient Greek: , Krḗtē) is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, and the fifth-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete (), one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece. The capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits (such as its own poetry and music). It was once the center of the Minoan civilization (), which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe.