Knossos, located 5 km from the centre of Heraklion, was the biggest city of the Minoan era and is considered Europe’s first city. It is the silent testimony of the earliest large-scale Aegean civilization. During the thriving period of this city around 1700 BC the palace and the surroundings were inhabited by almost 100.000 people. They ruled over the Aegean Sea and based on some findings in Egyptian tombs they seem to have had contact and trade relationships with the Egyptians.
The palace of Knossos was a multi-storey complex of buildings which had an impressive water supply and drainage network. The palace was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans who found parts of the buildings as well as precious objects and impressive wall paintings (frescoes). What is of interest is that there is no fortification which indicates that they were protected by their ships and did not have any fear of enemies as they were the rulers of the sea.
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