Phaistos Queen’s Apartments

The Apartment of the Queen

Phaistos Queen’s Apartments in the north wing of the palace

A narrow corridor leads to the North Wing of the palace, corresponding to the private residence of the royal family. Left of the corridor, on a lower level, is a beautiful room known as the “Queen’s Apartment”.

The room is lit by a lightwell, a popular feature of Minoan architecture. The lightwell was typically placed at the side of the room, but in the case of the Queen’s Apartment it is, unusually, set in the middle. The lightwell has an open roof and a rectangular basin built in the floor, reminiscent of the later atrium.

Queen's apartment in Phaistos

Of particular interest is the west part of the Queen’s Apartment, where the floor and walls retain their original alabaster paneling and the walls are decorated with frescoes of plant motifs.

Minoan palaces were multi-storey buildings, which explains the existence of a staircase leading to the upper floors (which have not been restored) of the Palace.

map of Phaistos archaeological site

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