Crete is very rich in historical locations, spreading through a long period of time, from the Minoan to the Venetian era.
Some important locations and museums are the following:
Knossos at Heraklion region was the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan Civilization during the Bronze Age. The most important and better known palace of King Minos attracts millions of visitors every year. The Palace is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the Labyrinth with the Minotaur and the story of Daidalos and Ikaros.
Phaistos city was one of the most important palatial centers of Minoan civilization, and the most wealthy and powerful city in southern Crete during the Bronze Age. The Palace of Phaistos, old and new, with its
superb architectural composition and its almost perfect construction, is considered to be the finest and most typical of all Minoan palaces.
The city of Gortys in Southern Crete is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. It was the capital of Crete from 67 BC to 828 AD. Inside the main archaeological site stands a part of the imposing basilica dedicated to the first bishop of Crete, Saint Titus and the Roman Odeon, an indoor Roman theater, the largest Odeon in ancient Crete. Twelve stone columns were discovered where the civil law of Gortyn was engraved. The Law of Gortyna is the oldest surviving law in ancient Greece.
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum houses the treasures of Minoan civilization and the most important findings from all Crete displaying the Cretan history and cultural heritage from the Prehistoric to the Late Roman period. Ιt is regarded as one of the most important museums in Europe.
The HMC in Heraklion offers a composite view of Cretan history and art from the early Christian centuries to the 20th century. Using contemporary perceptions in museology and new media applications, it has contributed to creating a lively, up-to-date, visitor-friendly museum.
Natural History Museum of Crete
The Natural History Museum of Crete (NHMC) is located in Heraklion. It is the largest exhibition space of its kind in the Mediterranean and
demonstrates with an impressive manner the natural environment of eastern Mediterranean area with special emphasis on Greece and Crete.
Museum of Christian Art
The Museum of Christian Art is housed in the Venetian Church of “St Catherine of Sinai” in Heraklion.
During your visits to the museums, take some time to admire some of the most important monuments of Cretan history in Heraklion city, like the Koules Fortress, at Heraklion Port, as well as Saint Peter’s Venetian Basilica, Lotzia, Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark and the Venetian Morozini fountain (Liontaria Square).
The museum’s archive and exhibition host the richest and fullest collection of Nikos Kazantzakis (the author of Zorba the Greek) manuscripts, photographic material and personal belongings. Τhe acquaintance with the life and the work of the great Greek author is done with the most modern museum presentation methods. The Museum is located at the village Myrthia, 15km from Heraklion.