Culture & History travel

The rich history of Crete has left the island strewn with hundreds of archaeological sites, large and small. The island reached its zenith during prehistoric times when the Minoan civilization dominated the Aegean and produced a fascinating culture which in turn has left behind a plethora of beautiful art and architecture. Once the Minoan culture fell into decline, the Mycenaean powers of mainland Greece controlled the island, and later the Greeks during the Classical and Hellenistic eras. In turn, the Romans established their authority and ruled Crete.

Consequently, the important archaeological sites found on Crete reflect the different historical eras: Minoan, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, or Byzantine. By far, the most spectacular finds are the Minoan palaces of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, and Zakros, while the most important artifacts found in excavations are housed in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. This museum’s collection is complemented by museums in the towns of Agios Nikolaos, Chania, and Sitia.

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