The Palace of Knossos
The Minoan Palace of Knossos it the site of the most important and best known Minoan palace complex in Crete. It is located some 5 km south of Heraklion. According to tradition, Knossos was the seat of the legendary Cretan king Minos. The Palace is also connected with further legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, as well as the story of Daidalos and Ikaros. Excavation has revealed that the site was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.) until Roman times.
Lychnostatis open-air Cretan folklore museum, Tel: +3028970-23660, . Su-F 9AM-2PM. €4,50.
CretAquarium Thalassocosmos aquarium, +30 2810-337788, . Open daily 9AM-9PM (May-Oct 15); 10AM-5:30PM (Oct 16-Apr).
Heraklion Archaeological Museum,
2 Xanthoudidou Street, tel +30-2810-224630, 280370, fax +30-2810-332610, . Open summer daily 8am-7.30pm, closed 1 January, 25 March, Easter, 1 May, 25-26 December, admission €10, concession €5 – includes admission to Knossos Palace. Houses the most important and representative finds from Minoan civilisation and excavations across the island of Crete. Highlights include statues of the Snake Goddesses, the famous Bull-Leaping Fresco, the enigmatic and mysterious Phaistos Disk, and Minoan seals and jewelery. Also includes a number of finds from Classical Greek and Roman periods.
Historical Museum of Crete http://www.historical-museum.gr/
The Historical Museum of Crete presents a comprehensive view of Cretan history from early Christian times to the present day. It was founded in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies, which had been established two years earlier. The museum is housed in a two-storey neoclassical building, which was constructed in 1903 on the site of an earlier mansion belonging to the Kalokerinos family. The second building, designed by K. Tsandirakis, was clearly influenced by morphological features of the earlier one, and was later listed as a historical monument. The new museum extension to the west constituted an attempt to combine traditional and modern architecture. 27, Sofokli Venizelou Ave. /7, Lysimachou Kalokerinou St., Tel: (++30) 2810 283219, 288708, .
Castello del Molo (Koules)
The Venetian castle in the Harbour Castello del Molo, a castle built into the sea at the entrance of the old harbour. It is called by the locals by its turkish name “Koule”. It took its final form from 1523-1540 during Venetian occupation of Crete. Today it is preserved in an almost perfect condition. It is open to the public and during summer several cultural events take place there.
In 1462 the Venetians fortified the city by buildings a huge wall of a triangular shape, with a length of 4 kilometres and seven bastions. It was also during Venetian times that the harbour was built as well as plenty of architectural marvels such as splendid buildings, fountains, squares and churches. It was a time of prosperity for the city and art and literature had a great development.
Heraklion is surrounded by a formidable medieval wall, which was used to protect it from enemies. Owing to this, the city enjoyed the reputation as a well-fortified state in the Mediterranean basin. It stood up to a siege from the Turks for 21 years, but was finally seized in 1669 after its betrayal by a Greek-Venetian engineer who informed the invaders of the walls’ weaknesses at east and west bastions. It is possible now to walk along the top of these walls and enjoy a view over the city. You may reach the Grave of the Cretan writer Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957), where it is written: “I hope for nothing, I fear nothing; I am free”
Museum for the Battle of Crete and National Resistance
Recounts the tale of Cretan and Allied resistance against Nazi invaders in World War II. It is housed in a large room in a building in the centre of the town. Among the Museum’s exhibits are thousands of authentic photographs, paintings and drawings of the Battle of Crete and the national resistance, about two hundred books, monographs, essays on the historic events from 1941 to 1945, hundreds of documents and a great many newspaper cuttings. The Museum also includes a variety of objects related to the war (arms, accessories, uniforms, items of everyday use etc.).Address: Doukos Beaufort & Merambelou Sts Heraklion, Crete
Tel: 30 2810 246 554
The Natural History Museum of Crete http://www.nhmc.uoc.gr/
Eastern Mediterranean is unique at a global level due to the great ecological and cultural complexity. The evenness as well as the contrast, the stability, many affinities and the special features characterizes the area.
The aim of the Natural History Museum of Crete is the study, protection and promotion of the special features of the area of Eastern Mediterranean. University of Crete, S. Venizelou Ave., Tel./Fax: +30 2810 324366,.
Nikos Kazantzakis Museum focused on Crete’s most prominent modern intellectual figure, +30 2810-741689, . Open daily from 9AM-7PM (Mar-Oct); 10AM-3PM (Nov-Feb), €3.
Tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis
Nikos Kazantzakis February 18, 1883, Heraklion, Crete – October 26, 1957, Freiburg, Germany) was a Greek novelist, poet, playwright and thinker. Arguably the most important Greek writer and philosopher of the 20th century, he acquired wide fame after Michael Cacoyannis made his novel Zorba the Greek into a film in 1964. He is the most translated contemporary Greek author.