History and ancient civilization lovers will find their paradise in Crete, as they will have the opportunity to visit great archaeological sites, historical monuments scattered throughout the island, and remarkable museums that cover the whole range of its longstanding history, as they host rare finds from the prehistoric Minoan times until the recent years.
The Archaeological Museum is located much in the center of Heraklion: it is one of the most important Archaeological Museums of the world, thanks to its unrivalled collection of artifacts from the Bronze-age Minoan culture – the first of note on what is now European soil.
The Archaeological Museum of Chania is located in the centre of the Old Town, on Halidon Street, and hosts the archaeological collection of Chania. The archaeological collection has been temporarily housed, since 1963, in the Venetian church of Saint Francis, which used to be part of a former monastery of the Franciscan Order and is considered nowadays an important monument of the city.
The collecting of the museum exhibits began in 1888, on the initiative of the Greek Educational Association of Rethymnon. Until 1990 the museum was accommodated in the Loggia. In 1991 it was moved into a pentagonal building that can be seen in front of the Fortezza main gate.
The Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos was founded in 1970 in order to display the archaeological finds from Eastern Crete, which until then had to be taken to the Museum of Heraklion. The collection includes objects dating from the Neolithic Age tothe end of the Graeco-Roman period.
The Natural History Museum of Crete functions as part of the School of Sciences of the University of Crete; despite its title, it does not only present the natural wealth of the island, but also of the rest of Greece and of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Maritime Museum is located at the entrance to the historical fortress of Firkas. It was founded in 1973 and has been awarded by the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece.