Ancient Gortys


Updated 04.12.2012

Gortys, also known as Gortyn or Gortyna, was the ancient
capitol of Crete, ruling large areas around the island as far
as to Africa. During its blossoming there were many city
states in Crete, which were at times at war with each other
as well as against common outside enemies.

Gortys is located by a main road and is easy to find

   Gortys is an impressive attraction, with a lot of buildings and city structures in the olive tree groves to be explored. In the center of the area are the Odean theatre, ruins of the Church of Titus – the first bishop of Crete appointed by Paul the Apostle – and The Law Code of Gortys which is the oldest known law text in Europe.

   The area of this site is very large and extends to the south to the other side of the main road, where there are a lot of ruined buildings in the olive grove. The entrance and the service facilities for the visitors have been under repair and are just about finished.

The auditorium of the Odeon amphitheatre

Ruins of the Church of Titus. Titus was the first bishop of Crete, mentioned also in The New Testament. The basilica is dated around 500-600 AD

The oldest law code in Europe. The stones were found inside an old mill in 1884, where they had been used as construction material. Part of the stones and codes are still missing.

The law code has been translated and interpreted almost entirely, the
English version and background info is available in the book The Law
Code of Gortyna by R.F. Willet, published by Walter de Gruyter in 1967
(90 pages, ISBN 3110051761).

After the mythology, the name of Europe continent originated here.

Additional Information:

Book a HOTEL near Gortys.

Coordinates for Gortys: 35° 3’45.30″N 24°56’50.12″E