Festos Palace in Crete

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Festos Palace in Crete

The archaeological site of Festos is less famous than that of Knossos due to the lack of ancient legends that concern the city. Despite this, the archaeological excavations of this area of Crete have a considerable relevance for archaeology and knowledge of the Minoan civilization.

The town is located in the southern part of the island, and is at the centre of a very fertile area, in fact the river Geropotamos flows here, and it is near the sea. The maritime trade was important for the links with Egypt and the port that served the city of Festos was in Matala, only 9 km to the southwest of the city. Matala then became famous in the 70’s because of the presence of numerous groups of hippies who lived in caves around the small bay.

Even in Festos, as in Crosso, several palaces were built and most of them surrounded a central courtyard. Today you can admire the monumental staircase, the entrance of the palace of the sixteenth century BC, while the second building built around 1400 BC was divided into terraces that opened onto the central courtyard. The decline of Festos began in Hellenistic period ending with the conquest by the Gortynian people.

Festos also has its share of legend with the discovery in this site of the Festos Disk which is currently preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

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