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Greece

Knossos, in the footsteps of King Minos

( Crete )

Site de Knossos

The site at Knossos was discovered in 1878. It would be another 25 years before the Briton Arthur Evans decided to give up a part of his fortune to acquire a portion of the site in order to conduct systematic archeological digs there.

Evans surrounded himself with experts, and gave up another substantial portion of his riches to restore Knossos.

And even if the site is a source of controversy among specialists, the most renowned and most visited archeological site in Crete is certainly worth a long and thorough visit.

Palais de Knossos

Thanks to the restoration efforts financed by Evans, the visitor can feast his eyes on the remains of an exceptionally beautiful palace and its adjoining buildings: caravanserai, royal villa and its little palace...

The palace is really the highlight of the visit. The immense construction of more than 1300 rooms weaves in and out of courtyards, terraces, staircases and hallways. It is just unbelievable.

They say that it was in these hallways that the legend of the labyrinth built by Dedale on King Minos's orders was born. They wanted to hide a creature that was half-man and half-bull: the Minotaur.

As if to confirm the legend, it is well known that bullfighting matches happened regularly on this site. As you continue your visit, you just have to admire the great staircase; five stories high and one of the masterpieces of antique architecture.

The staircase led to the royal apartments and served as a veritable funnel of daylight for them. Ingenious! Not to be missed as well is the King Minos's prestigious alabaster throne (the oldest throne known to be in existence) and the Queen's apartments with their lustral room, used for bathing and rituals.

Be sure and get a look at the many workshops and store rooms where the enormous "pithoi" jars were stored filled to the brim with wine or olive oil.

 Jarres de vin et d'huile

Here is a final glimpse at this city of grandeur and prestige, which probably disappeared during a huge tidal wave caused by the explosion of the volcano Santorin.

When Santorin blew, it took with it one of the richest and most advanced cities of its era!

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