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Home / About Malia / History & Heritage
History & Heritage
Minoan Archaeological Site

Visit the remains of a unique palace that are evidence of the glorious Minoan civilization that flourished here 4,000 years ago and that turned Malia into an important trade and mercantile centre with substantial political and economic power.

Byzantine Churches

Church of Áyios Dimítrios, patron saint of Malia
This late 19th century church is built on the foundations of a previous, older church. Its yard used to be a cemetery, but stopped serving as such with the building of the new church. Inside on its iconostasis some very interesting icons are on display. These do not follow the strict Byzantine school of icon painting but belong to the Russian school: they seem to have a third dimension, as opposed to the two-dimensional Byzantine icons. Furthermore they are decorated more elaborately with gold, a fact that lends them a richer character.

History of Crete

Home to the first European civilization that flourished from 2000 to 1400 BC, Crete has always been a temptation to foreigners. Lying on a crossroad between Europe, Asia and Africa, its temperate climate and earthly riches have made many a peoples greedy for its possession. On one hand, Crete was the cradle of an incredibly distinguished culture that marked the history of mankind, on the other hand though it has really paid a heavy price for carrying this legacy.

Mythology of Crete

Zeus, ruler of Gods

According to Mythology Zeus was the youngest son of Krónos and Rhea and belonged to the third generation of gods, the Olympians. Krónos was ruler of the world and the youngest of the second generation of gods the Titans. Now, Krónos was afraid that one of his children would dethrone him, as he had been warned by a prophecy, and to prevent this from happening he swallowed his own children one by one. Rhea, upset to see she was losing all of her children and determined to keep the baby she was pregnant with, fled to Crete and hid there in a cave of Psyhró in the Dhíkti Mountains, where she gave birth to Zeus.

Geology of the Area

The birth of Crete

Beyond its tourism and its culture, Crete – and the area of Malia in particular – has far more to offer. Take its geological history: impressive, exciting and complex, it is hidden behind breathtaking scenery. It is constantly evolving, even nowadays, though to us human beings, who live to see only a fraction it, geological history is beyond comprehension; the only thing we feel of it is an earthquake once in a while!

Development of Crete's Climate

Crete has not always had the Mediterranean climate we adore it for today. A possible explanation could be that the circumstances under which Crete obtained its present climate, somehow all find themselves under the hierarchy of its tectonic history.