The name "Archanes" has an Indi-European root, it appears from the 5th century BC in singular (Archana) and is related to the water. This is one of the most important archaeological sites in Crete, whose history goes back centuries. In the same area where today Archanes town is built, back in years a flourishing Minoan city existed. The place was already inhabited since the Neolithic period (6000 BC), while the heyday of arrived between 2500 and 1400 BC. As revealed by the archaeological studies, during the period when the great palace at Knossos, Phaistos and Malia were built, a magnificent palace in Archanes was built too.
In the early 20th century an archaeological interest in Archanes began when D. Evans, based on archaeological finds, theorized the existence of a summer palace of the kings of Knossos in Archanes. The theory of Evans proved in 1964, when J. Sakellarakis through excavations, brought into light this palace in Tourkogeitonia of Archanes. The archaeological interest in the region is enhanced by locating the cemetery at Fourni in 1965, the excavation of the mansion in Vathipetro by Sp. Marinatos in 1957, the disclosure of Minoan temple at Anemospilia and the sanctuary on top of Youchtas Mountain.
In later years, Archanes played a decisive role in the course of the island, coordinating the Cretan revolutions of 1866 and 1897. Today, Archanes is a typical traditional village, full of color and clean neighborhoods, with houses restored with talent, taste, and above all, by respecting the tradition of the place. In addition, the village has been honored in 2001 with the Gold Environmental Prize "Eleftherios Platakis” of the University of Crete for the interventions that have been made for the protection and enhancement of both the natural and the architectural environment.
At the entrance of the village what impresses us the most is the imposing neoclassical where the Environmental Education Centre is housed. In the same building, higher education schools, the Open University and other services are housed as well.
Further down, we will light a candle in the whitewashed church of Panagia (Mother of God) of Archanes with its tall steeple.
Walking the cobblestone streets of the village with the typical lantern, you will probably get lost in the atmospheric neighborhoods with their well-preserved houses, painted in cheerful colors, many with flower gardens.
In these streets you will find Byzantine churches and the Folklore Museum, housed in a restored mansion which gives us a first impression of a traditional Archanes home and the everyday life within it. Here we will find good local wine, raki, molasses, olives, sweets, homemade pasta, etc. made by local women with art and passion for their place.
Truly remarkable is the Archaeological Museum of Archanes with archaeological finds that came to light during excavations in the region but also in the village. The archaeological collection was created in 1993 on the initiative of the archaeologists John and Efi Sakellaraki (open daily 08.30 - 15.00, except Tuesday. Tel. +30 2810 752712).
In the southeastern district of the village you will visit the sculpture workshop of Manolis Tsompanakis to admire the original works of wood and reinforced concrete.
Last but not least, there are many important archaeological sites, such as Vathipetro (where the first wine press was found, in 1600 BC) and the Minoan Cemetery at Fourni. With a car or on foot you can reach the top of Youchtas mountain, where Christ the Master (1443 AD) is located, a picturesque whitewashed church. According to tradition, it was built by a sailor who was shipwrecked in the Cretan sea. While the sailor was shipwrecked, he was watching the top of Youchtas mountain from the sea and made a vow that if he survived, he would make a church over there. From up there the panoramic view from both sides of the mountain is breathtaking! From the Christ the Master begins the path: Sanctuary Peak - Alonaki - Anemospilia.
From ancient times to today, Archanes village is considered one of the most important wine growing regions of Crete. Here grow the famous "rozakia” grapes. These grapes produce the famous wine of Archanes. Archanes also produce an excellent olive oil.
Archanes is one of most beautiful traditional villages of Crete, located 15 km. south of Heraklion, with 5,500 inhabitants. It has won international awards and his vines produce fine Cretan wine. Archanes unroll the stately beauty at an altitude of 400 m., with its silver gray olive trees and vineyards, from which the best wine of the island is produced. Archanes inhabitants are proud, hospitable and hardworking, with great love for their land. And this is a feeling you get immediately.
Nearby Villa Archanes
15 min. drive to the International Airport N Kazantzakis
15 min. drive to the Heraklion Port
10 min. drive to the Knossos
15 min. drive to the Archeological Museum of Heraklion
10 min. drive to the Venizelio General Hospital
20 min. drive to the "Thalasso by Aegeo Spas" Full Service Spa Center
25 min. drive to the Mesogeios Nephrology Center
Enjoy many interesting sport, cultural, environmental activities around Archanes!
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