Are you a culture lover? Are you the kind of traveller, who wants to explore the history and civilisation of each destination? Then, Crete is your place. The island is full of important ancient sites as well as significant museums, where you can be informed about various historical eras in Crete. The museums are located in the main cities of the island, and thus we recommend you to rent a car in Crete and explore easily and conveniently everything it has to offer to you. Combine a fascinating road trip around the prefectures of Crete with unforgettable cultural vacation!
In the town of Heraklion, is located the Archaeological Museum with its large collection of Minoan art. The highlights are the small statue of the Snake Goddess and the Phaistos Disc, a clay tablet with symbols of the writing system Linear A, which has not been deciphered yet. In the museum, you can also admire masterpieces of pottery, jewellery, stone and marble statues that date back to the Neolithic Period.
The Byzantine and Medieval Times played also an important role in the configuration of Crete’s culture. The Byzantine Museum in Chania gives you the opportunity to discover a huge collection of artefacts, such as coins, wall frescoes, ceramic pieces and inscriptions from the Byzantine, post Byzantine and Venetian periods on the island.
Museum of Cretan Lyra
The instrument of Cretan Lyra is strongly connected with the musical tradition of Crete. This lyra is the surviving form of the Byzantine lyra, which was used during the Medieval Times in Greece. The lyra is held vertically on the player’s lap, in the same way as a small viol. In the museum of Cretan lyra in Rethymnon, you will learn about this tradition and the music of Crete and you will have the opportunity to see the workshop and the collection of Cretan lyras.
If you are interested in the modern history of Crete, this museum in Chania is definitely worth a visit. There, you can learn about the Cretan Revolution against the Ottoman Empire as well as the heroic role that Crete played in Greece during World War II. The museum contains rare equipment and impressive photographs you cannot see anywhere else.
Also in Chania, the Maritime Museum displays the naval tradition and history in Crete, a fully equipped library as well as a large exhibition of exhibits about the sea-life. The building of the museum has great historical importance as it is the place, where the Greek flag was raised for the first time after the unification of Crete with the Greek state.