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west facede of knossos

The West Façade of the Palace of Knossos

Nestled in the beautiful island of Crete lies the astonishing Palace of Knossos. As a significant cultural site dating back to the Bronze Age, the palace still holds vital clues to early Greek civilization and architecture. One of the most striking features of the Palace is the West Court and the façade that graces its wall. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the West Façade, its significance in the Palace’s architecture, and explore the historical and cultural legacy of this magnificent structure.

Table of Contents

Architecture and Design of West Façade

The West Façade is made of grey-green limestone and is decorated with gypsum orthostats, creating a unique and striking contrast of colours. The façade’s features include recesses and projections that provide texture and create three-dimensionality. The face of the wall is lined with reflective gypsum, reflecting light and creating a whimsical and awe-inspiring feeling. The façade’s design is unique and had a profound impact on the Palace’s overall visual effect, adding dramatic depth and texture to the Palace’s architecture.

Historical Background of West Façade

The Palace of Knossos dates back to the Bronze Age, and the famous West Façade was constructed during the first Palace period around 1900-1700 BC. During the second Palace period, around 1700-1400 BC, repairs were made to the façade and other parts of the palace following multiple earthquakes that plagued the region. The West Façade played a critical role in the Palace’s ceremonial events, serving as a backdrop for formal processions and religious ceremonies. The façade survived the final destruction of the Palace in 1375 BC and has since been preserved by archaeologists.


The West Façade played an essential role in the Palace’s function as it separated the public urban sphere from the more private and significant palatial territory. It also served as a guide to official processions and was the backdrop for many ceremonial events hosted at the Palace. Inhabitants and official guests had prime viewing opportunities to witness these grand processes.

Legacy and Significance

The West Façade of the Palace of Knossos has had a significant impact on modern architectural design. Its unique design has inspired many architects, and elements of it can be seen in many modern buildings.

The preservation efforts of archaeologists have ensured that visitors from around the world can witness its grandeur. Furthermore, the Palace’s cultural significance as a symbol of early Greek civilization cannot be understated. Its legacy lives on through its contribution to the region’s history.

The West Façade of the Palace of Knossos is an awe-inspiring and remarkable piece of architecture. It has survived thousands of years and continues to inspire visitors today. Its contribution to modern architecture and cultural significance cannot be understated. The Palace of Knossos is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in early civilization and architecture.

Sources – Further Research