Knossos, South Propylaeum
The splendid South Propylaeum was the South Entrance to the minoan palace of Knossos. What we see today is Evans’ reconstruction. The palace was built with particular care of stone with mud mortar. The inside of the walls was covered with worked white gypsum. The gypsum crystals sparkled in the light, giving an impression of luxury and beauty. The outer surfaces of the walls were covered with six or seven layers of plaster.
The ground-floor walls were thicker and the rooms smaller, with pillars supporting the superstructure. According to Evans, the palace was three to five storeys high. On the upper floors, the pillars were replaced by columns. Wood was also used extensively.
The Minoan Fresco of the Procession
We stand still for a while to admire the copy of the Fresco of the Procession. It is impressive that the original Minoan frescoes still retain their vivid colours 4,000 years after they were painted.
The Minoans painted with plant dyes on the damp plaster. This ensured that the dye soaked into the plaster, producing permanent, indelible colours. This technique is called fresco painting and was used in byzantine churches thousands of years later.
Knossos map : South Propylaeum = No 03