Y. Kato Zakros Location
8 km away from Zakros is laying the magnificent bay of Kato zakros.The breathtaking view of KatoZakros from the road is the most photographed picture in the eastern Crete. But the beaty and the atmosphere of the area can’t be given from any photographie.
The brown grey colours of the rocky hills are mixed with the green of the valley and the blue of the sea. The fishing boats are supplying fresh fish to the 4 taverns at the coast during the summer. There are some small but beatifull apartments and rooms in the valley and by the sea where the visitor can relax.
The major attraction of Kato Zakros is the MINOAN PALACE. The Minoan palace at Kato Zakros is the forth interms of size among the Minoan palaces.It was located at an advantageus strategic position at aproteched bay and was the centre of commercial exchange with the countries of the East,as is indicated by the excavation finds(elephants’ tusks,faience,copper etc.).
It has two main building phases:the old palace was build in c.1900 B.C and the new one in c.1600B.C, but was destroyed in 1450 B.C along with the other centers of Minoan Crete.the palace was the surrounded by the town.After its destruction,it was not rebuilt and the site was used only for cultivation. Burialy have been uncovered inside caves on the slopes of the Dead’s Gorge as the gorge that stretches from Zakros to Kato Zakros is called. The palace and its annexes cover a total area of move than 8000 sq.m.It is estimated that in this area there were around 300 compartments-inclunding the upper storeys-of various functions.The palace follows the basic plan of all Minoan Palaces,with the main entrance of the east side,a second gate was located on the N.E side atr the end of a stone pavedroad which came from the harbour.
A stepper corridor led down to the NE gate and from there to the central court(measuring 360m) This court was atually the nucleus of the building and the place where religious ceremonies took place. It was surrounded by magnificent facades and porticos with columns-pillars which supported verandas, while at the NW corner there was a built altar.
The west wing was devoted to religious activity. Further to the west is the archive roo which contained clay Linear A tablets in boxes arranged an clayshelves.In the depositories of the shrine, religious objects were kept in brick compartments.In a later building phase,workshops were added outside the west facade.The east wing included the royal quarters and the administrative centre.
The southwing include a small complex of workshops for the production of perfume oils and small objects of faience, rock crystal etc.in the north wing there is a large staircase leading to the upper floor,the <<magazines of the royal quarters>> a bath complex and a spacious room, accesible from corridor,interpreted as a kitchen which served the banquet hall on the upper storey. More info about it here
Kato Zakros next to the site,is a beatiful little settlement that springs to life betwween March and October. It is one of the most tranquil and friendly places to hang out for vacations in crete. The visitor can do an enjoyable walk from Zakros toKato Zakros through the Dead’s Gorge. This name given because of the cave tombs dotted along the cliffs.The gorge is the last part of E4 the international path which is starting from Portugal and finishing at the beach of Kato Zakros.