Castles of Greece


Agioi Deka, Gortyna, Herakleion,Crete

Acropolis of Gortyna

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Acropolis of Gortyna
At the site of anct. Gortyna between villages Ampelouzo and Agioi Deka in Crete
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Municipality > Town:
City of Gortyna
• Agioi Deka
Elevation ≈ 245 m 
(Relative Height≈40 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
Mostly in the 7th cent.  
Castle Type   Condition
Ancient Castle  
Rather Poor

Gortyna is one of the most important archaelogical sites in Crete. It is located 45 km south of Heraclion and covers a large area on both sides of the road from the village Agioi Deka to the town of Moires.

Part of the ancient city is its acropolis which was in use until the Byzantine period and the Arab occupation in the 9th century.


Gortyna was inhabited since 3000 BC. In the Mionoan period, it was one of the most important cities and after the 3rd century BC, it became more important than Phaestus.

In the Roman period it was the capital of Crete and remained the capital of Byzantine Crete as well.

The ruins of the fortifications that we observe today are the remains of a reconstruction effort in the 7th century to deal with the threat of the Saracen pirates.

Gortyna was captured by the Arabs in 828 AD (like the rest of Crete) and that was the end of the city.


  • Website CretanBeaches - Roman Gortyna (or Gortys)
  • Nikos M.Gigourtakis , Monograph in the History Department of the University of Crete, “Byzantine fortifications in Crete in the 2nd Byzantine period (961-1204)”, Rethymno 2004

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