Greece Adventure -- Day 4 – Part I – Where is the throne?

Alice in 2009 posing with Prince of Lilies from 1500 BC in Knossos

The island of Crete, as beautiful as it is now, must have been even more gorgeous thousands of years ago. I can see why people have made Crete their homes since 2700 BC. It was the center of the Minoan civilization and culture, and was where the Bronze Age civilization arose.

I read about Knossos Palace being a “must see” site as it is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, so after breakfast in the resort, we drove for about 1.5 hours to Knossos near the capital city of Crete, Heraklion. I was a bit disappointed when we finally arrived. To me, the place was just ancient ruins with a lot of big stones, but to many other visitors, being able to be here could be very meaningful. I knew knowledge and understanding could add depth and meaning to things beyond their superficial presentations. Today was the day I regret not studying hard in my middle school history class. (I firmly believe it was my history teacher’s fault, but we will talk about it at some other time.)

On a completely different side note, a long time ago when people from Taiwan were not allowed to go to China, my cousins who grew up in the US were able to travel to China and visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and all the Chinese historical sites. They had the chance to visit these places while they did not know much of their significance. All the students in Taiwan, on the other hand, were forced to memorize all the Chinese history, draw detailed maps of every province, etc, but could only dream about seeing and touching this mainland for real.

The line to enter the Throne Room
In the center of this Knossos Palace was a small room where many people were waiting in line to go in. Albert and I did not want to miss whatever that was in the room, so we went in. After a 20 minute wait, we came to a small and dark room. We were told there was a throne in the room, which made the archeologist believe this was the “Throne Room”.

Seriously, see if you can find the throne in 3 seconds.
Being pushed by the people behind me, I looked around the room but did not see any throne. I was looking for something big, obvious, and powerful, so I kept looking into the area at the left side of this picture. Before I was pushed to leave the room, I asked the security person --- Where is the throne? The security lady was amused and furious at the same time. She pointed at this very dirty piece of stone at the right hand side of the picture and said – "That is the throne! You are looking at it!"

Albert and I left, scratching our heads, thinking that these people were making too big of a deal out of this chair.

After we walked around Knossos Palace, it started to rain. We hid in the souvenir shop and found out that all the good stuff was not here! Just like many ancient sites, in order to preserve the artifacts and to present them in a cohesive fashion, most of the art pieces were on exhibit at the Heraklion Museum. All of the paintings in the palace were replicas, placed where they were originally found, and the Thorne was the only real thing in these ancient ruins. That explained the long line going into the throne room.

The Heraklion Museum turned out to be surprising good. There were a large number of small and large pieces of very interesting ancient art, representing different eras in human civilization.
My favorite one is this Phaistos Disc. Click the link to read more. I am sure you will find it interesting.

Phaistos Disc


This is Albert’s favorite, which reminded him of what the referee does to signify a “touchdown” in American Football.

By the time we left the museum, it was only 5:30 PM. What happened after that deserves a separate blog entry. To be continued…

1 comment:

Alice said...

hahhaa- my eyes gravitated to the throne immediately! The room must have been magnificient once upon a time!