The Cretan traditional folk architecture

The Cretan traditional folk architecture has its roots in the early history of the island. Anogeia and the most traditional villages of Crete are built on the slopes of the mountains or on the top of the hills in order to be safer from raiders. The settlement was built so densely that - except for the narrow streets - the houses are so near each other that it is easy for one home to communicate with the other. The church was the center of the village and around it, social life was developed. The simplest form of housing was the single room that accommodated and covered all daily operations, where there was the hearth and consequently the kitchen.

A raised wooden loft was used for sleeping, under which there was space for storage. Around that room there were mantels used as seats or beds, while small recesses in the wall served as cupboards. Later the single room was enhanced with the addition of another floor. Then the ground floor was used for storage and housing animals while the first floor met the needs of the family in its everyday life. Gradually, other extra spaces were added and the type of the two – storey houses that often have secondary rooms around the courtyard was introduced. That was the architecture of Anogeia up to the holocaust of the village by the Nazis.

The period after the II World War coincides with the period of the reconstruction of Anogeia. It is the period that the folk house of Anogeia looses its oldest type, uses modern materials and obtains diversity and color while it becomes more extroverted. The elements of transparency, color and extroversion were basic elements of the Minoan architecture. Nowadays Anogeia is a fine example of contemporary folk architecture, with a sense of renewal architectural styles and dynamic constitution of space.