Cities of Crete

Two different formations

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As the locations where the early cities rose on, their belief systems through those regions, the qualities of the earth differ, expectedly it would impress the use of spaces and eventually the architectural understanding of civilizations.

Minoans of Crete designed their cities through the integration of structures with natural organisms. There were no king of Knossos and the peace was dominated so there existed no sign of structures showing social differences. The understanding of peaceful life, surrounding hilltops and the effect of shipping trade pushed the construction of defensive walls into the background. Undoubtedly, the most influential contribution of Minoans was the Labyrinth  with it’s indirect circulations, storage areas like those of Mesopotamian cultures temples and so on. Since the architecture of Knossos was integrated with nature the Labyrinth’s maze-like streets resembles me the indirect passageways naturally occurred in uneven terrains, so we may claim that the source of this idea may be the nature of Crete itself.  The houses of Minoans were small and contiguous like those of Mesopotamia however the differing with their non-axial streets and configuration of the whole city relating itself to the uneven topographic features of the land.

Unlike Minoans, design of structures of the later civilization Mycenaeans was based on military needs thus the positioning of their cities around hilltops was also based on the same aim. The defensive walls of the city ensured by cyclopean walls in other words, irregularly placed giant stones. Mycenaeans were a warrior society so the non-functional design of spaces or indirect passageways like those of Labyrinth were not really suitable for them. For this aim, they focused on fortification of the cities and built their cities through that purposes which ended up with having tiny, windowless houses deprived of pleasure and any integration to natural elements.

Author: Nilay Karaköy

Hi everyone! This is Nilay Karaköy, a freshman arcitecture student in TED University. I am deeply into photography, drawing, watercolor, cooking and K-drama

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