Behind an antechamber, this beautifully proportioned room is separated by a pillar from a sunken basin that may have been used for purification rituals preceding ceremonies held in the presence of the king. The ruler may have been seated on the alabaster chair ('throne') to the right, with followers squatting on the stone benches lining the walls, which are decorated with frescoes of plants and griffins (mythical beasts regarded by the Minoans as sacred).
Lonely Planet's must-see attractions
Crete’s most famous historical attraction is the Palace of Knossos, the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located 5km south of the city of Iraklio. The…
This state-of-the-art museum is one of the largest and most important in Greece. The two-storey revamped 1930s Bauhaus building makes a gleaming showcase…
Gortyna (also Gortyn or Gortys) has been inhabited since Neolithic times but reached its pinnacle after becoming the capital of Roman Crete from around 67…
Phaestos was the second-most-important Minoan palace-city after Knossos and enjoys an awe-inspiring setting with panoramic views of the Messara Plain and…
Although just a huge and fairly featureless hole in the ground, Ideon has sacred importance in mythology as the place where Zeus was reared by his mother,…
A must-see for anyone visiting the ruins of Eleutherna is the accompanying modern museum that contextualises the ancient city through the exhibition of…
About 2km outside the village of Melidoni is this stunning cathedral-like cave, an evocative underworld of stalactites and stalagmites. A place of worship…
After six years of restoration, Iraklio’s symbol, the 16th-century fortress called Rocca al Mare by the Venetians, reopened in August 2016 with a brand…
Nearby Knossos attractions
Replicas of the ancient site's most famous artworks are displayed here.
From the Piano Nobile you can get a view of the clay storage vessels in the west magazines.
This famous fresco adorns Sir Arthur Evans’ restored elevated, colonnaded west bastion of the north entrance of the palace.
At the heart of the palace, the Central Court was hemmed in by high walls during Minoan times. Rooms facing the western side of the courtyard had official…
Storerooms, and site of the giant pithoi (clay jars) that once held oil, wine and other staples.
The impressive grand staircase leads down to the royal apartments.
In the northwestern corner, this reconstructed columned structure shelters a below-ground basin that archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans believed was where…
Remnants of a drainage channel and underground clay pipes show that the Minoans had developed a sophisticated water-supply and sewage system.