A few years ago we traveled from Dublin to Crete taking advantage of a tourist package at a very good price that offered a direct flight to Heraklion and six nights in a tourist area of the island.
We take advantage of the offer to ride the trip to our liking by adding a rented car to visit Crete for a few days, a ferry that would take us to Santorini to spend a couple of days and a domestic flight to visit Athens.
During our stay in Crete, we could not miss the visit to the palace of Knossos (or Knossos). Without a doubt, one of the most legendary places on the planet.
The story goes that a man half man half bull was locked in the palace of Knossos and only fed on human flesh. He suffered the consequence of the punishment that the god Poseidon imposed on his father Minos II for not having offered a bull in his honor as he had previously promised. The spawn, he was called the Minotaur. In order to hide such a nightmare, Daedalus built a labyrinth where they were locked to that being half man half animal.
For years the king ordered to take seven maidens and seven young men from the subjugated town of Megara to the labyrinth as food for the Minotaur. Theseus, once, entered the group of executed and went to the maze in order to end the beast and win the heart of the daughter of King Minos; Ariadne Thanks to the cunning of the girl, with a string marked the route he was taking, he managed to kill the beast and was able to resume his steps to the exit. The beautiful Ariadne, daughter of the king of Crete, fell in love with him and together they left for Athens although Theseus finally left the abandoned girl on the island of Naxos.
That, with great strokes, is the legend of the labyrinth and one on the bus on the way to the Palace of Knossos cannot avoid giving the imagination and covering the ruins in giant walls and, in short, reinventing the reality of the present with touches of a fascinating past of gods, minotaurs, loves and heres.
From Heraklion we got on a bus line that left us at the gates of the Palace of Knossos in about 30 minutes.
Little remains of the ancient temple standing today. Not surprisingly, it was built around 2,000 B.C. and was destroyed by an earthquake three centuries later. According to archaeologists, it consisted of 1,500 rooms and comprised a space of 17,000 square meters.
Anyway, today you can still admire a few buildings. The columns are decorated with new paint although it does not break the original construction excessively. Most of the visit runs in the sun except when visiting the Throne Room. It is customary to have a long queue of visitors waiting. Anyway, it is worth it thanks to the exquisite frescoes and sculptures that are disseminated in the chamber, the best of the Minoan era, like the goddess of snakes.
More information, Archeology5.001