Malia Minoan Palace

Malia, Greece

To the east of the modern resort is the Minoan Palace of Malia. This is the third-largest Minoan palace in Crete, built in a wonderful setting near the sea, on the road linking eastern and central Crete.

This palace - the seat, according to myth, of Minos’ brother Sarpedon - was first constructed circa 1900 BC. The already large settlement, some parts of which are preserved around the palace, thus became a palace-city. This first palace was destroyed c. 1700 BC and rebuilt in c. 1650 BC on the same site and with the same layout. Finally the new palace was destroyed in c. 1450 BC and not reoccupied. During the Mycenean period a small building, probably a sanctuary, was constructed in the ruins.

At Malia we can actually walk around the actual palace, just as it was uncovered by archaeological excavations. Most of the ruins visible today belong to the Neopalatial complex - the second palace - whose rooms are set around three courts: the Central Court, the North Court and the Tower Court. The majestic size, complex plan and multiple details of the palace make it a fascinating place to visit.



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Founded: 1900 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

bethan sewell (12 months ago)
First of all I have to say that I hate rating places in my area so low but for this site I had to. The main point of disappointment was the lack of information and signs. I visited with my eight year old daughter who is learning about these archeological sites in school. She was asking me questions but there was NOTHING to read to describe anything (except for a few badly translated signs). We came away very disappointed indeed and feeling that we didn't learn anything which was the point of our visit in the first place. I know it is at the beginning of the season but there were many tourists there with us and I know they were feeling the same. Surely this should have been addressed before opening for the summer? Some better organisation is needed.
rjrjambo70 (13 months ago)
Having known little of the complex I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the site and the remains in situ. If a student of History or just interested this is a real gem giving a good understanding of the Minoan Culture and their architecture. The photos are just a taste, why spoil the surprise!
Martien Janssen (13 months ago)
The palace of Malia, dating from the Middle Bronze Age, was destroyed by an earthquake during the Late Bronze Age;[4] Knossos and other sites were also destroyed at that time. The palace was later rebuilt toward the end of the Late Bronze Age. Most of the ruins visible today date from this second period of construction. The palace features a giant central courtyard, 48m x 23m in size. On the south side are two sets of steps leading upwards and a maze of tiny rooms. Also here is a strange carved stone called a kernos stone, which looks like a millstone with a cup attached to the side of it. On the north side of the courtyard were storage rooms with giant earthenware pithos jars, up to two metres tall. These were used for holding grain, olive oil and other liquids; the floor of these rooms has a complex drainage system for carrying away spilled liquids. (wikipedia)
Jakob (13 months ago)
It was a lovely experience, a must in Malia. The experience would be elevated with updated clear signage (some are quite faded) and a more clearly outlined pathway/route though the site, as it can become confusing in parts.
jeremy kalous (2 years ago)
Malia is one of the top Minoan sites in Crete and the place where the Bee Broach was discovered. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. You must also remember that these sites are the oldest in Europe. Almost 4,000 years!
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