The Palace of Malia is the third-largest Minoan palace in Crete, built near the sea, on the road linking eastern and central Crete.
According to the myth, the third son of Zeus and Europe and brother of Minos and Rhadamanthos, Sarpedon, have ruled there.
Excavations, that are still continuing today, were begun at Malia in 1915. They have revealed the palace, some houses of the settlement and a cemetery. The palace extends over an area of 8,000 sq meters and was contemporary with that of Knossos. It is one of the four largest Minoan palaces but did not have the imposing aspect of Knossos or Pheastos. For example, no large number of wall-painting was found.
The palace of Malia was built in around 1900 BC and destroyed around 1700 BC, a new palace being built afterwards. Like the other Minoan palace, it was destroyed around 1450 BC.
The Palace had two floors. It is a building with a central court, loggia, theatre, sanctuaries.
The most important monuments of the site:
Minoan town: Around the MaliaPalace lies the Minoan town, one of the most important in Crete. Excavations have brought to light various cult and official areas, storerooms and workshops.
Kernos: At the south west part of the central court is located a round table, with little cavities around the edge and a bigger at the centre, standing on a base.
The cavities were used for offering of seeds or fruits to the gods. In the middle there was a large depression which, it has been suggested, might have held the sacred flame.
Necropolis: About 500 m north of the palace lays the excavated Necropolis, dating from the first phase of the palace.
The famous bees pendant was found there. The pendant is in the shape of two bees, or wasps, storing away a drop of honey in a comb. Now it is displayed in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.
From 01 November to 31 March