Maintenance of Knossos and other Minoan Sites -- Knossos is visited by more than a million people a year. This most spectacular Minoan site and all others are overseen by an 'ephor' (director) of prehistoric and classical antiquities in Central Crete who is responsible for maintaining the sites, managing the museum in Heraklion, and in issuing permits to those building near the sites before any construction is done. Excavations must also be carried out before any construction near the sites begins.
The fame of the Knossos site has brought wealth to Crete, but also threats to it from developers and from sheer weathering. Sir Arthur Evans, who most likely could see what would happen in decades to come with the excavation of this remarkable site, purchased not only the palace grounds, but surrounding land as well to keep it free of new buildings. He even landscaped those areas.
Read more about this far-sighted, visionary man dedicated to the preservation of Knossos in Sir Arthur Evans and the Minoans: The Archaeology of Myth and Ideals by Sandy MacGillivray. New York: Strauss and Giroux.
The Royal Road to the north of the complex is claimed to be the oldest road in Europe. At one time it may have traversed the island, but ends now after a three hundred meters.
Other structures on the site include The Little Palace (west of main palace); House of the Frescoes (northwest of main palace), a mansion with fine wall decorations; The Royal Villa (northeast of the main palace), possibly the residence of high priests or aristocrats; the Caravanserai (south of main palace), possibly a reception hall and hospice; Temple Tomb (also south of main palace) and connected to the House of the High Priest, the latter containing a stone altar with double axes which frame it; The Unexplored Mansion (northwest of the main palace); a private structure with storerooms; The South Mansion (south of the main palace); another private house, this one with three floors; and the Villa of Dionysus-a private house from Roman times with mosaics of Dionysus. House obviously used in Dionysian cult.