The Minoan palace of Knossos
At least four-thousand five-hundred years ago, men and women were first beginning to think about the good life. An architectural example of this is the 'Minoan' Palace at Knossos, Crete -- the 'labyrinth' of myth. Not built as a fortification from which deence was to be had -- as so many earlier or contemporary buildings had been and were to be for centuries -- Minos' palace was built arguably as a 'palace of pleasure' with decorations to match, with great courts open to light and air, and with other shaded 'lustral courts' featuring basins full of sparkling waters and sanitary plumbing, and all spilling out to great public areas and to vast and fragrant gardens.
If archaeologist Arthur Evans theories and reconstruction (shown here) was correct, the palace at Knossos was the world's first building giving itself over to absolute pleasure -- and first built and populated over four-and-a-half thousand years ago.