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4/50.- The Palace of Knossos, North Propylaeum

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After a 15-minute bus ride we arrive at Knossos, the most important Minoan site
excavated on Crete. The palatial center offers scientific proof through archaeological finds of a prosperous, advanced civilization inhabiting Crete between 3000-1400 BC. The Minoan civilization so called after the legendary King Minos was based on sea-power and sea-born trade with Egypt, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia.

The Palatial center at Knossos was first build in 2000 BC and after 300 years destroyed in an earthquake. The second palace was immediately rebuilt on the same site (1700 BC), but again destroyed around 1500 BC. The excavated site revealed ruins of the two palaces, as well as Europe's first amphitheater, evidence of the earliest drainage system known, and the first flush toilet in history.

In this picture you can see the North Propylaeum gate of the Customs House believed to have been the entrance point of the traded goods which came via water (the harbor was Iraklio). On the wall there is a copy of the Bull head painted relief and olive braches. The original is to be found in The Archeological Museum in Iraklio.

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