Top 5 palaces in Crete

The Palace of Phaistos in Crete

The Palace of Phaistos in Crete ©fluffisch/Flick

Crete is one of the most popular Greek islands that host thousands and thousands of tourists every year who come to admire the natural beauty, the archaeological sites, the exceptional hospitality, the exciting nightlife and to enjoy the high level cuisine and the sparkling beaches of this place.

Crete is the bridge between Europe and Africa, an island that combines ancient civilizations and modern lifestyle and the most appealing holiday destination in Greece.

Today we would like to present you the top 5 palaces in Crete.


The Palace of Knossos

Located at only 5 km from the city of Heraklion, the Palace of Knossos is the best example of the Minoan art. It was built of stone blocks, had many floors and was decorated with impressive frescoes. The palace complex was built around 2000 BC, but was destroyed by an earthquake around 1700 B.C being rebuilt shortly after than.

The Knossos Palace was the administrative center of the island of Crete during the Minoan civilization due to its central location. It covered an area of ​​over 20,000 square meters and had over 1,300 rooms connected by complicated corridors. The palace is also famous because of the legend of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. According to the legends King Minos, the famous ruler of Crete, had a son, half man, half bull, which was locked in the Labyrinth. The mythological creature was killed by a hero called Theseus.

The Palace of Knossos in Crete

The Palace of Knossos in Crete ©rg-fotos/Flick

The Palace of Malia

The region where the prehistoric remains were discovered was inhabited since the Neolithic period. The first Palace of Malia belonging to the Minoan civilization was built around 2000 BC and during the excavations were discovered ancient settlements just below the palace structure. After an earthquake, the palace of Malia was destroyed around 1700 BC, but it was quickly rebuilt on the same base. The new palace was destroyed around 1450, as well as other centers of the Minoan civilization.

The Palace of Phaistos

Phaistos was one of the most important centers of the Minoan civilization and the most powerful city in southern Crete. After the destruction of the Minoan Palace of Phaistos, in the 15th century BC. The city continued to be inhabited in the Mycenaean and Geometric periods until the 8th century BC. The Hellenistic city of Phaistos was very prosperous, but was destroyed by the rival city of Gortyn in the second century BC. The ruins of the Phaistos palace is located at 45 km from Heraklion and the most important archaeological discoveries of this site include the disc of Phaistos, which you can admire at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion .

The Palace of Phaistos in Crete

The Palace of Phaistos in Crete ©fluffisch/Flick

The Palace of Zakros

The Palace of Zakros was the fourth greatest among the power centers of the Minoan civilization. It was located in a strategic position in a protected bay and was the trade center with the Eastern countries. The main palace was built around 1900 BC, and the new one in 1600 BC, being destroyed along with the other Minoan palaces.

The Palace of Gournia

The exact ancient name of the palace at Gournia is nt known but it is a medium sized Minoan settlement dating from the peak period of this civilization. It is also known as the “Pompeii of Crete”, thanks to its improved conservation status. It is situated on a hill near the sea, on the isthmus of Ierapetra.

The Palace of Phaistos in Crete

The Palace of Phaistos in Crete/Flick

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