The Historical Museum of Crete collects and preserves valuable archaeological, ethnographic and historical material from Crete’s more recent past.
The A.G. Kalokerinos Room features a 4 x 4 meter model of the city of Chandax (Heraklion) in the mid-17th century, at the peak of its power in Venetian times. The Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Collection offers a fascinating display of art via frescoes, costumes, liturgical vessels, and jewelry. Don’t miss the two only El Greco paintings in Crete - View of Mt Sinai and the Monastery of St Catherine (1570) and the newer addition, Baptism of Christ.
Modern and contemporary Cretan history is divided into four chronological phases and permanent exhibitions, including Turkish Rule, the Union of Crete with Greece, Interwar Years, and World War II. There are a variety of materials on display such as flags, banners, weapons, furniture, uniforms, and paintings. You can also interact with some of the exhibits through audiovisual means. Other rooms contain fragments of 13th and 14th-century frescoes, coins, jewelry, liturgical ornaments and vestments, and medieval pottery.
The recreated study of author Nikos Kazantzakis, which overviews his life, is a highlight. The main library collects rare editions, periodicals, historical archives and photographic material. For insight into Cretan life, the Ethnographic Collection is a must-see