Heraklion archaeological museum
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in Greece, and among the most important museums in Europe. It houses representative artifacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times.
The singularly important Minoan collection contains unique examples of Minoan art, many of them true masterpieces. The Heraklion Museum is rightly considered as the museum of Minoan culture par excellence worldwide.
The museum, located in the town center, was built between 1937 and 1940 by architect Patroklos Karantinos on a site previously occupied by the Roman Catholic monastery of Saint-Francis which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1856. The museum's antiseismic building is an important example of modernist architecture and was awarded a Bauhaus commendation. Karantinos applied the principles of modern architecture to the specific needs of a museum by providing good lighting from the skylights above and along the top of the walls, and facilitating the easy flow of large groups of people. He also anticipated future extensions to the museum.
The colors and construction materials, such as the veined polychrome marbles, recall certain Minoan wall-paintings which imitate marble revetment. The two-storeyed building has large exhibition spaces, laboratories, a drawing room, a library, offices and a special department, the so-called Scientific Collection, where numerous finds are stored and studied. The museum shop, run by the Archaeological Receipts Fund, sells museum copies, books, postcards, and slides. There is also a cafe.
In Phaistos, excavations began in 1900, by the Italian Archaeological School and brought to light the second in size, after the Knossos, Minoan palace. According to mythology, Europe bestowed upon Zeus three sons: Minos, Rhadamanthus and Sarpedon,...
The city of Heraklion is the largest city in Crete and the fourth largest city in the country. Built on the northern coast of the island overlooking the Cretan Sea, it seems to be protected by the old Venetian walls, the most important monument le...