Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Thousands of visitors come from all over the world to admire the treasures of the Minoan civilization which are exhibited in the Herakleion Archeological Museum. The Museum was built in 1937-1940 by Sp. Marinatos and is located in the north side of Eleftherias square. It is built in the place of the Roman Catholic monastery of Saint-Francis, which was destroyed by an earthquake.
It exhibits findings from all the palaces of the Minoan era (Knosos, Festos, Malia etc.), figurines, Neolithic vessels, frescos, coins, sculptures etc. The exhibition is hosted in 20 rooms following a chronological order, from the Neolithic period to the ancient years. Among the most impressive exhibits are the unique frescos of the Prince, the monkey gathering crocus, the Ladies in Blue, La Parisienne, the Bull-leaping, the ruton, the Blue birds. There are also many findings dating back to the Hellenistic and Roman years. Sculptures, burial columns, sarcophaguses, mosaic floors.
The museum also exhibits the famous ring of Minos: It found by someone in the early 20th century, but was only handed over to the Museum in the summer of 2002 by his descendants.
Address: 1, Xanthoudidou street, Eleftherias Square.
Historical Museum of Crete
The Historical Museum of Crete was founded in 1953, and is housed in a neoclassical building of exceptional architectural merit. The museum’s permanent collections highlight the art and history of Crete from the 3rd century AD up to and including the Second World War. The collections are ordered chronologically and by subject matter, and are combined with a wealth of visual material and multimedia. The museum’s finest exhibits are two paintings by Domenicos Theotocopoulos (El Greco): The Baptism of Christ (1567) and View of Mt. Sinai and the Monastery of St. Catherine (1570). Another outstanding exhibit is a 4 x 4 metre mock-up of mid-17th century Chandax (Heraklion). Of particular interest is the Nikos Kazantzakis Collection. The museum has an audio guide system, a café and a shop.
Natural History Museum of Crete
The Natural History Museum of Crete offers its visitors a unique opportunity to familiarize with the natural environment of Crete and its particularities, as revealed through the ecological and cultural complexity of the Eastern Mediterranean area.In specially designed rooms of about 800 m2, with realistic representations of natural habitats, various plant and animal collections and plenty of photographic material, the visitor can experience the natural wealth of Crete and continental Greece.
In the rooms where fossils, rocks and minerals are exposed, you can be informed about the impressive geological past of Crete and the Mediterranean Sea. Finally, the botanical garden with the indigenous plants of Crete and the Mediterranean, the projection hall and as well as the bar on the first floor of the Museum can help the visitor combine learning with entertainment and relaxation. Address: 157, Knossos Avenue.
Leaving Chersonisos behind you cannot miss visiting Lychnostatis, the museum of traditional life and folklore heritage of Crete. The museum was created by the adjunct professor of ophthalmology and collector-folklorist Yiorgos Markakis. The Museum was built thoroughly with raw materials (rock - wood - clay) while the use of mechanical means was avoided. Due to its many open-air areas, it can be visited from April1st to October31st. The museum comprises the following sections: a farmer's house("Portego", sitting-room of Kostis Fragoulis), a Cretan urban residence, a "Fabrika", i.e. old olive oil press, a wind mill, a chapel, a shepherd's shelter, a threshing-floor, a wine-press, a distillery for ' raki ' (alcoholic beverage ), a wood oven for ceramics, a weaving and plant-dying workshop, a ceramic workshop, a herbarium, a garden with Cretan fruit - trees, a herb - garden, a flora and cactus – garden as well as a metal resources open air exhibition. There is also a permanent gallery of Cretan folk artists and works of art inspired by the Cretan nature, a 150-seat multiple-use auditorium where seminars, presentations and audio-visual projections are held, and, finally, an 250-seat open-air theatre hosting artistic events.
Nikos Kazantzakis Museum
The Museum of Nikos Kazantzakis was founded in 1984 by the stage designer Yiorgos Anemoyiannis and is housed in the residence of the famous writer (1885 -1957). The interior of the residence has been designed in such a way that it presents the life and work of the writer in eight languages. Exhibits include personal items, letters, manuscripts, the first editions of his books in Greek, as well as audiovisual material in five languages presenting his life and work.
Cretan Ethnology Museum
The museum was established by the Messara Cultural Association in 1973. The exhibition opened its doors in 1988 and in 1992 it received the special award from the Council of Europe. The museum exhibits come from all over Crete. The research center of the museum undertakes various research activities in Crete since1980 and operates as a coordination unit for the study of the Cretan ecosystem (man and environment) covering a period span from 1000 BC until today.