Holiday at Hotel Aquila Porto Rethymnon, Crete            Tuesday 1st May - Tuesday 8th May 2012   

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Visit to Gortyn historic site

Gortyn or Gortys (spelling of place names in Roman script can vary considerably) was probably settled in the Minoan period but flourished during the later period of the Dorian Greeks. After the Roman conquest of Crete in 65BC Gortys became the capital or the Roman province of Crete and Cyrene (modern Libya). It continued to flourish as an important Byzantine imperial hub until it was sacked by the Saracens in the late 7th century AD and was finally abandoned in 824AD. The city was large - over 300,000 inhabitants at its height - and covered a wide area in the valley. Most of it is now covered by olive groves and bits of ruin can be seen if you wander through the trees. The enclosed archaeological site is only a very small part of the original city. The site entrance is dominated by the triple apse of the ruined 6th century Basilica of Agios Titos. Further in is the remains of a small theatre or Odeion. A reconstructed ambulatory at the rear of the Odeion contains the remnants of the stone tablets incised with the Law Code dated to the Dorian period of about 500BC. Portions of the tablets were carried off to other museums by foreign antiquarians.

Ancient Olive Tree

This olive tree is believed to be about 1600 years old and encloses a section of a Roman column.

Agioi Deka Church

This 13th century Byzantine church stands where 10 Cretan Christians were martyred by the troops of Emperor Decius in 250AD.

Elaine with philosopher

very large statue of seated philosopher

Edwin with philosopher

Basilica of Agios Titos

The altar end of the basilica has survived to roof height. The rest of the building is in ruins to floor level.

Roman Odeion

Small theatre

Stone slabs inscribed with the Law Code

The stone slabs are set into the rear wall of the ambulatory and are incised in greek with the laws on marriage, criminal justice, property rights, etc.