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Discovering Knossos Palace in Crete: a fascinating dive into Minoan culture

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Today, I welcome you to the realm of the Knossos Ancient Palace, nestled on the island of Crete. The achievements of ancient Minoan culture have left Knossos Palace steeped in myth and rich in history. As we try to solve the puzzles and discover the secrets of this fabled palace, we embark on a journey through time.

The story of Knossos Palace begins in the early 1900s with the well-known archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, who undertook ground-breaking excavations.
Evans changed our understanding of ancient history by methodically excavating with unflinching determination.
Knossos Palace’s discovery ushered in a new era and revealed the mysterious Minoan civilisation that had flourished millennia before.

Beginning in the Neolithic, Knossos Palace became the centre of Minoan culture and peaked in the Bronze Age. Knossos, the centre of ancient Crete’s politics, economy, and religion, was the biggest and most splendid of the Minoan palaces. It changed over the ages, reflecting the dynamic spirit of Minoan culture.

Within Knossos Palace is the magnificent throne room, a representation of power and majesty. It is the oldest throne room in Europe.
Minoan kings held court amid beautiful frescoes and complex structures, determining the course of their kingdom. The throne room is incredible, even more so if you go back through time and imagine it in its ancient elegance and power.

Knossos Palace is truly amazing architecture with cutting-edge engineering methods and novel elements. The palace’s intricate plumbing system and maze-like design are only two examples of how clever its designers were. In addition to serving functional purposes, the design represented the artistic and cultural achievements of Minoan culture.

Knossos Palace is intertwined with Greek mythological stories of gods and heroes. Legend has it that Knossos, the home of the Minotaur, is the legendary labyrinth of King Minos. These captivating stories have influenced writers and artists for generations.

Today, Knossos Palace offers a window into the tapestry of Minoan history to guests from all over the world. Guided tours offer insight into the palace’s past. Wandering through the maze-like passageways and taking in the elaborate frescoes, visitors may step back in time to a different era.

When I visited Knossos, some of the parts were closed, but I hope that the works will finish soon to show more parts of the Palace. I didn’t see, for example, the famous and unique Dolphin Fresco, that was found in the Queen’s Megaron. 

Knossos, in its current restored state, may disappoint those who anticipate vibrant colours and vibrant displays. However, it is an opportunity to connect with history and a fascinating period.

Educational possibilities abound in Knossos Palace for academics and students. Archaeological digs provide practical experience, while on-site study enhances our understanding of ancient history. Educational programs and workshops foster a deeper appreciation for this amazing period in human history by allowing guests to explore the secrets of Minoan culture.

The influence of Knossos Palace on art, literature, and popular culture worldwide goes well beyond the boundaries of Crete. Ancient mythology and more modern versions of Knossos never cease to inspire imagination and ingenuity. Works by writers, filmmakers, and artists who try to convey the spirit of this fabled palace carry on its legacy.

I’ve come across some examples:

Mary Renault’s novel “The King Must Die” reimagines the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur within the context of Minoan culture.

Movies like “Minotaur” (2006) and “Immortals” (2011) draw upon the mythological elements associated with Knossos Palace to create cinematic experiences. These films incorporate aspects of Minoan culture and mythology to captivate audiences worldwide.

Artists have depicted Knossos Palace in various mediums, from paintings to sculptures, capturing its grandeur and mystique. For example, the artwork of British painter John Craxton – a nomad artist who fell in love with Crete, often features themes inspired by his visits to Crete, including depictions of Knossos and its surroundings.
The colours and the structure of the Palace invite people to take pictures, and some images of the Palace have become real icons, as for the Colosseum in Rome… If you have a guide, you can also listen to the information and go back later to take pictures, in case you do not have enough time.

Despite Knossos Palace being its crown treasure and one of the most visited archaeological sites in Greece, Crete is home to a wealth of fascinating historical sites that await discovery. There are many wonderful things to see and activities to enjoy, from historic ruins to charming villages. Every visitor may find something to love on Crete. I did, and I live here now. Every day I discover something new, and I never stop feeling wonder.

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind before you travel to Knossos Palace.

  • When it’s milder and there are fewer people, spring or autumn is the best time to go. In spring, the colors of nature in Crete are amazing. It is one of my favourite periods, as November.
  • Remember that the entrance ticket price is separate from the guide’s price, which is an extra. If the guide tells you one price, double check, but it will most likely not include the entrance ticket. It could be a good idea to “share the guide” with other visitors speaking the same language, because the guides are well prepared and it is worth visiting the site with them, but sharing can help to keep the expenses lower.
  • You’ll be walking medium distances, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes and remember to pack plenty of water and sunscreen.
  • You won’t soon forget this ancient marvel, so take your time to fully appreciate its history and beauty.
Veranda - View from Magic Aurora seaview holiday home in Almyros

Magic Aurora, in Almyros, is 65 km from Knossos

If you are looking for a holiday home in Crete, in the Gulf of Mirabello, in Crete, you can have a look at our Magic Aurora Seaview Apartment in Almiros, Agios Nikolaos. From Magic Aurora you arrive in Knossos in about 45 minutes by car.

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FAQs

Yes, Knossos Palace is open to the public for guided tours and exploration.

A visit to Knossos Palace usually takes around 1-2 hours, depending on your pace and level of interest.

Yes, guided tours of Knossos Palace are available in multiple languages, including English, Greek, Italian and French.

Yes, Knossos Palace is accessible to disabled visitors, with ramps and designated parking available.

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