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Museums & Culture in Crete

The Minoan Civilization plays a big part in Crete's history, this can be seen at the Palace of Knossos, Gortyn, Fragokastello Castle and the Ruins of Phaistos, Crete also has many interesting museums like the Folk Art Museum, the Historical Museum of Crete and the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum.

Museums & Culture in Crete
Nikos Kazantzakis Museum.

The Kazantzakis Museum is dedicated to the famous Cretan author Kazantzakis, the museum has the original scripts of the author which are well preserved, it also displays the work of the author in eight different languages. Kazantzakis Museum displays the personal belongings of the author like his letters, documents and photographs.

There are pictures of his theatrical work that had been adaptations of his novels, the stage sets and costumes used during the play are also on display at the museum. Those who wish to visit the museum can do so on any day, from 9am - 7pm, the museum is situated in Varvaroi, Myrtia, GR-701 00, Iráklion and is about 20 kilometres from Herakleion.

Tel +30 2810 741 689
Palace of Knossos.

The Palace of Knossos is a landmark of the Minoan Civilisation, it is said to be the palace of King Minos and is a remarkable place to visit. The site was excavated in the beginning of the 20th century and covers an area of 20,000 square meters and has a number of architectural buildings, Knossos Palace was the largest construction in the area.

The Palace of Knossos was a five storeyed building with about 1500 rooms, the building has relics of a central court, throne room, storage rooms, etc, the walls and floor of the building has geometrical designs painted in red.

Knossos Palace is also connected to the legend of Knossos Labyrinth, the palace is a must see place in Crete and is open from Monday to Saturday from 8am - 6pm and on Sundays from 8:30am - 3pm, tickets cost €6 for adults and children’s entry is free.

Ruins of Phaistos.

Phaistos, also known as Festos, was the most powerful city during the Minoan civilization, it was the wealthiest city and it's palace was the second largest in Crete. The place is situated in southern Crete, about an hours drive south of Heraklion, the place was first inhabited during the Neolithic period, then in the 15th Century BC it was taken over by the Mionan civilization. During the 15th century the Mionan palace was destroyed but Phaistos continued to be inhabited during the geometric periods, this was till the 8th Century BC. The temple of Rhea was built later and is in the south of the old palace, the ruins of Phaistos are quite interesting and depict it's rich history, it is one of the top ten places to visit when in Crete.

Historical Museum of Crete.

The Historical Archive and Museum of Crete is located in Chania, the Historical Archive and Museum building is a beautiful neo classic construction, the museum displays historical documents, maps, pictures, religious vessels, coins and much more. The museum has the second largest archives in Greece after the general archives of the Greek State.

A room in the museum is also dedicated to the famous Greek revolutionist Eleftherios Venizelos, Eleftherios Venizelos was elected as the Prime Minister of Greece several times, the room displays his personal objects, mementoes, etc of the charismatic leader.

Tel: +30 2810 283 219
Folk Art Museum.

The Folk Art Museum of Agios Nikolaos was founded in 1978, the Folk Art Museum displays the true art of Crete, there are masterpieces in embroidery and hand woven work that are typical to the culture of Crete. The museum also has Byzantine icons, a series of wooden carved small objects, handicrafts, Cretan costumes, household objects, old books, manuscripts and much more, the museum is open all days except on Saturdays from 09.30 to 13.30 and 17.00 to 21.00.

Tel: +30 841 25093
Archaeological Museum in Chania.

The Archaeological Museum in Chania is housed in the Venetian Church of San Francesco and has finds that date back to the Neolithic period, Minoan period and the late Roman period. The relics on display at this archaeological museum have been excavated from the sites in Chania and western Crete.

The most interesting collection in the museum is that of the vases and weapons that belong to the Minoan necropolis, the museum is located at 21, Halidon Street, Chania and is open from Tuesday to Friday from 8 am to 7 pm and on Saturday - Sunday 8.30 am to 3 pm, it is closed on Monday.

Tel: +30 28210 90334
Fragokastello Castle.

Fragokastello Castle, also known as "castle of the Franks" is situated 11 kilometres east of Chora Sfakion, which is an attractive tourist spot with white sandy beaches and the interesting Fortress of Fragokastello. The fort was built by the Venetians in order to protect the south coast of Crete from pirates and Cretan rebels and is famous for the myth of Drosoulites.

The legends say that on the anniversary of the Fragokastello battle, visitors can see the shadows of men in black helmets carrying swords, this procession can supposedly be seen at dawn for about 10 minutes. Fragokastello Castle is surrounded by gorges, mountains and small villages that make for a perfect place for hiking and a perfect place to relax with family and friends.

Archaeological Museum in Rethymno.

The Archaeological Museum in Rethymno has a different collection than other archaeological museums on the island, it has finds from the Neolithic period to the Roman period, these include jewellery, tools, figurines, spearheads and much more.

The objects were found during the excavation of the Gerani Cave and the cave of Ellenes Amariou, the museum also houses some Minoan and Egyptian collections and is open every day except Monday.

Tel: 30 28310 29975

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