Museums Monuments – Archaeological Sites
The island of Crete has a thousand- year-old history during which thousands of years, many enemies tried to conquer it but failed. Therefore, there are countless monuments- witnesses to all the events having taken place on the island and, of course many in the Platanias area. Some of the most significant ones are :
Museum of the Nazi Occupation ; situated under the church of Agios Demetrios in Upper Platanias village, it’s a memorial worth visiting in order to get the feeling of all the hardships the locals went through at the time. It was first built as a shelter and was recently reconstructed in order to be turned into a museum of the Nazi atrocities during the war and the Occupation.
Ancient Diktynna : an ancient temple dedicated to a Cretan goddess “Vritomartis” the counterpart of the Roman goddess Diana or the Greek Artemis. All that can be seen on the spot today are the remains of the temple as well as another Christian temple of St George- both were destroyed during attacks by pirates. However, there still exists a relatively secluded beach ideal for swimming and relaxing.
A Tomb of the late Minoan Era : situated in Maleme village, this tomb proves how old the Cretan civilization is. All findings were taken and are kept for safety in the Archaeological Museum of Hania.
The German Military Cemetery in Maleme : a monument of the more recent history of the land, on the top of a hill overlooking the Cretan Sea, is the burial ground of the German paratroopers and soldiers killed during the invasion and occupation of the island by the Nazis in May 1941 and all during World War II.
The Fisheries Museum : located in Kolymbari village the Museum hosts collections of sea life specimens in an attempt to keep the fishing tradition of the village alive and to highlight the riches of the local sea bed . It also hosts exhibitions of contemporary Art in summer. Open from May to October, Wednesday to Sunday, 18.00 – 21.00. Free entrance.
“Olive and Olive Oil Factory” : a folklore museum located in Vatolakkos village which developed from a private collection and an old olive press, belonging to the Dermitzakis Family , into a folklore museum hosting collections of equipment, clothes and tools demonstrating the local rural life style of the Cretan countryside many years ago.
Museum of Contemporary Art – Olive Press: an old and deteriorating oil factory located in Dromonero village has been turned into a museum frequently hosting exhibitions of contemporary Art , attracting hundreds of local and foreign visitors. Opening hours: from March to November, Sundays 11.00 am – 21.00 pm. Free entrance.
Web site: www.olivepress.eu
Monumental Olive-Tree in Vouves & Olive-Tree Museum in Vouves village : Privileged to have been set up right next to the “Monumental Olive Tree” aged at least 3500 years, both the tree and the museum attract thousands of visitors every year from all over the world. Small branches have been cut from this ancient olive tree on the occasion of the 2004 , 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games for the crowning of the athletes who won in each game, as it was customary to do in the Olympics in ancient Greece. The museum now hosts a collection of tools and equipment used in the past for the cultivation of the fields , the picking of the olive crop, the pressing of the olives for the production of oil, as well as the storage of this valuable product . It clearly shows the evolution in the history of olive growing and olive oil producing on the island of Crete from the very distant past till now.
Opening hours: April to October, daily 10.00 am -19.00 pm. Free entrance. Web site: www.olivemuseumvouves.com
The Cretan Herbs Museum : the Orthodox Academy of Crete in Kolymbari hosts a unique collection of 9000 specimens of Cretan herbs . The museum is located right next to the Academy and the collection was donated to the museum by a French scientist who spent all his life studying the Cretan flora and collecting these specimens. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to14.00 pm. Free entrance
Information Center of the National Park of the Lefka Ori in Omalos : situated at the entrance of the Samaria Gorge , it is actually a museum of Natural History, providing its visitors with information on the fauna and flora of the Gorge and the surrounding area.
People’s Library in Palaia Roumata
The library was founded in 1944, in the midst of World War II, having emerged from the love of the people of the village for culture and civilisation. It is housed in a beautiful traditional building at the village’s central square. The library has a book-lending section, a permanent collection of contemporary art on the topic of Reading & Writing and a room dedicated to children’s creativity. The library also organises soirées of Art & Culture.