Historical Museum of Crete

Historical Museum of Crete, Heraklion: Hours, Address, Historical Museum of Crete Reviews: 4.5/5

Historical Museum of Crete
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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The Historical Museum of Crete presents a comprehensive view of Cretan history from early Christian times to the present day. It was founded in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies, which had been established two years earlier. The museum is housed in a two-storey neoclassical building, which was constructed in 1903 on the site of an earlier mansion belonging to the Kalokerinos family. The second building, designed by K. Tsandirakis, was clearly influenced by morphological features of the earlier one, and was later listed as a historical monument. The new museum extension to the west constituted an attempt to combine traditional and modern architecture. 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 from early Byzantine times to the present day.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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684 reviews
Very good

Wandering New Yorker
New York City, NY90 contributions
Aug 2021
This place is a bit off the beaten path but worth the effort if you want to get a good overview of Crete's history from pre-historic times through WWII. The exhibits are well laid out. The acoustic guide is worth it as you can pick and choose what you want to linger over.
Written August 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brendan D
Ireland77 contributions
Jul 2021
This is my favourite museum in Crete. Though it is not a huge museum it is full of excellent displays and an amazing 3d model of the old city. If you wish to understand Cretan history it is very good.It also has a lovely cafe garden to relax in. I have been at least 4 times!
Written August 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Steve T
Limassol City, Cyprus53 contributions
Jul 2021
There are several floors containing artifacts from different historic periods. You can travel back and imagine how life was back then. You find out about WW2 and the fight in crete and how people defend their land with everything the had agains Nazis. It is very much recommended
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Geneva, Switzerland1,780 contributions
May 2021 • Couples
This a small museum, very classical in its organization but moderately interesting exhibitions although a few nice artifacts are exposed. The 2 Greco paintings are really not impressive, unfortunately. Dispensable but an ok visit if you have some extra time (you’ll need about 1 hr).
Written June 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sarah O
Dubrovnik, Croatia17 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
This is a great museum and has a lot to show you about Crete. I have appreciated the history of the island a lot more and been able to piece it together since visiting. The displays are well laid out and vary from Byzantine times through to the Venetians and the Ottomans. There was a great exhibition of icons and some modern art. The top floor had a very poignant exhibition on World War II. We definitely found it worth going and my teenage son especially liked the top floor. The staff were helpful and the café looks good although we didn’t stop. If you want some culture and have some spare time I would say this is a must.
Written July 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Katrien S
Ghent, Belgium1,982 contributions
Sep 2020
Good overview of the history of Crete after the Romans, detailing the many occupations, as well as the 1923 Lausanne treaty forcing all Muslims to leave, as well as taking in many Armenian refugees. All periods are documented with well displayed objects, from the early Christian period onward. The display of the icons is very well done. The top floor displays typical costumes as well as wedding bread and other traditional crafts. A bit more explanation is welcome, even with the audioguide the information you get is limited.
Written September 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Greece360 contributions
Sep 2019
The history of Heraklion is at your feet in the HMC...
The museum documents and reveals the city's turbulent past from the first Byzantine period to World War II.

Look out for:
- 4x4m model of the city of Heraklion-Chandax in the mid 17th century.
- El Greco's paintings.
- Nikos Kazantzakis's library and study from his house in Antibes,France.
- The Battle of Crete.
- Akrithakis On the move, temporary exibition (modern art) is hosted until March 2020.

There is a nice coffee shop...
Excellent gift shop (but pricey) with books,ceramic jewellery,silk scarfs,cards....

Step inside, maybe you will discover more than you think.!!
Written September 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK4 contributions
Aug 2011 • Friends
We'd read about this museum in the guide books and we were all really looked forward to visiting this place. However when me, my wife and 2 children (aged 4 & 8) arrived, my boys were met with dirty looks from man sitting in reception. We paid our entrance fee and walked around in to the first room which contained a large map of old Heraklion which would light up when you pressed a certain button.... Great fun... Especially for a four year, but no, you are allowed to press the button as much as you like if you are an adult, but a four year is not allowed. The man from reception had been watching from just inside the room and he told us to "control that child". I told him politly that our child was simply doing what the exibit was designed for and that i wouldnt let him do anything inappropriate. The man went back to his desk. Agian our son pressed the button to lightup the map.... Again the man came round and asked him not to touch... He had been watching us on CCTV in reception. So we moved on to the next room where there are some lovely erns and pots which are very securely exhibited, but which have clearly been touched by countless visitors over the years. I told my son not to touch anything... And he didn't. But this was not enough for the staff... They followed from room to room. I was beginning to get a bit fed up with being followed so we took the stairs to the first floor....and there waiting for us was another member of staff who escorted us around two more rooms watching us like a hawk.... before my wife finally lost her patence and decided we should leave. We asked for our money back and calmly explained that museums are for children as well as adults and that they need to embrace them and welcome them rather than to shun and suspect them. There was no way that we would have allowed our boys to do any damage and that if left alone would have really enjoyed themselves. The museum looked great and I was so very disappointed to have to leave, but I think we had no choice, it was really unpleasant being followed around as if we were some kind of cultural vandals about to smash up important artefacts at any moment. My children are no better or worse behaved than any other and we visit museum where we are in the world and have never experienced anything like this before. If you are in Heraklion please go to tis museum and enjoy it, but don't take your children if they are at all equsitive. Incidentally we left here are and went straight to the Natural History museum just down the road and had a fantastic and welcome time. Now that's a museum where children are welcome.
Written November 13, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are sorry to read that supervision by guards in the Historical Museum of Crete rooms, which contain fragile exhibits and installations, was perceived as demeaning surveillance and evidence of distrust towards children. The Historical Museum of Crete is well known for welcoming children. The exhibitions are lively and user-friendly, and we make every effort to encourage children to come into contact with the museum from their early years. Quite apart from the large number of children who visit us with their parents, every year we play host to over five thousand pupils of all ages, as part of the educational programmes we provide free of charge. Last year, approximately four thousand children took part in our special programmes for kindergarten and primary school. The satisfaction felt by pupils, parents and teachers alike stands as ample evidence that our museum is open to children. Eva Grammatikaki Director
Written November 18, 2011
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Maribor, Slovenia268 contributions
Historical museum of Crete was a pleasant surprise for me. It represent history of Crete from Byzantian times to 2. World war.
Visitor start's its visit in rooms in ground floor where are displayed model of Heraklion city and maps of Crete island. In next two floors you can see artefacts from whole Crete history (Byzantian era, Greek independence war, etc.) and ethnographical artefacts which represeted everyday life of common Cretian people in the past. For me was the most touching moment of visit when I came into a room which is dedicated to 2. world war. In dark doom there are imitation of candles burning above showcase in wich are humus and personal belongings of peope who had died in one of the cretian caves during 2. world war.
This museum is really one of the nice settled museums I had visited. Every artefact is clearly explained, for further explanation there are also curators.
I really suggest visiting this museum to all who want to know more about Cretian history.
Written January 4, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Malia, Greece18 contributions
Aug 2014 • Friends
This was my second visit and I will definitely go again. After spending more than 3 hours it was impossible to take in more but there are still things I need to spend longer studying.
The special exhibition of El Greco was very tastefully done and a friend who has been to a top Oxford museum, amongst others commented that Heraklion beat them all. Praise indeed but well deserved.
The history of Crete and its people was well documented. A word of warning, one member of our party, a Russian Jew was very upset by the coverage of the second world war. However it is a wonderful place to learn more about this fascinating island, its people and culture.
There is a small coffee shop with snacks and it is possible to sit outside, weather permitting in very nice areas.
The staff are very helpful and friendly but not intrusive.
All in all a very pleasant time spent for a very reasonable entrance fee.

One suggestion I would like to make would be a season ticket type system so that one could visit various museums and antiquities more often at a lesser cost.
Written August 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Historical Museum of Crete

Historical Museum of Crete is open:
  • Mon - Mon 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wed - Fri 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat - Sun 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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