The archaeological site of Knossos (Knosós GR: Κνωσός) is sited 5 km southeast of the city of Iraklion.
There is evidence that this location was inhabited during the neolithic times (6000 B.C.) . On the ruins of the neolithic settlement was built the first Minoan palace (1900 B.C.) where the dynasty of
This was destroyed in 1700 B.C and a new palace built in its place.
The palace covered an area of 22,000sq.m, it was multi- storeyed and had an intricate plan. Due to this fact the Palace is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur.
Between 1.700-1.450 BC, the Minoan civilisation was at its peak and Knossos was the most important city-state. During these years the city was destroyed twice by earthquakes (1.600 BC, 1.450 BC) and rebuilted.
The city of Knossos had 100.000 citizens and it continued to be an important city-state until the early Byzantine period.
The site was discovered in 1878 by Minos Kalokairinos
(GR: Μίνως Καλοκαιρινός). The excavations in Knossos began in 1.900 A.D. by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans
(1851- 1941) and his team, and they continued for 35 years.
Knossos gave birth to famous men like Hersifron and his son Metagenis, whose creation was the temple of Artemis in Efesos, the Artemisio, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The most important monuments of the site are:
The Great Palace
It is the largest of the preserved Minoan palatial centres. Four wings are arranged around a central courtyard, containing the royal quarters, workshops, shrines, storerooms, repositories, the throne room and banquet halls. Dated to 2000-1350 B.C.
Take a virtual tour around the Palace of Knossos
The Little Palace
It is located west of the Great Palace and is the second bigger building of Knossos. In one of its chambers was found the wonderfull Bull's Head made of steatite, which is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.
The Royal Villa
It is located northeast of the Great Palace and it is considered part of it. A magnificent jar was found here, with papyrus in relief.
The House of the High Priest
This building is considered to be the House of the High Priest due to the stone altar that was found there. The altar is surrounded with double axes stands.
It is located opossite to the Great Palace and it was the official entrance to the palace. It served as public baths with running water, where the traveller or visitor of Knossos should bath before visiting the King.
The Royal Temble Tomb-Sanctuary
It is located south of the Palace and it is considered to have belonged to one of the Last Minoan Kings.
>Knossos Palace Video
Knossos Archaeological site
23rd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities
T.K. 71409, Knosos (Prefecture of Iraklio)
Telephone: +30 2810 231940, +30 2810 226470, +30 2810 226092, +30 2810 224630
Fax: +30 2810 241515
Full: €15, Reduced: €8