, Crete, Greece
Availability & Rates

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.

  • Heraklion
  • Archaeological Museum
  • Crete
  • Exhibits
See also
Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum of Crete was founded in December 1980 at the School of Sciences of the University of Crete. It includes five departments: Zoological, Botanical, Anthropological, Palaeontological - Geological and Mineralogical.The Museu...

Read more



In 1878, Minos Kalokerinos, a citizen of Heraklion, began excavation on Kefala hill, about 5 km south of Heraklion. Four rooms were excavated and rushed out of ruins many clay jars. Later, the English Sir Arthur Evans bought the hill from the Turk...

Read more