What is Knossos Palace?
Exploring the Knossos Palace was on our must see list when we visited Crete and it did not disappoint. The Palace of Knossos is the oldest palace in Crete. Originally settled as early as 6700 BC during the Neolithic Period. In 1900 BC a palace was built on the original ruins of the first settlement by the Minoan Civilization. This was destroyed, around 1700 BC, presumably by an earthquake, and then rebuilt. In 1450 BC many of the palaces of Crete were destroyed, although Knossos appeared to still be in use. Many theories as to what happened are out there, but the general belief is Mycenean’s from Mainland Greece occupied the area and took it over. Furthermore, by 1380 BC, Knossos appeared to have been abandoned for unknown reasons.
Location of Knossos Palace
Knossos is located about 5 km south of modern day Heraklion in North Central Crete. It is easy to locate. Once in the parking lot, head back towards the street and follow the signs. The entrance is about a block from the parking lot. In addition, there are plenty of souvenir shops and some places to eat across the street.
Excavation and Restoration
Discovered in 1878, the Knossos Ruins a great piece of history.. In 1900, Sir Arthur Evans, from England, brought a team in and began excavating the site. As a matter of fact, much of what you see today is from his work and studies. Equally important, he used scientific knowledge and ideas to name the rooms and in the same way, hypothesized about what there actual useless were.
By and large, the Palace was built around a central area consisting of different rooms, or areas for different purposes. Important to realize, a lot of the naming of rooms and believed purposes for the rooms are based on other ruins, or hypotheses of this time. Fresco remnants were found throughout Knossos and Sir Arthur Evans hired an archeological restorer to recreate some of these frescoes. As a result, copies of these restored frescoes are throughout the palace. In addition, the original restored frescoes are at museums including the Heraklion Archeology Museum in Heraklion. Its interesting to note, many of the rooms are restored to what Evans believed to be accurate based on historic evidence. I found the following link to be interesting and to give a good explanation of the restoration process at Knossos. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/aegean-art1/minoan/a/the-palace-at-knossos-crete
Knossos Palace Photos
North Entrance & North Pillar Hall
Fresco Room-Above the Throne Room
South Portico of Knossos Palace
South Propylaea-Prince of the Lillies Fresco
Grand Staircase at Knossos Palace
Storage Area, Staircase & Theatrical Area
Lunch at Taverna Stefanis
After touring Knossos we headed towards Elounda opting to go through the mountains. Of course, we were pretty hungry after a busy morning and looked for an out of the way place to eat. As a matter of fact, we found the perfect spot in the small mountain town of Krasi. The Taverna Stefanis. This place is amazing! The food is fantastic and plentiful and the service is also second to none! In addition, it is family owned and operated. This place is truly a gem!
Check out this great food!! From top, left to right. Fava. Tzatziki. Greek Meatballs. Saganaki (Fried Cheese). Fresh Fruit and Desserts! As can be seen, we ate well and were very happy!
Elounda Peninsula All Suites Hotel
We arrived at Elounda close to sunset and checked into our hotel, the Elounda Peninsula All Suites Hotel. This place is beyond wonderful! The service is outstanding and the views from our room and deck were amazing. In fact, this place is simply outstanding. All in all, the hospitality of the staff is what truly makes Elounda Peninsula stand out. For more information or to book a room click here.
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While planning our trip to Greece, I found the travel guide Top 10 Crete to be very useful. It lists the top 10 places to go, restaurants, and sites. Then it also lists the top 10 by region and area. I felt it was a great planning tool. In addition, it came with a pocket size map.
I also bought a National Geographic Map of Crete and this was priceless as we lost our GPS several times. The map is pretty accurate and also durable. It really did help us out!
True Trips, Greece. A big part of planning is done for us! Both times we traveled to Greece, we let True Greece plan much of our trip! They will plan as much as you want, and they also really listen to what you want to do. We had them plan our lodging and also our transfers to and from airports and ferry ports. They also plan and arrange tours too. The tours we did last year were awesome! As a matter of fact, they are from Greece. They know the ins and outs that we would never know. This is invaluable, as it assures for a smooth trip. In other words, I 100% recommend True Greece, they are experts and they work hard to plan with you!
Check them out on this link for more info https://www.truegreece.com
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