Knossos Palace

The Palace at Knossos, Crete is very old, but the legends are even older. Perhaps you have heard of the mythical Minotaur and the labyrinth where he was kept? Not much remains of the palace. Some excavation has been done and recreation to give a sense of how it looked when a large civilization lived in this area.

It is all downhill to the sea

and uphill to the sun in the south

When I visited in May of 2016, it was not evident to me that this palace was neither fortified nor on the highest point of land around. Looking at the pictures you can see the higher hills in the background. The hills are their source of gypsum and limestone. To the north, only 5 kilometres downhill, is the major port of Heraklion. 
Water for the community came from springs in the hills above and was used to “flush” wastes down the hill, away from the city, to the river and port below.

water reservoir

restored unique columns

Unlike most support columns, these are smaller at the bottom than at the top. The wiki explanation for this is that unlike stone columns, these were made of cypress tree trunks and were used upside down so that they would not sprout. Did you know that?

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colourful frescos

bright colours were everywhere.

colour pigments were from local natural elements and plants

The “crown jewel” of this Knossos Palace is the Throne Room. Although there were probably many similar rooms, this is the best preserved excavated to this point. Notice the gryphons on the wall laying and facing the throne.

Throne room

adjacent to the throne room

Food was stored in these Pithoi and buried in the ground with only the tops accessible. They were excavated and put on display to show their size and beautiful decoration.

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the Pithoi were decorated and buried

Shade from the hot sun is welcome. Could they be solar panels?

The museum is surrounded by the city of Heraklion. The museum is isolated from the city by the hills and a buffer garden which shows the local beauty.

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spring growth

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– Where do You want to go today? –



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2 Responses to Knossos

  1. “Perhaps you have heard of the mythical Minotaur and the labyrinth where he was kept?” Wow! Not only have I heard of it, but I homeschool my son & he and I just studied it in the fall. Those are great pictures & seeing them helps make what you know about past civilizations seem more real.

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