Picture of Malia PalaceThe palace found at Malia is the third largest palace of Minoan Crete after Knossos and Phaistos. It occupies 7500 square meters at the edge of a fertile valley near Hersonissos in Northern Crete. The palace's proximity to the sea was obviously important in the development of the site into a cultural hub for its ancient inhabitants. It was first built around 1900 BC, a time of feverish development for the entire island population. It subsequently followed the same cycle as the other palaces of the time, and it was destroyed by unknown reasons around 1650 before it was immediately rebuilt.

The ruins at the site today reflect this second rebirth of the palace on the ruins of the old one, and the excavations which persist to our day reveal a place of significant economic and political activity which lasted until its final destruction by fire in 1450 BC. The architecture of this Neopalatial palace roughly follows the plan originally laid by the destroyed palace. A large central court yard is surrounded by storage rooms to the east, the theater and several crypts and corridors to the West, and the main entrance to the south. Along the lines with other Minoan palaces, there is a smaller courtyard to the west where modern visitors normally enter the ruins, adjacent to the eight circular granaries.

Picture from area M at Malia, CreteAn extensive complex of settlements had developed around the palace itself. A large complex dating back to the Protopalatial period (area "M" to the north-east of the palace) included workshops, storage and cult rooms. Nearby excavations of the Necropolis at Chrysolakos (meaning gold pit) yielded a wealth of important Minoan artifacts, including the famous gold bee pendant now exhibited at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Nearby to the north of the palace, excavations continue at area "K" which was the agora of Malia.


Picture Highlights from Malia

Reconstruction of the Malia Palace Plan of the palace of Malia and the surrounding excavations.
The palace at Malia
Exhibited at the Malia site's information center.
Plan of Malia palace and the surrounding area.
(large file, 174 k)
Picture of aerial photo of the palace at Malia.
Picture of area M reconstruction Area M plan. Malia Picture of area M buildings
Reconstruction of area M.
Exhibited at the Malia site's information center.
Plan of Area "M".
Excavated at a location North East from the palace
Picture of the buildings in area "M" at Malia.
Malia palace picture
Gold Bee Pendant
Found at Chrysolakos
at the Heraklion Museum
Acrobat's Sword
Found at Malia
at the Iraklio Museum
Also see:
Pictures from the palace at Malia