Ancient Palaces of Crete

Ancient Palaces of Crete

Greece has one of the most famous histories of any country on Earth; the advanced civilization and empire that reigned over this area of Europe gave the world mathematics, philosophy and mythology. Without the cultures that resided beside the diamond-clear waters of the Mediterranean, a great deal of science would likely not exist. Needless to say it’s a history buff’s dream vacation spot!

The island of Crete, just off the coast of the mainland, is one of the most populous of Greece’s municipalities, and was home to the ancient Minoan civilization, which was one of the earliest permanent cultures ever (living during the Bronze Age), and which built the first palaces in Europe. Many of the ruins of these archeological wonders are still around and open for visits. For the curious traveler, these sites truly must be seen to be believed.


This palace, also known as the Labyrinth, is the largest Bronze Age site on Crete. It’s thought to have been the ceremonial center for the Minoans, and is a veritable maze of rooms decorated with images of what life on the island was like. The ruins were discovered in 1878, and it has since been determined that the more than 1,000 interlocking rooms housed up to 100,000 people at its most populous. The resort contained aquaducts for three separate water-management systems, a huge Throne Room, and at least one large theater.


Palace of Zakro

Zakros is a site on the east coast of Crete, and was likely a trading hub due to its protected harbor. The small town had a large palace which was erected around 1900 BC, and rebuilt at least twice over the next 500 years. The ruins here are extensive, and one can still see the outlines of the buildings from the stone foundations which remain in the ground. The spot also has evidence of a winding labyrinth, and was the spot where several diamond-shaped pieces of tablets were discovered, all of which were inscribed with Linear A, one of the ancient Minoan scripts which have yet to be translated.


This city was inhabited starting at around 4000 BC, and is referred to quite often in ancient Greek literature. The poet Homer described its participation in the Trojan War, and the founder of the city was rumored to be the son of Hercules. When it was first excavated in the early 20th century, scholars realized that the site had actually been completely destroyed and rebuilt in the late Bronze Age, when the first palace had been almost entirely obliterated by a massive earthquake. In 1908 an archeologist found the Phaistos Disc, which is a small clay artifact covered in unique hieroglyphs. Its meaning and purpose are a complete mystery, especially since the language on it has never been deciphered.

Be at the center of a hub of wonderful Mediterranean activities while staying at Hapimag Damnoni resort, Crete. Located at the ocean, Hapimag Damnoni is the ideal Greek getaway spot. Offering everything one could hope for in a Greek resort, including stunning vistas, this island paradise is THE place to vacation.