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  3. Gortyna


Photo © copepodo. View all images in our Gortyna Photo Gallery.
Photo © Nick Newell.
Photo © HolyLandPhotos.
Photo © HolyLandPhotos.
Photo © HolyLandPhotos.

Gortyna(also known as Gortyn or Gortys) in southern central Crete was a major Roman city and later became the seat of the first Christian bishop of Crete.

Greco-Roman Gortyna

Gortyna was the chief city of Crete during the Roman period. Its city walls were nearly 6 miles long and its population may have reached 100,000 people.

According to Greek legend, Zeus married Europa under the plane tree in Gortyna; thus this tree was permitted to remain forever green.

The most important ancient site in Gortyna is the ruins of the Temple of Pythian Apollo. The rectangular outline of the sanctuary and most of the altar remain.

Other ancient Greek sites of interest in Gortyna include the Temple of Isis and Serapis and the Odeon, where archaeologists found the famous law code of Gortys (500 BC).

Christian Gortyna

St. Titus, a fellow-worker with the Apostle Paul, preached the Christian Gospel in Crete (Titus 1:5), and the Basilica of St. Titus (Agios Titos) in Gortyna marks the traditional site of his martyrdom.

The Basilica of St. Titus represents the best remaining example of an early Christian basilica in Greece. The 6th- and 7th-century basilica was destroyed by the Arabs in 824 and now lies in ruins, but some of the apse and transept remain.

Quick Facts on Gortyna

Site Information
Names:Gortyn; Gortyna; Gortys
Categories:Biblical Sites; Churches
Faiths:Ancient Roman; Christianity
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:35.062605° N, 24.946786° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Gortyna

Below is a location map and aerial view of Gortyna. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. Personal visit (March 2000).
  2. Gortyna - Zeus of Crete Travel Guide for Crete
  3. Gortyn - Hellenic Ministry of Culture
  4. The archaeological site of Gortys in Crete - Explore Crete
  5. Gortyna – Holy Land Photos
  6. Gortyn - Crete Island Guide
  7. Odion and Code of Gortyn - Crete TOURnet
  8. Why Go to Gorytn? - About.com
  9. The Law Code of Gortyn - Ancient History Sourcebook

More Information

Article Info

Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:06/27/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/gortyna/greece/gortyna">Gortyna</a>