The Minoan mansion of Nirou Chani is located 15 km east of Heraklion, after Amnissos and Kako Oros (mountain) in the area of the modern settlement of Kokkini Chani. It is a great archaeological site where a luxurious Minoan mansion was discovered after an excavation made by Stefanos Xanthoudides in 1918. The building was built in the 16th century BC but, unfortunately, a century later was destroyed by a fire (1490 BC) and then was not inhabited again.
It was a two-story mansion with a view to the sea, holding an area of approximately 1000 m2, having 40 ground floor rooms and two paved courtyards. In one of the courtyards, there was a platform or an altar with three steps and a pair of Horn of Consecration. This courtyard resembles, on a smaller scale, the Knossos’ and Phaistos’ theatres.
Moreover, there are storehouses of altars, in which were found dozens of altars made of clay, and the room of the lamps- the floor of which was decorated with colorful pebbles giving the impression of a mosaic floor. It was named as a Lamp Room because it contained 4 lamps, two of which were pedestalled with a high cylindrical stand. Because of the many ceremonial items, it has been interpreted as the residence of the High Priest.
According to a relatively recent study (2012) concerning its architecture and all the findings (pottery, bronze and stone objects, frescoes etc) located in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, the Minoan Palace of Nirou Chani was a public building that undoubtedly had close relations with Knossos and its wider territory, and the center of the seaside local Minoan settlement, which was located at a short distance, west of the Minoan Palace of Nirou Chani, at the “Agioi Theodoroi” position.
Should you need additional information please visit the relevant page of the Ministry of Culture.