Places Greece

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Place description

The largest of the Minoan palaces, with an age of more than four thousand years, the famous Palace of Knossos (Cnossus, a more correct spelling - knos) lies on a low artificial hill 5 km Southeast of Heraklion.

A hundred years ago the Palace was known only by the numerous myths about the Minotaur, about the legendary king Minos, the labyrinth of Daedalus and the heroism of Theseus. Its opening is one of the most amazing moments in the history of modern archaeology. Heinrich Schliemann, discoverer of Troy and of the Palace of Agamemnon at Mycenae, several times attempted to excavate suspiciously on the "right" hill to the South of the then Heraclea, but were refused by the Turkish authorities. Only at the beginning of the twentieth century British archaeologist, sir Arthur Evans, failed to get permission to research, and almost immediately under the blades and brushes of archaeologists began to exude the majestic complex of one of the oldest palaces in the world. Despite the fact that almost all autos today, fragments of the Palace belong to the XVI Millennium BC, the number of detected items clearly indicate the earlier origins of the complex was rebuilt many times and reversed subsequently. And some one in a match with a mythological description that gives scientists the right to speak about the exact historicity of many of the Greek legends. Unfortunately, the discoverer of the Palace tried to "restore" a lost items, and did so clearly failed, using cement and iron anchors (which the Minoans, of course, did not know), so many buildings now look somewhat unnatural. However, even it allows to estimate the scale of this majestic complex times.

Entrance to the Palace (open daily: April to September from 8.00 to 19.30; from October to March - from 8.30 to 15.00; 6 euros) goes through the so-called "West yard" (a tentative name, as proposed by Evans Dating and designations are clearly not true) - ancient ceremonial gate, clearly showing the origin of the legend of the labyrinth. Even with a detailed plan of construction is almost impossible to find a way in this, in General, small complex, so sophisticated was the layout is clearly intended to protect from attacks. Then you can pass either the so-called "great ladder" by conditionally designated as "king's house" or wells stores with a courtyard at the base or along the side paths to the portico of the "Hall of the colonnades" at the bottom of the stairs with the famous "Dolphin fresco" (copy; the original is in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion) and borders of flowers and abstract spirals. Two sides to the stairs open, shaded courtyards leading to the inner chambers, the so-called "Queen's Bath" and toilet (it is believed that these elements of modern "convenience" appeared as such in first time). In many places, clearly visible elements of the ancient drainage system is surprisingly sophisticated and in some places even still in effect. The recent discovery of the remnants of the aqueduct system bringing water to the Palace from nearby sources on mount Luctus (the same springs, by the way, still have the morozini fountain in Iraklion), prove that the ancient Cretans had reached great heights in the construction sector long before the Romans.

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