Skip to Main Content

Ancient Architecture : Minoans

10 Elective History




Search for items using the Library Catalogue Accessit

The Palace of Knossos is located just south of modern-day Heraklion near the north coast of Crete. Built by a civilization that we call the Minoans, it covers about 150,000 square feet (14,000 square meters), the size of more than two football fields, and was surrounded by a town in antiquity.


"This palace, the largest known in Crete, with an area of 22,000 sq. meters (26,000 sq. yards), was excavated by A. Evans between 1899 and 1932, and spectacularly restored, sometimes excessively.


The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age Aegean civilization on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands, flourishing from c. 2700 to c. 1450 BC until a late period of decline, finally ending around 1100 BC. It represents the first advanced civilization in Europe, leaving behind massive building complexes, tools, stunning artwork, writing systems, and a massive network of trade. The name "Minoan" derives from the mythical King Minos and was coined by Evans, who identified the site at Knossos with the labyrinth and the Minotaur. The Minoan civilization has been described as the earliest of its kind in Europe

Minoan urbanism as a dynamic process: context, structure and change

2000 - 1450 BCE - Our first European civilisation takes us to the island of Crete in the Mediterranean where we learn of bare-breasted ladies, bull-leaping, huge palaces and the ferocious Minotaur in the labyrinth.

The magnificent Minoan palace of Knossos , the center of the Minoan civilisation. Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and is considered Europe's oldest city. The palace of Knossos was undoubtedly the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. It appears as a maze of workrooms, living spaces, and storerooms close to a central square. An approximate graphic view of some aspects of Cretan life in the Bronze Age is provided by restorations of the palace's indoor and outdoor murals, as it is also by the decorative motifs of the pottery and the insignia on the seals and sealings. In the first palace period around 2000 BC the urban area reached a size of up to 18,000 people. In its peak the Palace and the surrounding city boasted a population of 100,000 people shortly after 1700 BC


Did the lost continent of Atlantis exist? This program explores the "prehistory" of Europe's first civilisations, which developed around the Aegean Sea on the islands and mainland that now make up Greece. The artefacts of the ancient culture of the Mycenaeans reveal a civilisation of warriors and craftsmen. By contrast, the ancient Minoans, named for King Minos, were artists, engineers, merchants and traders. By following the work of archaeologists, students will learn of the people and places of the Aegean that laid the groundwork for ancient stories - and ancient history.

Ancient History Encyclopedia

The unique contribution of the Minoan civilization to European architecture is possibly most evident in the great palace structures of the major Minoan centres of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia and Zakros

Minoan architecture consists of several structures which acted as centers for commercial, religious, and administrative life. Archaeologist have unearthed in Crete a Minoan landscape filled with tombs, palaces, villas, towns and the roads that connected them.

Khan Academy

The archaeological site of Knossos (on the island of Crete) —traditionally called a palace—is the second most popular tourist attraction in all of Greece (after the Acropolis in Athens), hosting hundreds of thousands of tourists a year.