Knossos

Knossos, the heart of the Minoan civilization, lies 5 km southeast of Heraklion, in the valley of the river Kairatos. Knossos is Crete’s most famous historical attraction. It is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on the island and is referred to as the oldest city in Europe. Knossos was first inhabited by a Neolithic settlement in the seventh century BC. It stayed inhabited for several thousands of years until it was finally abandoned in 1375 BC after its destruction, which marked the end of Minoan civilisation.The first large-scale excavation was undertaken in 1878 by the wealthy art-lover Minos Kalokairinos, while Crete was still under Turkish occupation. This was followed by the long-term excavations (1900-1913 and 1922-1930) of Sir Arthur Evans, who uncovered the whole surrounding area of Knossos.

Knossos

Knossos, the heart of the Minoan civilization, lies 5 km southeast of Heraklion, in the valley of the river Kairatos. Knossos is Crete’s most famous historical attraction. It is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on the island and is referred to as the oldest city in Europe. Knossos was first inhabited by a Neolithic settlement in the seventh century BC. It stayed inhabited for several thousands of years until it was finally abandoned in 1375 BC after its destruction, which marked the end of Minoan civilisation.The first large-scale excavation was undertaken in 1878 by the wealthy art-lover Minos Kalokairinos, while Crete was still under Turkish occupation. This was followed by the long-term excavations (1900-1913 and 1922-1930) of Sir Arthur Evans, who uncovered the whole surrounding area of Knossos.

Highlights

  • Visit the Great Palace of Knossos, the largest and most spectacular of
    all the Minoan palatial centres, the seat of the wise king Minos, which is
    connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with
    the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Ikaros.
  • Explore the Little Palace, where an incredible Bull’s Head constructed
    out of steatite was found.
  • Visit the Royal Temple-Tomb, where one of the last kings of Knossos
    was buried.
  • Visit the recently reorganized Heraklion Archaeological Museum, the
    largest museum of Crete and one of the most important museums in
    Greece, and admire the wealth of the Minoan treasures.

Highlights

  • Visit the Great Palace of Knossos, the largest and most spectacular of
    all the Minoan palatial centres, the seat of the wise king Minos, which is
    connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with
    the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Ikaros.
  • Explore the Little Palace, where an incredible Bull’s Head constructed
    out of steatite was found.
  • Visit the Royal Temple-Tomb, where one of the last kings of Knossos
    was buried.
  • Visit the recently reorganized Heraklion Archaeological Museum, the
    largest museum of Crete and one of the most important museums in
    Greece, and admire the wealth of the Minoan treasures.

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