Museums in East Crete Palekastro and Kato Zakros - Palekastro Kato Zakros Xerokambos | East Crete - Palekastro Kato Zakros Xerokambos | East Crete Sun, 21 Jan 2018 20:58:54 +0200 By en-gb Zakros Museum of water

Zakros water museumZakros, one of the biggest villages in the Eastern Crete, known for the Minoan Palace in Kato Zakros but also for the abundance of water, the springs and the ravines with plan trees.

The existence of water has always had the most vital part in the inhabitants' economical and social activities. The structure, the neighborhoods, the inhabitants' activities have a parallel course with the "water's path". A path that has been carved by the force of the movement of water for thousands of years, starting from the biggest spring in Zakros called "Mesa Mylos" reaching the gorge and continuing its course towards the sea.

The settlement was built along the course of water giving it this long shaping which it still has in our days. In the beginning the inhabitants grew only small vegetable gardens for their every day needs but later large expanses with olive trees were cultivated which are today fully irrigated and they produce Zakro's distinguished olive oil.

People couldn't leave unexploited the possibility given by water to move the engines they have invented to produce goods and improve their living standards. Therefore having taken advantage of the hydraulic power and the area's relief people built watermills along this water path in order to grind grain, small factories to produce olive oil and rasotrivia* to process woolen textile.

In the early 1900s Zakros constituted the center of an idiosyncratic "industrial area" since there were 11 watermills functioning. The watermill is considered to be the "factory" of the pre-industrial era.

A smart and simply functioned construction exploits the water power to move millstones while the whole process was under the control of only one person, the miller.

The grain usually grinded was barley and weat, which was cultivated around Zakros and the nearby areas. Many were those who came a long distance to grind the grain at the watermills of Zakros. The construction of a watermill was mainly of a simple right-angle shaping including the workroom, and in larger watermills, a room for the reception of customers and the miller's residence with a fireplace for cooking and heating. Next to the watermill there used to be a stable for animals and sometimes a wood-oven.

The well is probably the most impressive element as far as construction is concerned. Located above the watermills, 6 to 8 meters in height, it forwards the water to a propeller which moves the millstones to grind the grain which fell off the basket slowly and steadily always under the miller's supervision.

The Museum of Water in Zakros is housed in the restored watermills which were given away by the owner families in 1997. It is a theme museum whose aim is to gather every object or other material relative to the use of water in the past and also to make the importance of water known in our days as well, exploiting it correctly through rational use and respect.

The watermills which have been restored and formed to exhibitions are:

- "Brilakenas'" watermill. It was a property of Brilakis and N. Rodanakis family, built before 1900. there is a rasotrivio* nearby owned by N. Rodanakis.
- "Rodanovagelis'" watermill, built before 1900 by Vagelis Rodanakis' father. In the same space an olive oil factory functioned with the power of water.
- "Xopapa's" watermill, one of the oldest watermills. There is a wood-oven right outside.

rasotrivio* Small factory which processed woolen textile made

]]> (Itanos) Museums Sun, 17 Apr 2011 21:32:48 +0300
The Folklore Museum of Sitia

Folklore museum in SitiaThe Folklore Museum of Sitia was founded in 1975 by the educational and cultural association "Vintsenzos Kornaros". It contains many important folklore exhibits; mainly hand woven materials, embroideries, local costumes, furniture:

It includes linen table clothes, cotton handmade pillows, bedcovers and clothes. Hand-woven drapes with images of ancient gods and semi gods like Eros, Aphrodite and Pan. Cotton linen and silk towels, woven and adorned with various patterns.

A large variety of woven products like carpets, rugs, carrying bags, cloaks.

Various handmade furniture including the iron bed, pictured on the top of this page, wooden cases for storing clothes and produce, a children's rocking bed. Most wooden furniture on display is also hand carved with various motifs, and pictures from the Cretan history.

A variety of hand made and polished mirrors, various small boxes for every day use like a newspaper rack, a toiletries box etc., Also some clocks in hand carved cases, pictures frames constructed from wood and decorated with silk.

Some costumes are on display, depicting the typical dressing of the locals in older times. This includes the clothes worn by a typical farmer, a typical dress worn by a lady at the beginning of the century, etc.

Various cooking utensils and equipment, like irons, rock and mills for grinding coffee, and flour, lamp stands, iron pots and pans.

Ceramic pans, pots and plates, water carafes, flower vases, glasses.

Some old Orthodox Christian icons are also on display.

Loom room
A complete loom with all its parts, on working condition, is on display. Here the visitor can examine the whole process of weaving. The loom is currently used by the museum staff, to produce artifacts on sale in the museum shop.

]]> (Itanos) Museums Sun, 17 Apr 2011 22:00:27 +0300
The Archeological Museum of Sitia

Archaeological Museum in SitiaThe long archaeological and historical research at the Eastern Crete - Sitia area has brought to light rare and valuable finds and information of all civilizations from the Neolithic Age and the Minoan period to the New Age.

The civilizations that have flourished the grounds of Sitia, one of the richest areas in archaeological sites internationally have bequeathed us magnificent samples of material and intellectual wealth that are exhibited in the district Museums and Collections.

One of the most important Cretan Museums is located in the Sitia town. In the town's archaeological museum are placed important finds of Minoan Civilization and other archaic Cretan civilizations. Unique exhibits of the excavations in Zakros, Mochlos, Psira, Palekastro, Itanos, Agia Fotia and other significant Minoan hubs in central Crete present a new experience for the visitor. Many of the exhibits refer to the olive, the vine cutlery, fishing bee- keeping as to other sectors of rural activity.


Official Unit:
24th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities

National Road Siteia-Piskokefalos, Τ.Κ. 72300, Siteia (Prefecture of Lasithi)

Telephone: +30 28430 23917
Fax: +30 28430 23917

Full: €2, Reduced: €1
Free admission days

  •     6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
  •     5 June (International Enviroment Day)
  •     18 April (International Monuments Day)
  •     18 May (International Museums Day)
  •     The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
  •     27 September, International Tourism Day
  •     Sundays in the period between 1 November and 31 March
  •     National Holidays

Reduced admission for:

  •     Persons possessing a free admission card
  •     The accompanying parents on educational visits of elementary schools.
  •     The escorting teachers of schools and institutions of elementary, middle school, high school, university and graduate level education during their visits
  • Free admission for:
  •     Greek citizens and citizens of other Member - States of the European Union aged over 65 years old by showing their ID card or passport.
  •     Journalists with a journalist identity card
  •     Members of Societies and Associations of Friends of Museums and Archaeological Sites throughout Greece with the demonstration of certified membership card
  •     Members of the ICOM-ICOMOS
  •     Persons accompanying blind and disabled
  •     Students of Higher Education Institutes and equivalent Schools from countries outside the EU by showing their student ID
  •     The official guests of the Greek government, with the approval of the General Director of Antiquities.
  •     Tourist guides after demonstrating their professional identity of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
  •     University students and students at Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent schools of Member - States of the European Union and students at Schools of Tourist Guides, by showing their student ID
  •     Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age



Monday: closed
    1 January: closed
    6 January: 08:30 - 15:00
    Shrove Monday: 08:30 - 15:00
    25 March: closed
    Good Friday: 08:30 - 15:00
    Holy Saturday: 08:30 - 15:00
    1 May: closed
    Easter Sunday: closed
    Easter Monday: 08:30 - 15:00
    Holy Spirit Day: 08:30 - 15:00
    15 August: 08:30 - 15:00
    28 October: 08:30 - 15:00
    25 December: closed
    26 December: closed

]]> (Itanos) Museums Mon, 18 Apr 2011 06:54:25 +0300
Palekastro folklore museum

Palekastro folklore museumFor someone who desires to meet a population and live the experience of its culture, the present is not enough. The knowledge of yesterday's life plays a determinant role. That's the result of our creation of the traditional Cretan house that is part of our Cultural Museum.

The founding of musum began in1987 from the Cultural Unions of Palekatro "Elia and Itanos" with the support of the Monastery of Toplou and the local government.
In 1989 the crumbling traditional Cretan house was bought and restoration was begun immediately.
With the help from the Development Union of Sitia, the restoration was completed and objects were collected from around the region.
The museum exhibits common items and tools that would have been in use by the generations of people from the times of the Turkish Occupation up until 1960. 

Today's visitors can get a complete picture of
an authentic Cretan house, with it's traditional furniture and everyday household items. As well as, rare kinds of Cretan popular art.

]]> (Itanos) Museums Fri, 22 Apr 2011 09:49:09 +0300