Kalispera Greece Crete.

The ancient city of Gortyn in Crete

Just west of Agii Deka, south of Zaros, lies the ancient city of Gortys, or Gortyn as it is also known. The city was initially a Minoan city, but is today mostly famous for being the Romans' capital in Crete. The city was destroyed in the 9th century AD.

Before I came to Gortys, I had read about the site and its history, and I really looked forward to see Gortys in reality. But I was disappointed, there was not much to see, I think, and it was not worth the entrance of 4 €.

 

The Cathedral of Agios Titos in Gortyn. Crete.

The Cathedral of Agios Titos in Gortyn.

 

 

What I liked was the remains of the church of Agios Titos from the 7th century AD, the remains of the theatre Odeon where the law code of Gortyn was discovered in 1884, which is the oldest and best-preserved law code (the texts remain) from ancient Greek, as well as the nice collection of antique statues next to the small cafe. It costs nothing to see the statues.


Some of the statues in Gortyn. Crete.

Some of the statues in Gortyn.

 

The area is quite large and many of the ancient ruins are scattered outside the fenced excavation area (which is small), and it costs nothing to go to see. Among other things there is an olive tree that is said to be around 1,800 years old. The age has come to light from the fact that there is an antique pillar firmly rooted in the tree. Imagine how much the tree has been witnessed, and think if it could speak. The olive tree grows close to the main road, on the opposite side of the parking area.

 

The theatre Odeon in Crete where the law code of Gortyn was discovered in 1884.

The theatre Odeon where the law code of Gortyn was discovered in 1884.

 

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