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The Palace of Knossos

knossos palace

The island of Crete lies at the southern end of the Aegean Sea. By 2.500 BC, it had become the home of the Minoan civilization. The Minoans named after their legendary king, Minos, were peaceful people who loved art and beauty, and built-up trade links around the Mediterranean.

The Palace of Knossos is located just at the south of modern-day Heraklion near the northern coast of Crete. The palace is over 20.000 square meters and the largest of all Minoan palatial structures. It was built of ashlar blocks, had several floors, and was decorated with magnificent frescoes.

The palace consisted of about 1.000 chambers surrounding the central courtyard and was equipped with a sewage system. The throne room was one of the most gorgeous chambers. It consisted of a large chair built into the wall, facing several benches. In addition, this room included a tank, which archaeologists believe was an aquarium. On the south wall is a fresco depicting mythical beasts called griffins with a lion’s body and an eagle’s head. In the west wing, there were shrines, official rooms, and a huge warehouse, while in the east, there were ruler’s apartments and workshops.

Excavated ruins of the nearly 4.000-year-old palace of Knossos

Excavated ruins of the nearly 4.000-year-old palace of Knossos on the Greek Island of Crete. Built by the Minoan culture, considered the oldest advanced culture in Europe.

Throne Room, Knossos Palace, Greece.

Throne Room, Knossos Palace, Greece.

A detail of the griffin fresco from the throne room, palace of Knossos, Crete

A detail of the griffin fresco from the throne room, palace of Knossos, Crete.

The Knossos Palace is also well-known for its beautiful wall frescoes. These frescoes portrayed a non-militaristic society whose activities included fishing, athletic games, and ceremonies such as acrobatics on the back of a charging bull.

The old palace was built around 1.900 BC but was destroyed by an earthquake around 1.700 BC. The newer, more complex palace was built almost immediately after the first one was destroyed. In the middle of the 15th century BC, the Achaeans took over the island of Crete and settled in the palace. Once again, the palace was destroyed by fire in the middle of the 14th century BC; henceforth, it ceased to function as a palatial center.

Bull Jumping, fresco wall painting, Knossos, Crete 1.700 BC. -1.500 BC.

Bull Jumping, fresco wall painting, Knossos, Crete 1.700 BC. -1.500 BC.

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dolphins

Dolphin Fresco in the Queen’s Megaron (detail) circa 1.600 BC.

Detail, frescoes

Detail, frescoes.

 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy / Stock Photo.

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1 Comment

  • Me parece, interesante y de gran belleza, el Palacio de Cnossos. Además de que estuvo una civilización, avanzada a su época.

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