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Top things to do in Crete: Minoan palace of Malia

August 3, 2017

The Minoan Palace and the archaeological site of Malia are located 3 km east of the town of Malia. From the architectural point of view the Palace of Malia, is the third- largest of the Minoan Palaces and is considered the most "provincial" of them. According to mythology, Sarpedon reigned here, who was brother of Minos and son of Zeus and Europa.

 

Till 1880, the existence of the city was totally unknown. Then the land owner of the Chrysolakkos area discovered a few sheets of gold a few meters west of the palace. This gave rise for the excavations in the wider area by gold diggers. In 1915 Joseph Hatzidakis started excavations in the harbor, while in 1921 the French Archaeological School continued the works in Chrysolakkos, where they found one gold jewel depicting bees, which is considered the most important finding of Malia, and is displayed at the archaeological museum of Heraklion.

 

The city's name is not known, although it is probable that it was either Tarmaros or Milatos. The city minted its own coins depicting, on both sides, the goddess Athena and two dolphins. Moreover, the town covered an area of 1 square km, with neighborhoods built sparsely around the palace. The first palace was built around 1900 BC occupying an area 8800 sq.m, but it was later destroyed in 1700 BC. The palace had two floors with a central courtyard with a rectangular shape and four wings. The most important part was its west side. There were warehouses with many pots and jars, royal rooms, workshops, a weapons room (where the famous royal scepter was found) and altars. About 500 m north of the palace was the necropolis, a royal burial enclosure, certainly belonging to the lords of Malia, surrounded on all four sides by leveled areas and perhaps by porticoes. The palace was destroyed again in 1450 BC, along with the other Minoan palaces, either by an earthquake or by attack.

 

A visit to the palace of Malia is ideal for those who want to combine sightseeing with the cosmopolitan and vibrant atmosphere of the town of Malia.

 

Admission: 6€, reduced: 3€

 

Opening hours: 08.00 – 15.00

 

 

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