Wow. Let’s just talk about ancient history here folks. I would imagine we all have heard at least one lesson about the ancient Greeks. It is very likely that you have been schooled on the Palace of Knossos on the Isle of Crete. Its hay day was thousands of years ago during the Bronze Age and a good portion of it still stands today.
We flew into Heraklion on Crete, rented a car and drove a relatively short distance to the preserved historical site of Knossos. A fair entry fee allowed us to take our self-guided tour. In December, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Sections of the site are roped off for its protection, but you can still get an up-close look at the ancient ruins. Some of the ruins have been restored to give onlookers a vibrant notion of what Knossos looked like when it was initially built. Descriptions of what you are seeing are offered in English throughout the site.
Knossos was certainly a booming metropolis for its day (2000-1700 BC). It is believed that the immediate vicinity contained a population of 18,000 people while the expanded area had about 100,000 people. Like many ancient ruins, Knossos has been a series of cities built upon other cities. The establishment at the bottom of the heap has been carbon dated to the Neolithic Era at 7000 BC. An astonishing notion for an American to wrap her head around.
It is plain to see that the inhabitants of Knossos were sophisticated in many ways. The layout of the site indicates intelligent engineering. Plus, their architectural design and art remain esthetically pleasing, even thousands of years later. Needless to say, walking through Knossos exceeded any education that a classroom lecture could give. It is enthralling to walk the streets that travelers used to enter the city and to view the columns that encompass courtyards and porticos. If you go to Crete, you must go to Knossos.