27 Sofokli Venizelou Str., Heraklion
The Historical Museum of Crete was founded in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies. It is housed in a beautiful neoclassical building that was the home of Minos Kalokerinos and a courtesy of the Kalokerinos family Institute. The museum houses permanent collections of Byzantine ceramics and sculptures, coins, original paintings of the Cretan painter El Greco, religious relics of the Ottoman Period, objects from various Cretan revolutions, portraits of Cretan fighters, documents of the Second World War, personal items of the author Nikos Kazantzakis and an ethnographic collection. At times temporary exhibitions are also hosted.
More specifically, on the ground floor there is the Andreas Kalokairinou room which gives an introduction to the history of the Christian times of Crete with emphasis on the Venetian rule and the Cretan War, the Pottery room, the Early Byzantine Collection with pillar capitals, mosaics, small architectural parts of the Gortyn Basilica, the Late Byzantine Collection of architectural sculptures, and the Venetian Collections of coats of arms, sculptures and inscriptions.
On the first floor there are fragments of Byzantine frescoes, the Numismatic Collection, a Byzantine church with frescoes from the church of Panagia at Kardouliana, collection of icons and relics with prominent icons of the 19th century, by Dominicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and Historical Collection of the Ottoman Rule from the 19th century and the early 20th century.
In the next two levels, the visitor can see the World War II Collection, with documents and objects of the Battle of Crete, the German Occupation and the Resistance, as well as the office of the Cretan Prime Minister of Greece, Emmanouel Tsouderos (1882-1956). On the same floor is the Collection of the author Nikos Kazantzakis with furniture and decoration from his home in Antibes, France. There is also a very interesting Ethnographic Collection with elements from the traditional Cretan House, the traditional production processes and the life cycle of the Cretans of the past centuries.