June 2012
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Travel – Knossos – the largest Bronze Age archaeological site in Crete

Knossos (also written as Knossus or Cnossus) is known as Labyrinth or Knossos Palace. This is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site located in Crete and is the political centre of the ancient Minoan civilization and culture. This is situated about 5 km (3 mi) to the south of Heraklion. This palace is the seat of the legendary Cretan king Minos. It belongs historically from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.) to Roman times. This palace was built between 1700 and 1400 BC.
This palace looks like a maze of workrooms, living spaces, and store rooms, close to a central square. It is near the main city of Heraklion and was excavated by archaeologist Arthur Evans. This city has been important through the Classical and Roman periods. During 9th century the inhabitants were shifted to Heraklion and back in 13th century, this city was called Makryteikhos ‘Long Wall’.
The rooms are connected with hallways. There are about 1300 rooms with corridors and sizes. The palace is spread over an area of about 6 acres (24,000 m2). This palace includes a theatre, a main entrance with four cardinal faces, storerooms. The storerooms contained many things like Pithoi which are large clay vases to hold oil, grains, dried fish, beans, and olives. The other items here were grain mills, oil presses, and wine presses. This palace is five stories high.
The palace has three separate liquid management systems; one for for supply, one for drainage of runoff, and one for drainage of waste water. As this is on a hill, this palace is cool in summer. It has air shafts and porticoes. There are Minoan Columns which are different from Greek columns. These columns are made out of trunk of a cypress tree which is common to the Mediterranean. These columns are wider at the top and smaller at the bottom.
The art is also special, being of the Middle and New Kingdom Egypt. This art depict a form of bull fighting and a dance with the Great Bull. There is a Throne room which is the centerpiece of this palace. The lustral basin was used for ritual washing.

Attractions around Knossos, Heraklion:
• Koules, the Venetian castle in the Harbour (Greek: ??????)
• Venetian Walls
• Loggia
• Morosini Fountain (a.k.a. Lions Square)
• St. Minas Cathedral
• St. Titus Church
• St. Catherine of the Sinaites Church
• St. Mark’s Basilica
• Dominican Church of St. Peter

Museums and Galleries
• Heraklion Archaeological Museum: This is located on Xanthoudidou Street and it houses finds from the Minoan civilisation and excavations across the island of Crete. The finds includes the statues of the Snake Goddess, the famous Bull-Leaping Fresco, the enigmatic and mysterious Phaistos Disk, and Minoan seals and jewelry. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the world’s great museums representing the Minoan culture.
• Museum of the Battle for Crete and National Resistance: This museum gets back to the tale of Cretan and Allied resistance against Nazi invaders in World War II.
• Museum of Natural History
• Historical Museum of Crete
• Lychnostatis: This is an open-air Cretan folklore museum
• CretAquarium Thalassocosmos: This aquarium is open from June -September and is the biggest aquarium in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is situated about nine miles to the east of Heraklion on the National Road.
• Nikos Kazantzakis Museum: This is in the village of Myrtia (Varvari) that is about 15 km. to the south of Heraklion.
• Heraklion Summer Arts Festival is held from June to September.
• Amoudara: This is the city’s beach area of about three kilometers.

Best time to visit / climate:
The best time to visit this place is in summer. One can expect showers between October and April. The temperatures are ideal from July to August.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Top Sights Travel Guide: Crete (Kindle) Rough Guide Map Crete [Folded Map] Lonely Planet Crete (Regional Guide)

How to get there:
Herakleion has Herakleion Airport (HER). From April till early November charter airlines fly directly to Heraklion from many European airports.
By Bus: There are local bus services available in the place. Two KTEL companies offer services in Herakleion.
By Ferry:
There are Highspeed Catamaran and normal ferries from/to Heraklion, Athens (Piraeus) to Heraklion, Minoan Lines , Anek Lines and Superfast Ferries – and also from Thessaloniki, Cyclades and Dodecanese to Heraklion. Sea Jets [20] Santorini Maritime and Hellenic Seaways

Getting around:
By Bus: Elounda, Kritsa, Sitia, Heraklion (and from there, Knossos), Malia and Hersonnisos are accessed with a regular bus service.
Among others are taxis, scooters, rent car facilities available in the place.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

Hotels at greekhotels
Restaurants at wikitravel
Hotels at wikitravel
Hotels at greekhotel
Hotels at expedia

Blogs / Sites about Knossos:

Blogs and reviews at travelpod
Blogs and reviews at blogtopsites
Blogs and reviews at travbuddy
Blogs and reviews at wordpress

Images and photos of Knossos:

Images at Google search
Images at ancient-greece
Images at dilos

Videos of Knossos:

• The Palace of Knoss:

• The Palace of Knoss:

The Ancient Island of Crete – Knossos

Minoan Art at Knossos


Knossos Crete – The palace of Knossos

Knossos Palace Reconstruction Crete 3D

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