Knossos, the most important centre of the ancient Minoan civilization, is 5 km from Iraklion in Crete. It is considered to have been the seat of King Minos, and is connected with the myths of Theseus and the Minotaur, and of Daedalus and Icarus. It flourished in the Minoan era (2000 – 1350 BC), when it was the most important centre in Crete, but it also grew and developed in the Hellenistic era. Knossos was discovered in 1878 by M. Kalokairino. It was systematically excavated by Sir Arthur Evans between 1900 and 1931. After 1925, a great deal of restoration work was carried out on the site.
What you will see at the archaeological site:
- The famous Palace of Knossos which covers an area of 22,000 square metres and was the centre of political, economic and religious power.
- The fresco of the "Prince of Lilies" and the Horns of Consecration, one of the sacred symbols of the Minoan religion.
- The Hall of the Double Axes and the Queen’s Chamber with the Dolphins fresco.
- The Royal Temple Tomb, which is one of the most important monuments in Crete and the last to be discovered by Evans. It is believed that some of the last kings of Knossos were buried here (17th - 14th cent. BC).
- The Villa Dionysus which is a very good example of a monument from a later date (2nd century AD). It was a private Roman peristyle house with wonderful floor mosaics.
Opening hours: 08: 00 - 17: 00. Tel: +30 2810 231 940.