Located 350 meters west of the Venetian Harbor of Heraklion on Sofokli Venezelou Street, the Heraklion Historical Museum is housed in a beautiful, 3-story mustard-colored neoclassical building built in 1903 and donated to the Society of Cretan Historical Studies as a museum space in 1953 b the Society of Cretan Studies.

The museum offers an overview of Cretan history from the early Byzantine era up to the present time.  Its focus, and original goal, was to preserve various kinds of material from the medieval and modern eras of Cretan history.

Historical Museum of Crete
Historical Museum of Crete

Among the exhibits in its 22 rooms, there is an overview of Cretan history using small exhibits. The main and biggest exhibit is that model of Heraklion about the time of the Ottoman siege in the middle 1600's. Lasting 21 years, this was the longest siege in history.

How the city lasted 21 years is more easily understood looking at the scale model of Heraklion (known as Candia at that time) as it looked in 1645. The houses all have extensive back yards which were used to grow crops, plus a number of open fields which were also cultivated. Water came from the city's 1200 wells and 273 water catchment tanks which collected the winter rains.

Historical Museum of Crete
Historical Museum of Crete

Other rooms have a numismatic (coins and currency) collection, a reconstruction of a typical Cretan house interior, manuscripts, sculptures, and paintings, included 2 by El Greco.


  • Address: 27, Sofokli Venizelou Ave. 7, Lysimachou Kalokerinou St. 712 02 Heraklion, Crete
  • Tel: (++30) 2810 283219, 288708
  • Site: www.historical-museum.gr 
  • Summer Opening Hours (April - October): Monday - Saturday, 09.00-17.00 (Sundays & Public Holidays - Closed)
  • Winter Opening Hours (November - March): Monday - Saturday, 09.00-15.30 (Sundays & Public Holidays Closed)
  • Admission: Adults - 5€, Pupils and students (on production of ID), Senior citizens - € 3,00, Children 12 and under - Admission free.