Ancient crete was home to the Minoan civilization between 2700 - 1500BC. They were very advanced for their time with multistory dwellings that included running water and toilets. Written language (Linear A which remains undecrypted), pottery and art. They seagoing people who traded with other Mediterranean peoples including Cyprus, Canaan, the Levant and to Anatolia. We call them the Minoans because of the Greek legend of King Minos, the Minotaur and the Labyrinth; although we don't know what they called themselves. The Egyptians, who they traded with, called them Keftiu (translated means people of Crete). Little of their civilization remains today except for several sites on Crete (Knossos and Phaistos among others) and Akrotiri on the island of Santorini (then called Thera). After a series of catastrophes, volcano on Thera and earthquakes and fires, the Minoans finally were over run by the Myceraeans from the Greek mainland.

Today the capital city is Heraklion (also called Iraklion). It is located conveniently close to Knossos and has the Archaeological Museum containing some of the best Minoan finds including the Bulls head, Snake Goddess, Phaistos disc and various frescoes from Knossos.

Read more on the (Minoan Civilization).

CRETE - Iraklion

Town Map
The Venetian fortress of Rocca al Mare guards the inner harbor of Heraklion. The Lion of St Mark. Symbol of Venice.
Knossos Site Map
The Bulls horns symbol of Knossos.
Copy of "Prince of lilies" Fresco.
On top of the throne room.
The Throne room housing the oldest throne in Europe.
Bull Fresco. Me by the Bull Fresco building.
Note the wooden structures segmenting the stone walls for strength during Earthquakes.
Minoan ceramic water pipe. Rain water drainage. and more rain water drains.
Dolphins wall painting in the Queen's megaron. Hall of the double Axes.
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Bull's head rhyton from Knossos. Snake goddess.
Fresco of a man leaping over a bull from Knossos. The Phaistos Disc to this day remains undecyphered. It was discovered in the Minoan palace-site of Phaistos in 1908.
Fresco of the "Prince of lilies" or "Priest-king Relief", from Knossos.