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School Room & Lapidary's Workshop
at 28.5km (S)
Here is the so-called "School Room", an area where, according to Evans, scribes were taught to write on clay tablets. He supposed that they kneaded the clay in the built mortar next to the bench. It is more likely, however that it was a workshop for ceramics or wall-painting.
Behind the "School Room" is the "Lapidary's Workshop", where blocks of crude or semi-worked lapis lacedaemoniae (spartan basalt) and stone tools were brought to light.
According to Evans, the main workshop lay on the upper floor from which vases and large stone amphora had fallen to the ground floor.
The magazine of the Giant Pithoi
at 28.5km (S)
Here the excavators found a number of very large storage jars (Pithoi) and Evans named the place the "Magazines of the Giant Pithoi". These magazines are one of the older parts of the palace. The pithoi stand out for their size, the number of handles and the richness of their relief decoration with ropes and discs.
To the right of the magazines a staircase which has been reconstructed by Evans descends to the east entrance of the Palace.
The entrance is a robust construction that gives the impression of a "bastion". From this point it would have been easy to reach an important building of the palatial period, the so-called "Royal Villa" which lies outside the main archaeological site.
The corridor of the Draught Board
at 28.5km (S)
The Royal Gaming Board was found here, a kind of board game made of ivory, rock crystal, Egyptian blue, silver and gold, now in Heraklion Museum.
To the right of the corridor are the "Royal Pottery Stores", where Kamares pottery of the Old Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.) was uncovered, and to thee left, storage and workshop areas.
North Entrance & Pillar Hall
at 28.5km (S)
An open air narrow passage linked the Central Court with the North Entrance. It was paved and had a strong inclination towards the north. Right and left were two raised colonnades known as "Bastions".
Arthur Evans reconstructed the "Bastion" on the west side. He also placed a copy of a restored relief fresco of a bull here. The wall painting may have formed part of hunting scene.
The passage ends in a large hall with ten square pillars and two columns. The pillars and columns probably supported a large hall on the upper floor. Evans suggested that, due to its position on the seaward side, it was here that the produce of seaborne trade would have been checked when it reached the Palace. It was therefore named the "Customs House".
North Lustral Basin
at 28.5km (S)
This room, located beside the north entrance, resembles a cistern. Its floor is lower than the surrounding area and is reached by steps. The "Lustral Basin" was surrounded by columns and was lined with slabs of gypsum giving it a luxurious appearance. In its present form, the area has been completely reconstructed by Evans.
Areas with a similar arrangement have been found in other parts of the palace of Knossos, as well as other palaces and important Minoan buildings of the period (1700-1450 B.C.). It is not known how these places were used. However, from their construction it seems that theu would not have been filled with water, nor was there any drainage. Evans thought that they were used in purification ceremonies and therefore called these places "Lustral Basins". Evans also believed that the Palace was a sacred place. That is why, in his opinion, the "Lustral Basin"in question was used to purify visitors going into th Palace via neighbouring North Entrance.
West court - West facade
at 28.6km (S)
The court is crossed by the so-called "Processional Causeways", which stand out from the rest of the paving and intersect each other. One idea is that processions paraded along them during ceremonies.
The West Facade of the Palace rises up along one side. The facade is constructed of massive gypsum blocks (orthostats) set on a plinth. The facade is indented or protrudes corresponding to the interior arrangement of space.
In front of the West Façade, two bases can be seen, thought to belong to stone-built altars. Settlement remains of the Neolithic (6700 - 3200 B.C.) and pre-palatial (3200 - 1900 B.C.) periods have been found beneath the level of the "West Court".
at 28.6km (S)
Three large pits, known as "kouloures" (rings), with stone-lined walls were built in the West Court during the Old Palace period (1900-1700B.C.). The excavation workmen gave them their name and A. Evans kept it.
The function of the circular pits is not clear. They have been interpreted as rubbish dumps either for all the refuse from the Palace or just the left-overs from sacred offerings. Support has also been given to the idea that they were storing grain.
In two of them, it is possible to see the remains of houses of the Pre Palatial period (3200-1900 B.C.). In the New Palace period (1700-1450 B.C.),the "kouloures" were covered over and out of use.
at 28.6km (S)
The "West Porch" was a roofed area opening onto the Court, supported by one column of which part of the gypsum base remains. The east wall was decorated with a bull-leaping fresco. There was a small "guard-room" at the back.
The porch was closed off by a double door and from here began the long "Corridor of the Procession".
Sir Arthur Evans
Excavator of Knossos
at 28.6km (S)
British archaeologist whose name is inextricably bound up with excavations and restoration work at the palace of Knossos. Born as the son of numismatist John Evans, he studied at Oxford and briefly in Göttingen. From 1875 to 1882 he travelled through the Balkans as a correspondent of the Manchester Guardian. In 1884 he was appointed curator at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which post he held until 1908. One year later he became a university don. In 1894 Schliemman's excavations at Troy, Mycenae and Tiryns prompted Evans to visit Crete for the first time, in search of Bronze Age script. The following year he published his first book on Cretan pictographics and pre-Phoenician writing. He set about systematic excavation work after the island was liberated from the Turks (in 1898), having already located the wider area in which to dig. At the same time he toured the length and breadth of Crete.
Evans worked at Knossos for no less than 35 years, bringing the palace and countless finds to light. The building's large surface area and shape led him to the conclusion that it had been the palace of King Minos. He thus gave the name 'Minoan' to the civilization he had uncovered, subdividing it into three major periods. In 1911 he was knighted for his excavation activity and extensive work. Alongside the excavations, Evans showed great zeal in restoring the palace and reconstructing the wall paintings that had come to light. For all the intense criticism this part of his work has often attracted, it still stands as a first approach to what is now known as the Minoan palace. The ensuing publications of material added many pieces to the puzzle of Minoan civilization and remain useful research tools to this day. In the course of his last visit to Crete, Evans was given the Freedom of the City of Heraklion.
at 28.6km (S)
Born in 1843 as the youngest son of Andreas Kalokairinos. Having completed secondary education on the island of Syros, he matriculated at the University of Athens School of Laws and attended for one year, but was forced to abandon his studies after his father fell seriously ill and died. Thereafter his interest turned to his father's estates, which he initially managed together with his brother Lysimachos. Kalokairinos later went into soap manufacture, winning awards at world exhibitions.
Unfortunately, however, his business enterprises were not destined to be successful to the end; in 1895, having taken out numerous loans at exorbitant interest rates and mortgaged all his estates, he was forced to declare bankruptcy and was thus deprived of the right to engage in commerce. In 1903 he decided to resume his legal studies at university, and was later awarded a a degree.
In 1878 his passion for archaeology and classical studies led him to attempt the first systematic excavations at Knossos, which brought the first finds from the Minoan palace to light. These comprised the Kalokairinos private collection, held at the site where the Kalokairinos Mansion (the present-day Historical Museum of Crete) was later built. The finds were destroyed when the first mansion was burnt to the ground during the 1898 riots. In 1869 Minos Kalokairinos married Skevo Kyriazi, with whom he had five children.
at 28.6km (S)
This area, sited at the north-west edge of the palace, was called the "Theatre" by Evans because its shape reminded him of later theatres. It is a platform and rows of steps that form a right angle. At the base of the stairs is the end of a narrow elevated road that crosses a paved court. Evans believed that the court was used for ceremonies watched by the standing viewers.
The elevated paved road continues in the opposite direction. It passes underneath the modern road to Heraklion, connecting the Palace with the Minoan town, which extended to the West and North.
Evans named the road the "Royal Road". Along the length of the road are town houses with workshops on the ground floor and residential areas on the upper floor.
Minoan Megaron at Vathypetro
at 28.9km (W)
The Minoan villa at Vathypetro was most likely the residence of a local ruler. Its architecture is comparable to that of a "Little Palace": it has a central and west court, a small tripartite shrine, a three-columned portico, storerooms and workshops. It seems that the construction of the building was never completed. Interesting elements of its architecture are the installations of a wine-press in the south wing and an oil-press in the courtyard.
at 28.9km (S)
Villa Ariadne was built at Knossos, Crete, by Sir Arthur Evans soon after he discovered the Minoan palace, when the site was his own private property. The villa became home, in turn, to John Pendlebury, who used it as a base for his excavations at Knossos and his explorations of the island. After Pendlebury's death at the hands of invading German paratroopers, the Villa Ariadne was taken over by General Karl Kreipe, who was living there when he was kidnapped by Patrick Leigh Fermor and his team.
Ariadne villa is surrounded by the only existing Greek Edwardian garden, a large oasis of Cretan and other flora and shrubs in specific formations. The garden has been fully studied by the British School of Archaeology with the participation of special architects and agronomists from Heraklion.
International Airport Nikos Kazantzakis
Iraklion ( Nea Alikarnassos)
at 29km (NW)
Heraklion International Airport, "Nikos Kazantzakis" (Greek: Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου, "Νίκος Καζαντζάκης") or Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport (IATA: HER, ICAO: LGIR) is the primary airport on the island of Crete, Greece. It is located about 5km from the main city of Heraklion.
Heraklion International Airport is is one of the biggest in Greece and receives approximately 15% of the total tourist traffic of Greece. There are many airlines currently operating flights from Athens and Thessaloniki to Iraklion (Olympic Airways, Aegean Airlines and others), while during the high season there are flights from/to Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini and other Greek islands. There are also international airlines that connects Iraklion to other European cities. During the summer season there are numerous chartered flights to Iraklion from all over Europe (mainly Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Holland). During the summer months there is a huge increase in air traffic that peaks in August (approximately 130 flights per day).
Major car-rental companies have desks at the airport. Taxi and public bus are available for transfer from/to Iraklion.
Anemospelia Archaeological Site
at 29.4km (W)
Anemóspilia (GR: Aνεμόσπηλια). Anemospilia is an archeological site at the northern foot of Mount Yuchtas, in the prefecture of Heraklion in Crete. A rectangular building has been found which dates from the Minoan era and was destroyed by an earthquake in the 17th century BC.
The building with three narrow chambers, each opening into a long corridor to the north, which extends along the whole width of the building. The area is enclosed with a stone wall and the whole structure has been interpreted as a shrine; in the central room was found a "xoanon" (statue) of the deity worshiped here. In the west room, where the altar stood, was uncovered, according to the excavator, the first human sacrifice to have ever taken place in Minoan times. (although this view has been challenged).
The building at Anemospelia was used for only half a century, as it was suddenly destroyed by an earthquake in the middle of the 17th century B.C. The site was excavated in the summer of 1979 by John Sakellarakis.
Minoan Religion (Foundation of the Hellenic World)
Venizeleio General Hospital
Knossou Av. Iraklion
at 29.5km (W)
The General Hospital of Heraklion "Venizeleio & Pananio", named after the great statesman Eleftherios Venizelos, is one of the largest hospitals in Crete with 500 organic beds. It is located 4km away from Heraklion center on the road to Knossos, and occupies an area of 25,000 sq. meters. Venizeleio hospital provides high quality health services to citizens in a friendly and human environment. It was established in 1953 by a donation of Cretans of America and worked initially for Pulmonary Diseases. It was for many years the major hospital in East Crete.
Telephone: (+30) 2813 408000
at 29.6km (SE)
It is a small village, 7 km to the north of Ierapetra, at an altitude of 212 m. According to tradition, the village took its name from a large olive tree. It produced at least 10 sacks of olives and it provoked admiration by its size, and mostly by its height (Makrylia meaning tall olive tree). The village is old and traditional, with original Cretan style houses that have remained untouched over the time, in a beautiful and healthy environment, with a view of the overgrown with olive trees plain, with a rich history and hospitable residents.
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