Gortyn Archaeological Site

Decipher the Gortyn Code!

Archaeological Sites Gortyn Archaeological Site

Gortyn or Gortyna is an archaeological site in the valley of Messara 45 km south of Heraklion city. Artifacts have been found dating back to 7000 BC although Gortyn rose to power in the Hellenistic era taking dominance of the island following the destruction of neighboring Phaistos.

The main monuments in Gortyn is the nicely preserved theater build by the Romans in 2nd century AD. Behind the theater can be seen the most important discovery of Gortyn and one of the most important in all of Greece, the Gortyn Code, the ancient law of the city. The Gortyn Code is inscribed on stone and to this day is the oldest and most complete ancient Greek law.

St. Titus the apostle built on this site the first Christian church in Crete. The remains of the cathedral still stand today.

Tip: The cathedral is undergoing restoration and a large part of the site is closed to the public.

Entrance Fee: Full ticket 6 euro, reduced 3 euro.

Opening Times: Daily 08:00 – 18:00


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