Record numbers of tourists have been visiting the Minoan Palace of Knossos this summer, according to the Union of Professional Tourist Guides of Crete and Santorini.
The archaeological site of Knossos has thus far this summer received an average five thousand visitors daily since July, the President of the Union told local network Crete TV.
In one instance, a record eight thousand visitors also accessed the Minoan Palace of Knossos in a single day, he added.
The network’s video shows the long queues outside the world-famous archaeological site, located about five kilometers (three miles) south of Heraklion on Kephala Hill.
Discovering the magnificent ancient palace of Knossos
The Minoan Palace of Knossos was the largest of Minoan palaces on Crete and was at the core of the highly sophisticated civilization that flourished on the island over 3,500 years ago.
It sprawls over twenty thousand square meters and is the setting for many well-known myths, such as the Labyrinth with the Minotaur and Daedalus and Icarus.
British archaeologist Arthur Evans, inspired by Heinrich Schliemann’s ideas, excavated the site in 1900 after purchasing the land from the Ottoman authorities which ruled Crete at the time. They had previously denied Scliemann access to dig.
It was Evans who named the civilization “Minoan” after the legendary King Minos, and he also took liberties in rebuilding the site that has been debated by different archaeologists ever since.
Evans roofed the Throne Room, reconstructed the Grand Staircase, replaced columns, had walls reconstructed with frescoes, and added a conjectural upper story using concrete.
Despite the modern controversy, it is true that without Evans’ restoration, it would have been almost impossible to deduce what the huge palatial complex in Knossos could have looked like in the past.