Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Palace of Knossos

Scorching sun, lots of ruins ,rough surface to walk  on (stones, pebbles, rocks). From the gate it looks compact, but one thing leads to another and even after three hours there , I haven't seen it all. It's huge and complex. The Palace of Knossos. (The name covers  main palace, little palace, royal villa, priest's house with the altar, official entrance Caravanserai serving as baths for the guests, theater area, royal tomb-sanctuary).

father and son checking the site map

tourists listening to guide; 'cup bearers' fresco behind 

Knossos is located some 5 kilometers from the center of Heraklion and it is one of the most significant attractions in Crete, being considered  the craddle of the Minoan civilization of the Bronze Age. 

The Palace, built on a hill, residence of King Minos, and the administrative center  of the entire island of Crete at that time, was set around a central courtyard. 
It  had royal chambers with precious objects, a throne room, banquet halls; storage rooms, irrigation arrangements, workshops, wall paintings.

staircase to the royal chambers

storage magazines

big  storage jars 

Walking among the reconstructed remains one gets a fairly good impression of the complexity and sophistication of the palace. Moreover, one also gets  feelings of exultation about wandering in a piece of the ancient Greek world.

The structures of the royal palace at Knossos have practically been "emptied" of excavated finds (frescoes, coins, figurines, vessels, jewellery etc..); those  were transferred to the Archeological Museum in Heraklion.  The few items left are, I'm afraid, only replicas of the originals.

'ladies in blue'  fresco

 'bull leaping'  fresco

'octopus'  frescoe

 'prince of  the lilies'  fresco

Thus, one has to visit both places (Knossos and the museum in Heraklion) in order to get a complete picture of the structures + the excavation finds.  I did. There's a combined entrance ticket to encourage this double visit. (In both places, by the way, there are good quality cafeterias to provide visitors with food and beverages),

Outside  the site of the Palace, across the street - a row of souvenir shops. I bought some souvenirs as a nice finish to my Knossos 'adventure'.


  1. I was there around 10 years ago and I was impressed!

  2. Hello Duta,

    This is such an amazing place! Beautiful photos and fascinating details. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. OLA,

    I'm sure you were. Quite an impressive site. One can hardly visit Crete without paying respects to one of its most important landmarks - Knossos and the Palace.

  4. Hi Linda,

    Thanks for visiting. Indeed, an amazing place. I'm very glad you liked the pictures and the details.

  5. It's so sad that things were stolen. I guess people just want money and don't care about the archeology and history.

  6. jennifer A.Jilks,

    I didn't mean things were stolen by individual people , although I think thas also happened like with any archeological site. What I meant is that the authorities transferred theexcavated items to a safer place like the archeological museum. This, of course, had a damaging effect on the authenticity of the Palace, but I suppose it was the right thing to do.

  7. Duta, reading this I can only remember my trip to Greece. Going
    up and down rubble like a goat. On the train back to Venice, my
    legs became so swollen. Being there was worth it. Thanks for sharing,
    Wow! The Art is wonderful.

  8. La Petite Gallery,

    I'm glad it reminds you of your trip to Greece. The greek world is very rewarding in terms of art, history, archeology. As for the going up and down, I'm not young and it's becoming quite difficult. Mind you, I've seen children, some with sticks or wheelchairs. People don't give up easily, and that's beautiful.

  9. I love history and this place sounds so ancient and exciting to see. Makes me want to go. Have a great week Duta.

  10. Nןkki (Sarah),

    Yes, history. Imagine that: walking through ruins of what was life before thousands of years. At the museum (hopefully next post), one sees how rich and even how advanced that life was.

  11. Lovely to see beloved Greece again. I wonder if I shall ever see it again.

  12. Pat,

    Why not? Hope you see it again. The whole area of Greece and the greek islands is very attractive. Many europeans, especially germans and brits have bought vacation houses on the islands, and some even choose to retire here.

  13. Never been to Greece, so it is terrific to your photos and read your words. Thanks for visiting my blog. Cheers!

  14. Wilma,

    You're welcome. I'm glad you liked the photos and words in my post on Crete. Who knows, maybe you'll have the chance to get there someday.

  15. It looks so interesting! I love the city of rocks. It looked fascinating to see what their life may have been like. Glad you enjoyed it

  16. Kim@Stuff,

    Indeed, Kim. the place is interesting, and the rocks tell the tale of life before thousands of years. Visiting in summer is a bit difficult, but worth it.

  17. The frescos are beautiful. And thanks so much for your last blog comment. It is the nicest one I've ever received and really made my day!

  18. Sharon Wagner,

    A day later, I saw the original frescoes at the archeological museum in Heraklion.
    Great art! My comment on your last post was heartfelt; I meant it.

  19. I love how you not only shared the pictures and interesting facts for each but how you felt. Makes me wish you could take me on a tour with you in real life! lol.

  20. Thanks. I'm flattered by your kind words.

  21. this must have ben remarkable once ;) Still is.

  22. NatureFootstep,

    Indeed. Our imagination works additional hours while contemplating the remains of the palace.