The Palace of Knossos

   P.895 - §2 About 12,000 B.C. a brilliant tribe of Andites migrated to Crete. This was the only island settled so early by such a superior group, and it was almost two thousand years before the descendants of these mariners spread to the neighboring isles. This group were the narrow-headed, smaller-statured Andites who had intermarried with the Vanite division of the northern Nodites. They were all under six feet in height and had been literally driven off the mainland by their larger and inferior fellows. These emigrants to Crete were highly skilled in textiles, metals, pottery, plumbing, and the use of stone for building material. They engaged in writing and carried on as herders and agriculturists.
For more information, see Odyssey
  1. West Court
Wall in the West Court
  2. Kouloures (rings)

There are three large pits, which may have been used as storage area during the Old Palace period (1900- 1700 BC)

  4. Corridor of Procession

purification ceremony


Water was flowing from the mountain. Cretans used this water pressure to direct its flow into the palace.

  5. South House

This is a three-story mansion, just outside the palace.

  6. South Propylon

South Propylon (tower like structure)

"Ladies in blue" was found here
  7. West Magazines

  8. Throne Room guarded by Griffin

Throne room

above the throne room


above the throne room

this fresco was here

  9. Tripartite Shrine
  another lustral basin
  10. Central Court

Ante room in front of the central court

waste water system

Model of Knossos

  11. South Entrance and Prince of the Lilies Fresco

Minoans were tall (6 feet)

near Southern entrance

  12. Grand Staircase

Figure 8 is found here.

Grand Staircase leads to royal apartments

  13. Shrine of the Double Axes

Clay goddesses like this were found here.
  14. Queen's Megaron

Queen's Hall

reconstruction of the Queen's Hall.

Dolphins and a modern painting of Queen's Hall


Fresco fragments found in the light-well.

  15. Hall of Double Axes (King's Megaron)
The upper floor of the King Minos' Megaron
King Minos' apartment

  Hall of Double Axes


audience chamber of the Hall of the Double Axes

  16 Lapadary's Workshop
  17 Magazine of the giant pithoi

Magazine of giant pithoi


  18. Corridor of the Draught Board
  19. North Entrance

North Propylon

North entrance and pillar hall

Knossos is Europe's oldest city. These columns were the first columns in history that were copied by Europeans.

The first Minoan palace was built here (1900 BC), and the dynasty of Minos ruled. The palace area is about 22,000 square meter.

North Pillar Hall


Note the "bull fresco" behind the pillars. Minoan columns are top-heavy.

  20 Custom's House
  (in front of the North Entrance)
  21. North Lustral Basin

step down to the North Lustral Basin

ballustrade next to the basin viewed from the throne room

  23.  Frescoes from Piano Nobile


(partridge frieze)

(fresco from Piano Nobile)

  24. Ceiling


  (from the House of Frescoes)

  25. Tree of Life and other pictures

Tree of Life

The rosettes of the tree of life are on the two horizontal bands, and also vertically in side the S-shaped designs. The two trees on the left in front of a woman trees of life.

Hagia Triada Sarcophagus (found in Hagia Triada on Crete). This also shows the procession, probably a funeral procession. The other side shows a scene with bull sacrifice (not shown). The woman wearing a crown, probably the queen, is carrying two vessels. A man in a long robe plays a seven string lyre. The woman on the left is emptying a vessel, containing probably the blood of the bull into another. (see Wiki)

Two persons bring animals while a third a boat, to be used for the journey in the afterlife. The person on the right is either dead mummy or a priest-king to be sent to the underground vault on the right.

side view of West Facade
  26. Venetian Loggia (City Hall of Heraklion), Inside view
A beautiful room!
  27. St. Titus Church
Apostle Paul sent Titus to Crete.
  28. Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Figure 8 shields