The Historical Museum of Crete offers a complete and comprehensive view of the history of the island and is found in the centre of Heraklion.
It houses exhibits dating from the Early Christian years up until the 20th century. It was founded by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies in 1953 and is housed in a neoclassical building donated by the Kalokerinos family. The museum is located on the coastal zone, west of the Venetian harbor. Apart from the neoclassical building in which the older collections are kept, a new wing has been added as well.
On the first level of the old building, one can see important Early Christian, Byzantine and Venetian sculptures, inscriptions, and funerary steles, among other things. The history of the city of Heraklion is displayed in the big hall of the ground floor, in a very interesting way. A large model of the Venetian period city, accompanied by various related objects and exhibits, give visitors a charming and full picture of the history of Heraklion, especially of how it was in the period just before the Turkish invasion in 1669. Important objects, uniforms and traditional costumes, icons, ecclesiastical vessels and relics from different periods of the history of Crete are exhibited in the rooms of the second level of the museum.
An early painting of Domenicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) named “View of Mount Sinai”, the only piece of his work to be found in Crete, is exhibited in a specially transformed room. Wonderful collections of Cretan weaving as well as collections of maps and photographic material are to be found on the third level of the museum. There is also an area that depicts how a traditional Cretan house would look, with all the essential equipment (loom, bed, fireplace, hand mill, weavings, etc) within a specially transformed room. On the same level, there is a hall dedicated to the author Nikos Kazantzakis, which includes some of his manuscripts as well as a lot of his personal objects.
Address: Leof. Sofokli Venizelou 27, Iraklio 712 02
Opening Hours: Monday, Wed – Friday 9AM – 3PM
Saturday and Sunday: 11AM – 16PM
*Opening hours and information are subject to change.