Minoan myths, palatial splendour and details of everyday life and artwork from almost 4,000 years ago… visiting the Palace of Knossos is humbling in its significance.
To visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos is to travel to the depths of European history. The oldest civilisation in Europe, the oldest throne in Europe, the legends of King Minos and the Minotaur, and even artwork that continues to inspire today. The reasons to visit an archaeological site synonymous with Crete are so plentiful that it is a place that barely needs introducing.
What you witness is actually the second incarnation of the Minoan’s largest palace on Crete. The first was destroyed in an earthquake around 1700BC and replaced by a second, more elaborate palace (the Neopalatial period), coinciding with the peak of the Minoan civilisation.
The palace was sophisticated, with drainage systems and quarters sunk into the earth, and with luxurious houses rising up to five storeys in height and frescoes adorning walls. It is said to have resembled a labyrinth (hence the link to the Minotaur myth). Eventually, it too was struck down by an earthquake and abandoned in around 1600BC.
The site is big and sprawling (43,000m2), once containing 1,300 rooms connected with corridors around the main courtyard. So the best way of exploring it and understanding its secrets is with a licensed guide.
Source : www.discovergreece.com