Crete History

Stories woven with the
threads of time...

Crete History - "the history is as colourful and enigmatic as the modern island today..."

From the Minoans of ancient times, through the miraculous discoveries of archaeology, such as linear scripts, revealing layer upon layer of civilisation, dynasties, rulers, monarchs, despots, pirates, traders, goddess worshippers, plunderers, creators, liberators, heroes and in between the stories, the pages, we find the soul of the people of Crete. 


Minoan Fresco of the Dolphins

Ancient History of Crete

From 7000-3700 BC...


Minoan Fresco of Lilies

Ancient History of Crete

From 3700-600 BC... 


Knossos Palace

Minoan Palaces of Crete

Ancient ruins to visit all over the island... 


Knossos Palace

Knossos Crete

The birthplace of Europe... 


The Phaistos Disk

Phaistos Palace

62 km from Heraklion in central Crete... 


Roadside sign 'The Palace of Malia' (image by Phileole)

Malia Crete

40 km from Heraklion in central Crete... 


Zakros Palace

Zakros Palace

140 km from Heraklion is located in eastern Crete... 


Portrait of Sir Arthur Evans by William Blake Richmond

Arthur Evans Biography 1

His early life...


Portrait of Sir Arthur Evans by William Blake Richmond

Arthur Evans Biography 2 

The creative mind behind Knossos Palace... 


King Minos depicted on a coin

King Minos

The mythological King of Crete... 


Sketch of a goddess

Vritomartis

The mythical Goddess of Crete... 


Castles of Crete, Gramvousa Castle by Michael Brys)

Castles of Crete

Dotted all around the island... 


Books icon

History of Crete - Books

Books and resources about Cretan history... 


Dolphin Fresco

Minoan Art

The Frescoes of Knossos...


Arkadi monastery

Arkadi

A story of rebellion...


Gortyna - a roman ruin in a field of green grass

Gortyna

Ruins of a Roman town 50 km south of Heraklion...


Minoan Fresco of Lilies

Museums of Heraklion

How to see the collections...


A sketch of a goddess

Olous

Beneath the waters of Elounda Bay...


Bronze shield found in Zeus Cave

Zeus Cave

History and myth - how to get there...






Crete History


The ancient history of Crete from the pre-palatial period to the Twilight of the Goddess circa 1400BC is rich with research riddles, conflicting theories and exquisite archaeological finds. 

Stories tell us of the ancient Minoan period from 2600 to 1100 BC, the Geometric and Daedalian period 1100-620 BC, the Classical 500-330 BC and Hellenistic 330-67 BC periods and Greco-Roman period 67 BC-323 AD. 

After the First Byzantine period 330-824 came the years of Arab rule between 824-961, after liberation the Second Byzantine period 961-1210 after which came Venetian and Genoan rule then Turkish rule for 400 years. Liberation came again in 1898 after many terrible and rebellious years. Unification with the modern state of Greece came in 1913.

Minoan Fresco of Women in Blue from Knossos Palace

The pantheon of Greek Gods and Goddesses weave their plots and stories over Kriti. Crete is home to many tales of strife, love, war and bloodshed. The myths, some of the earliest story-telling are still relevant and saucy today.

Travellers have long been drawn to the ancient sites and archaeological digs in Crete. Sir Arthur Evans, with his well publicised love affair with Knossos, has created a unique reconstruction of the palace, still debated by historians and locals alike.

The Minoan palaces of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakros draw thousands of curious visitors every year. Other extraordinary sites include Gortyna, Lato and Polyrinia.

Visit our dedicated pages about the ancient sites of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakros.

Crete is home to extraordinary historic collections in world class museums.








The Castles of Crete...

Fortezza at Rethymnon - overlooking the blue Mediterranean (image by dalbera)

The stories of Crete history are told by our beautiful and haunting castles such as Frangokastello. Dotted around the island in strategic locations that sometimes today are very isolated, the castles are in various states of ruin. Intrique whispers from every stone of the Castles of Crete...



Minoan Palaces

Knossos PalaceKnossos Palace Site
Festos Palace SitePhaistos Palace Site
Malia Minoan Archaeological SiteMalia Palace Site
Zakros Minoan Palance - Archaeological Site in the east of the islandZakros Palace Site


Videos of the Rich History of Crete

The video below features a modern woman who reminds us of the beautiful 'Women in Blue' Fresco and takes us on a lyrical journey through Knossos, the Archaeological Museum, showing some of the most precious artifacts from all of Crete...




The video below is entitled "Unravelling Ariadne's Thread Ξετυλίγοντας το μίτο της Αριάδνης…" and takes us on a magical journey through the historic wonders of Heraklion... featuring the old harbour, the fortress, the Liondaria Fountain, the Venetian Loggia, Agios Titos, and many other features of this beautiful city, lead by an entrancing beauty 'Ariadne' and her string...into the Labyrinth we willingly follow...










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Thalori Retreat, Crete
Thalori Retreat
Heraklion, Crete






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