Founded in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies (S.C.H.S.), the Historical Museum of Crete (H.M.C.) presents a comprehensive view of Cretan history from early Christian times to the present day.
The original goal of those founding the Historical Museum of Crete was to collect and preserve valuable archaeological, ethnographic and historical material deriving from the medieval and modern periods in Cretan history.
The process of enriching the collections, extending exhibition space and redefining the museum's aims has never ceased. Prolific research and publishing activity, the organisation of temporary exhibitions, educational programmes and the use of audiovisual media all form part of the modern educational role adopted by the Historical Museum of Crete over time.
The same approach also includes the gradual re-organisation of the collections on display so as to appeal to a wider range of visitors, thus offering them the opportunity to understand the many facets of historical development on Crete. (more)
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is regarded as one of Europe's most important museums. The present building was constructed between 1933 and 1937 to plans by P. Karantinos, on the site of the imposing Venetian Franciscan friary destroyed by an earthquake in 1856.
The museum brings together archaeological finds from all over Crete, covering over 5500 years of the island's history. Pride of place is given to the treasures of Minoan civilisation, the entire historical course of which can thus be appreciated. Justly regarded as the home of Minoan civilisation par excellence, the museum houses the most important collection of Minoan antiquities the world over.
Since November 2006 the museum has been closed for interior renovation. A small temporary exhibition housing the museum's most important exhibits is on view in a specially designed room on the north side, off I. Chatzidaki St. Exhibits include the Snake Goddesses, the Phaistos Disk, the La Parisienne and Bull Leaping frescoes and the "Ring of Minos" (more)
Operating within the wider University of Crete framework, the Natural History Museum of Crete fulfils all the roles demanded of a comprehensive, modern museum by:
Keeping and developing collections
Carrying out research into the natural world
Contributing to teaching at all levels in the education system
Promoting the unique nature of habitats in Crete and the Mediterranean.
The museum's impressive growth over the last decade reflects the competence and professionalism of its staff, as well as the growing need in society for proper information concerning the environment. (more)
The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum was founded by Yiorgos Anemoyiannis in 1983. The founder's intention was to create a museum capable of housing the numerous significant exhibits relating to author and thinker Nikos Kazantzakis. As a point of reference in designing and creating it, Anemoyiannis mentions similar European museums dedicated to Goethe, Victor Hugo, Voltaire and Hans Christian Andersen, which offer a comprehensive picture of each author.
Up until that time, the only place at the disposal of those interested in getting to know Nikos Kazantzakis was the specially designed room at the Historical Museum of Crete, in the Kalokairinos mansion. This was laid out according to the author's wishes, as appearing in the will he drew up in 1956.
The need for a museum exclusively dedicated to the life and work of the author Yiorgos Anemoyiannis to choose Myrtia, Kazantzakis' ancestral village, as a satisfactory solution that linked the museum to his memory. The paternal home of Yiorgos' father Antonis Anemoyiannis, a distant relative of Nikos Kazantzakis, lay in the same village. Adding financial assistance from the Minister of Culture and private individuals to lavish personal expense, Yiorgos Anemoyiannis set about demolishing the old building. In 1983 he then constructed what was, at the time, a modern exhibition space.
The museum opening ceremony was held on 27th June 1983.
The Museum was renovated from the ground up in 2009, offering a new perspective on how the collections are displayed. The entire undertaking bears the hallmark of architects Y. Psomadakis and M. Marinou (new permanent exhibition design), author D. Kalokyris (graphic design) and Dr. L. Chatzopoulou (texts and editing).
The project was co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (80%) and national funds (20%).
The Museum of the Battle of Crete and National Resistance (1941-1945) was founded by the Municipality of Heraklion in May 1994.
The museum's aim is to collect, preserve and exhibit relics from 1941-1945 in an appropriate manner, as well as to document and disseminate information on the people's struggle during the Battle of Crete and the German-Italian occupation.
In addition to presenting a range of material witnesses to the past, the museum aims to cultivate interest and respect for the history of Crete. (more)