Archanes is a prosperous village and has about 4000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by vineyards which produce the nice red and white Rosaki table grapes. The village is situated at the foot of the mountain of Jouchtas.
Maybe this is where in the Minoan age, also called the bronze age which was believed to be the first civilization in Europe, the road from the palace of Knossos, North from here, went to the more South situated palace of Festos. In this municipality a graveyard, a Minoan temple and a small palace were excavated. Archanes was therefore already an important settlement in that age.
Valuable things were found here. They found jewellery, pottery and bronze weaponry. These finds are now displayed at the archaelogical museum in Herklion. Extraordinary find was the ring with the all seeing goddess.
The Minoan villa, also called the ‘megegron’, was most likely the residence of a local authority. The villa was built in 1580 before Christ and was destroyed 30 years later by an earthquake.
Besides the finds from the palace, also finds from the neocropoli Fourni and the temple of Anemosfila are displayed at the museum. The neocropoli Fourni was a Minoan graveyard about 2400 and 1200 before Christ. In this age the dead were buried in tombed graves. The size of the graveyard, the largest on Crete, indicates that Archanes was an important city. You will soon pass a sign that leads to the graveyard.
The temple of Anemosfila is also called ‘the caves of the wind’, because the wind, at the foot of the Jouchtas, has free play. In the central room of the temple stood a statue of divinity. According to the excavating team, the first human sacrifice by the Minoans took place in the room next to it.
Archanes also has a monument from the 20th century. The concept ‘the school’ of Ano Archanes is an example of a building style that was used in the first period of the independant Cretan state. It concerns a pie-shaped building of two stories and a partly wooden roof construction.