Malia, Prefecture of Heraklion
The palace found at Malia is the third largest palace of Minoan Crete after Knossos and Phaistos. It occupies 7500 square meters at the edge of a fertile valley near Hersonissos in Northern Crete. The palace's proximity to the sea was obviously important in the development of the site into a cultural hub for its ancient inhabitants. It was first built around 1900 BC, a time of feverish development for the entire island population. It subsequently followed the same cycle as the other palaces of the time, and it was destroyed by unknown reasons around 1650 before it was immediately rebuilt.
The archaeological site of Malia is located 3 km East of Malia and is certainly worth a visit.
Excavations were begun in 1915 by J. Chatzidakis and were continued by the French Archaeological School. The site was inhabited in the Neolithic and early Minoan period (6000- 2000 BC), but very little trace of this remains.
The Palace of Malia, which covered an area of 7,500 sq.m. , is the third- largest of the Minoan Palaces and is considered the most "provincial" from the architectural point of view.
According to tradition the third son of Zeus and Europa, Sarpedon, ruled here.
The first Palace was built in 1900 BC and destroyed in 1700 BC when a new Palace was built. Following the fate of the other palaces in Crete it was also destroyed in 1450 BC . and the present ruins are mainly those of the new palace.
The Palace had two floors and its entrance is from the western paved Court, trough a procession passage, there is a central court, loggia, theatre, sanctuaries, Royal quarters, workshops and magazines.
To the North of the western court is the hypostyle crypt which is protected from the weather by a canopy. The large underground room, whose ceiling was supported by columns, is considered as a council chamber for the political deliberations of the local lords and a forebear of the classical Greek Pritaneion which had a similar function.
Entrance €4 for Adults