About the Roman Capital of CreteThe city of Gortín, also known as Gortis, dates back to the Minoan period and reached its peak during the Roman era, as the capital of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica.
From a small town in the Minoan period, Gortis developed into an important city of Crete. It was so up to the Roman era when it became a member of the Roman Empire and one of the richest cities in Crete and served as the capital of the Roman province on the island. It all ended in the 8th century CE, when it was plundered and destroyed completely, by Arab invaders.
Today it is an archeological site recommended for archeology and history buffs, but less picturesque than the more popular Knossos. Gortis is located in the Mesara Valley, south of Heraklion.
You can learn about the great history of the city of Gortis from the great relics found here. Post-Minoan fortifications, through Agora, Acropolis and the remains of temples to Athena and Apollo. There are dozens of fallen Roman columns alongside ruins of a Byzantine basilica.
Sights to See in GortisThere are many interesting ruins in Gortis. Here is a compiled list to look out for:
The Odeon inscribed with the laws of Gortin - the inscriptions of the famous Gortin laws date back to the 5th century BCE, which Plato spoke of with admiration. They were written in ancient dialects and related to criminal law and marital law.
Pythian - the Egyptian idol mosque of Apollo.
The 2nd century AD Paratorium - the Roman Commissioner's residence in the province.
Nymphaeon - a worship site for nymphs from the 2nd century CE.
No less interesting are the remains of a 16th-century farmhouse, on of the oldest preserved houses.