Knossos North Entrance, Customs House, Theater, Royal Road

North Entrance to Knossos Palace

The North Propylaeum is the North Entrance to the Palace of Knossos and it is located at the end of the road from the harbour. The Propylaeum framed the entrance ramp.

Knossos North Entrance

Evans reconstructed the North Entrance and decorated it with the “Bull” fresco. Thousands of years ago, visitors arriving by sea entered Knossos by the North Propylaeum. We can see two staircases, one wider than the other.

Knossos North Entrance to the Palace

When the last palace was built, it was decided to build a smaller entrance corridor for security reasons. That was when the ramp we see today was constructed.

Map of Knossos Palace

North Entrance = No 13

Customs House, Theatre and Royal Road = No 14

map of Knossos Palace

Customs House and North Side of Palace

north section of knossos
The Palace and the “Customs House” viewed from the north

The Customs House contained a lustral basin surrounded by columns. Evans believed that, since the building was at the end of the road leading from the harbour to the palace, it was used as a customs house.

The Theatre and the Royal Road

The square Theatre lies north of the Palace of Knossos, in front of the north magazines. Various enactments, probably religious in nature, may have been held here. The theatre steps seated 400 people.


The Royal Road leads to the Little Palace, now closed to the public. This lay in the aristocratic neighbourhood of the town of Knossos and may have housed members of the royal family. The Little Palace was as luxurious as the large palace and served the same purpose, but was constructed on a smaller scale. Along the Royal Road were the luxury homes of the Knossos elite.

Here we come to the end of our tour of the Minoan Palace of Knossos. The following two monuments, Caravan Serai and the Royal Tomb, are located outside the archaeological site of Knossos and they are closed to the public. The same applies to Villa Ariadne, the residence of Sir Arthur Evans.

However, no tour is complete without a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, where all the finds from Evans’ and subsequent excavations are held.

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