The Museums of Heraklion
Two of Crete's finest museums are located in Heraklion.
The Archaeological Museum
houses archaeological finds from all over Crete. Pride of place goes to the treasures of the earliest European civilization, the Minoan
, which can be admired here in all its historical continuity. The museum was built between 1937 and 1940, to designs by P. Karantinos.
The Historical Museum of Crete
houses the Medieval and Renaissance Collection which contains the only two paintings on Crete by El Greco
(Domenikos Theotokopoulos): View of Mount Sinai and the Monastery (1570) and The Baptism Of Christ (1567).
Museum of Icons and Heirlooms
The Museum of the Holy Archbishopric of Crete is housed in the Church of Agia Aikaterini (Saint Catherine), which (other than its elegant 17th century entrance-way) dates back to the 15th century. During Venetian rule it served as a monastery chapel.
Natural History Museum of Crete
The museum, which functions under the auspices of the University of Crete, was founded in 1980 with the aim of researching and managing the natural environment, as well as educating and increasing the awareness of Cretans and visitors.