Holiday at Hotel Aquila Porto Rethymnon, Crete            Tuesday 1st May - Tuesday 8th May 2012   

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Visit to Knossos historic site

Knossos is about 5 km south of the modern town of Heraklio. The first palace appears to have been built about 2000BC, but it seems to have been destroyed by an earthquake about 1700BC. The remains seen today are mostly from the second palace built after the earthquake during what is regarded as the golden age of the Minoan civilisation. This golden age came to a stop around 1450BC when a cataclysm - some think the volcanic island of Thera (modern Santorini) exploded and caused a tsunami. Life continued after 1450BC but on a reduced scale under the Dorian Greeks and, later, the Romans.

Typical Architecture - 'South House'

Shows pillars, stairs

Bulls Horns symbol

Excavated and restored area

Colour is due to the roof protecting the area from weather. Shows a grand staircase.

Intrepid Explorer

Outside the 'House of the Chancel'.

The Queen's Megaron

Part of what was considered the Queen's apartments

Wall Painting in a corridor

Restored painting and now protected from weather and sunlight

Wall Painting

Further wall paintings

Storage Pits

These appear to be storage pits

Underground apartment

Stairs leading down to underground rooms.

Stairscase leading down to lower level

The lower level rooms were often lit by wide stairwells with windows as well as doors.

Wall Paintings

Many of the rooms, particularly the lower level, cooler rooms, had intricate and well done wall paintings

Dolphin wall paintings

Decorated wall in the Queen's Megaron (apartment)

Storage Jars

Large ceramic or stone storage jars - used for olive oil, grain, water, wine

Columns in Queen's apartments

Columns supporting the upper floors in the Queen's apartments.

Steps leading from the Palace

This entrance to the Palace has been called The Royal Road

The Royal Road

Looking along the paved Royal Road heading towards the coast.