Knossos, in the olden days, was the capital of Minoan civilization in Crete which is located near to the port city of Iraklio. Well, it commonly known as the Palace of Knossos Crete that is more complex, extravagant, and impressive as compared to the other known palaces. The best stories of Greek mythology related to the Minotaur, his detention, and his demise in the Knossos Labyrinth are supposed to have been taken place in this palace. Although the experts still argue regarding the utilization of the work done in this Minoan palace and what did it really indicate, the present derivation still testifies the mazelike outline of this great palace of Knossos.
Knossos was populated for thousands of years starting with a Neolithic community in the 7th century BC. In 1375 BC, it was abandoned due to destruction that commemorated the end of Minoan civilization. Sir Arthur Evans who was the British Archaeologist found this Minoan palace in 1900 AD and also took efforts to restore its large parts in such a manner that it is possible for the tourists today to admire the majesty as well as the complexity of an edifice that took many centuries to evolve on 20,000 square meters. Just a stroll via its complex structures of many stories will tell you as to why the palace of Knossos Crete is said to similar to the mythological labyrinth.
As per the Greek mythology, this Minoan palace was planned by the well known architect named Dedalos. He made in such a way that nobody could exit it after getting inside. Surprised at the plan and construction, King Minos who specially ordered to make this palace of Knossos kept the architect as a prisoner so that no one else would come to know about the palace plan. But, Dedalos was an intelligent architect who erected two sets of wings for himself and his son Ikaros to escape. It is also said that the Knossos Labyrinth was the home of the Minotaur and many think it to be associated with the Theseus assassination of Minotaur.
This masterpiece of the Minoan civilization is composed of some 1300 rooms that are linked via a complex array of passages as well as hallways and that the structure soars up to five floors. The palace complex also holds storage as well as production rooms where pottery was made and oil was processed. Further, you will also be able to spot many aqueducts via which the fresh water could enter into the imperial structure through the terracotta pipes. There are also light wells and courtyards, which actually lit the palace naturally.
Above all the attractions, the palace of Knossos Crete found by Sir Arthur Evans is known for its frescos that show off all types of scenes. Adorning the palace walls in vivid colors, the frescoes depict ageless and younger adults, few children, the white women, ruddy men, fishing, sports, and flower gathering. The most notable of these murals is bull-leaping wherein a man holds the bull’s horns and jumps over the back. But, nobody knows as to whether this is a religious ritual or a sport. Some say it to be a legendary dance with the Great Bull. One more notable is the Toreador Fresco of 1550-1450 BC wherein a young male surrounded by two females seems to jump over a bull’s back. But, this is in the Archaeological Museum of Herakleion.
Also, look for the upside down Minoan columns in red, which are surprisingly broader at top as compared to the base. Check out for the three pits where there are relics of the former buildings. When you go inside, do explore the throne room wherein a throne of gypsum, workshops, a sink for ritual bathing, and storage facilities are rejuvenated by Sir Arthur Evans.