The ancient culture of Crete — as the jewel in the crown of the Mediterranean. The Cretans worshiped their gods, developed a special type of writing, created a school of ceramics, paintings, built great palaces. Among them — the Palace of Knossos, flourished in the XVI — XIV centuries BC At this point, even in the XXVI century BC a settlement. Later, after the conquest of the island by the Achaeans in the XIV century, not far from the palace there was a new village. But the Knossos was forgotten. Dilapidated, he remained in the ground for as long as in 1900, it again revealed to the world the English scientist Arthur J.. Evans.
Archaeologists called Labyrinth palace, because here were found coins with the image of twisted spiral square. The complex plan of the palace evokes the ancient legend of the Labyrinth on Crete. The ancient authors tell about ingenious architect Daedalus, lined up in Crete on the orders of King Minos mysterious construction — Labyrinth. It settled the unfortunate son of the king, a monster with a bull’s head -Minotavr. In the same vein, and his beautiful daughter, Ariadne. Inside, it was easy to get lost in the maze of rooms in which the Minotaur roamed, waiting for their victims. Each year, ten wonderful young men and women of Greece were brought to the island monster, but a brave Greek prince Theseus decided to break the law. He defeated the Minotaur and with the help of Ariadne’s thread came out of the sinister labyrinth. Palace open Evans looked beautiful backdrop for events legend.
Knossos stands on a high plateau, spread out around the fields and valleys, framed by groves. Viator differing Palace through the shadow of the leaves, it seems impregnable krepostyu.Vysokie windowless walls, lined with giant stone blocks surround the courtyards, which are narrow gate. And just above the wall has a terrace and a colonnade portico. The palace is protected and at the same time open to the outside world. There were four floors, which are connected by a staircase, running in the thickness of the walls. The monotonous appearance, inside the palace was decorated with a bright and diverse, though in a simple casket kept placer jewelry. In the palace shone juicy painting, and the red glow of Column asked them beat. The decoration of Knossos further emphasized the complexity of its plan, which was available only to owners of understanding dealing with the subtleties of the functional purpose of the premises.
Looking at the ruins of the current bird’s-eye view, we can note the unusual layout. In the north, through the narrow gate fell into the pillared hall, he came through the shortest path to the Megaron — the central courtyard surrounded by columns. There was an altar-the altar. Here there were offerings to the gods of heaven and is believed by German scientists, the cult of ancestors: it was an altar in the open air. The path here, to the place the ministry of priests, was short-lived, but it was held in a mysterious half-light, blurs the reality of the time, spatial coordinates. If the Egyptian temple of Karnak and Luxor, the Valley of the Kings procession to the sacred center of the moving monotonously through the foreseeable long space avenue of sphinxes or between giant reliefs of the same processes and the goal of the path — Wall cella — The closing depth, in Knossos, those who went ahead, suddenly disappeared around the bend, then shows again; the path is infinite, mysterious and unexpected was his goal — sunny Megaron.
Predoschuscheniya reigned throughout the palace: the new stairs around the corner, a door. That’s throne room. In over red walls with lions — the symbol of the sun, the imperial power — lasted bench of elders, and in the middle wall was the throne of the king, decorated with relief in the form of flowering plants.
Maybe one of the kings sat on this throne, the king-priest in the high tiara Cretan painter depicted in wall paintings. The young man in elegant loincloth, like the Egyptian skhenti is shown walking along the smooth background of red walls. Where is he, in any room or on the magical fairy meadow? In addition to manure underfoot around him otherwise stated in the specific location. He is depicted in the conventional world where people are coming to their gods. His move is more apparent than real, like the statues of the Egyptian and early Greek Kouros, it seems, is not perfect. But the direction of the foot, turn body boys set the rhythm of motion going past the spectators. Murals that flow from room to room, perceived in motion, active contemplation. Going after wave ornament, we get to the light well. Palace rooms have no windows: closed between themselves in a single chain, they are covered wells that pass through all floors of the building. Some rooms open to the Portico balconies spreads a visible distance, sunlight envelops their columns and, in the temples of Greece, through the door illuminates the interior.
Light wells braided snake staircase connecting the different floors — different levels of being. Steps like Greek meander, go around the perimeter of the square mines. And above all — the sky. Wandering through the rooms, the viewer does not determine where he is buried deep in the bowels of the palace. Only coming to light mine, you can see how far up the sky. During the day it is blue and bright, twinkling stars at night shines with its height.
Knossos Palace is also famous columns unusual design: they are at the base than at Ehin bead. Their shape is reminiscent of the times when the Cretans were built of wood and hammered into the ground bearing the sharp ends down.
Maze, like the skin of a bull, impaled wedges columns, stretched on the ground. Legend is associated with the image of the bull. Preserved in the palace and murals depicting acrobatic games with horned giants. In other nations such dangerous competitions were held at the funeral feasts. The city battlements on the walls of the palace looks like a pair of bull horns. How many characters reminiscent of the Minotaur! The ancient Greeks also believed that the bull is associated with the sun and is one of the incarnations of the god Zeus. In the form of a bull he kidnapped the beautiful Helen, and swimming across the Mediterranean Sea, stopped to rest on Crete. Here Europe’s son was born — Minos, who became the first king of the Cretans. Again, out of the sea was a lovely bull — a gift of the god Poseidon. But the king did not bring him in sacrifice to the gods, he left in his herd. Was angry with the gods cruelly avenged him, the king’s wife gave birth to the Minotaur — a bull Mino, and then built the Labyrinth.
Already at the Achaeans on the island to worship Zeus laby whose attributes were the bull and the double-edged ax, like the fact that archaeologists have found at Knossos.
But the maze is not only connected to the Greek tradition. Herodotus described the labyrinth of Egypt, mortuary temple of one of the Pharaohs built several centuries before the Cretan. According to Herodotus, it consisted of three thousand rooms. Labyrinths and called spiral of stones laid on the ground. They are spread all over the world since ancient times. So far in Siberia in such labyrinths, dancing, go to shamans, performing their ritual. Gradually moving from the outside to the center line, as if they part with the realities of the world. The circular movement is getting faster and faster, and, coming to the middle, the shaman is a special, sacred space. So affects the labyrinth plane. Knossos, we call the space where the movement occurs in the plane floor, in the transitions between them, around light wells. Tracks woven into three-dimensional pattern, a mysterious, unknown to us, as he Knossos.