Crete’s Classic Culture – The Minoan Murals

Crete’s Classic Culture – The Minoan Murals

The Minoan Murals in Crete showing ancient room and art

Crete’s Classic Culture – The Minoan Murals
By Maria Athanasopoulou

Minoan Murals segment

A well-preserved mural (Photo: Maria Athanasopoulou)

The Minoan civilization was one of the most ancient and important civilizations  to have inhabited the earth. Located on the beautiful Greek island of Crete, the Minoans dominated this area of the Mediterranean from around 3000 to 1450 BC. The important archaeological site of Knossos, the Minoans largest city, is well preserved and is a popular attraction for tourists to the island to visit.

An excellent example of Minoan civilization is undoubtedly the Minoan Murals. Found in the ancient site of Knossos and, in my opinion, one of the most important archaeological finds in all of Greece, these remarkable artworks are famous not only for their themes, but also for their perfect design and their remarkable coloring.

They were created using the fresco technique, which meant that the colors were applied directly to a fresh surface, a common practice at the time which leant itself to the preservation of important historic artefacts such as the Minoan Murals.

Perfect Peace

The Minoan Murals famous dolphins

Crete’s famous dolphins (Photo: Maria Athanasopoulou)

A common characteristic of the Minoan Murals is the fact that their subjects cover many aspects of the civilization, but without any references to war – a clear demonstration of how the ancient Greeks valued peace and life over warfare.

The Minoan Murals constitute a great chapter of Minoan civilization, and have deservedly become famous around the world. They have also been instrumental in influencing various areas of world art, such as painting, clothing, and jewelry design.

The Minoan Murals are exhibited today at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. A visit here will have you enjoy such famous murals as the “Lily Prince”, “La Parisienne”, the “Bluebird Fresco”, the “Bull-leapers Fresco”, the “Blue Ladies”, and the “Dolphins”.

To learn more, visit the museum’s website here.


Maria Athanasopoulou is Founder of Respond on Demand, a company promoting Greek tourism to travel agents abroad and co-founder of Top Tourism , a non-profit company promoting Greek tourism and culture. She is also ambassador for Greece to the World Food Travel Association.