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Reference: RB 29

Village / Town: Knossos ( view village / town information )
Area Colour: Grey
Size of Plot: 4000
Status: Available
Type: Habitable
Bedrooms: 5
Garden: Yes
Pool: No
Distance from Sea: 5 km

Flexible price according to size of land sold with buildings!

Set on a gentle slope just above the renowned archaeological site of Knossos. A unique family property left to the present owner by his grandfather. Owner sells because he does not want to see this “one off” property deteriorate as it is in need of tender loving care. Set in 4.000 square metres of class A protected archaeological area with outstanding views over Knossos to Heraklion and the sea. Two separate houses. The larger house (106.17 m2) on lower level is in poor condition with some cracks and in serious need of renovation both cosmetic and otherwise, this consists of bathroom, two bedrooms, living room and kitchen, large front courtyard and planting around and huge panoramic fields of mature trees spreading out before you. Plus nice entrance and parking area. Behind this is a small house (38.78) on two levels with steps at the side of the property leading to flat area for parking and the front of the house – with a front courtyard where two rooms are positioned. Stairs inside lead down to a kitchen and bathroom. This house is in better condition. Nowadays the law does not allow any building in class A archaeological areas, so this is a house for lovers of history and archaeology who wish for complete privacy - perhaps the house could be used to house research students coming to Knossos to study, or just as a small guest house for lovers of the past and archaeology, if not just for family use. It deserves to be lovingly restored.

Some Background to this Property: The building and the surrounding land was bought by Manolis Akouminakis, the grandfather of the present owner in the early 1900’s. Manolis had joined the team of Sir Arthur Evans on the excavation of Knossos, rising swiftly to be the archaeologist’s right hand man and later first curator of the museum in Heraklion. The site overlooks the palace and it was a handy vantage point for Manolis and his growing family. Later they moved next door to the Villa Ariadne (Evans’ HQ) and the buildings were used as accommodation by some of the field workers. There is a family story that Manolis has a vivid dream one night while staying in his old home of an ancient church on the high ground to the immediate North. Manolis got up the following morning and went to the spot which he recognized from his dream and began to excavate. He unearthed what has been subsequently dated as one of the earliest Christian churches on Crete: Agia Paraskevi, complete with grotto and early frescoes. Now, every year, on the Saint’s birthday, a large following visit the site to worship. The church is visible from the front terrace of the villa, nestling in a gully on the overlooking range of hills to the north. A decade later these hills were the location of the world’s largest ever parachute action when the Germans invaded during World War Two. By a curious twist Manolis died in a hail of machine gunfire just metres from the church he discovered, when, like many of the locals he had attempted to drive away the invaders in a brave but forlorn attempt of resistance. A day later, his daughter Phyllia, found his body and in a rushed service, buried him in the ground of the church where he lies to this day. For the past twenty years the house has been a holiday home for the family as well as a source of fine wine from the large vineyard which was tended before the old vines were finally dug up (although some remain) and more easy to manage olive trees planted in their place. The house offers a calm and detached view of the bustling site of the palace below. The thick stone walls have witnessed a great many historical events over the last 100 years.

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