The Most Preserved Minoan City in Crete


Updated 05.12.2012

    The Minoan town in Gournia was publicised after 1901
when George Perakis took Harriet Boyd, an American
archaeologist, to the ruins of the ancient town.
Today Gournia is known as one of the best preserved
Minoan sites. Gournia was named after the stony washing
pools (gournia) found in the ruins of town dwellings.
Harriet Boyd saw the importance of the ruins and began
the excavations revealing the central buildings and streets.

Panoramic photo from the upper part of the hill to north.

Panoramic photo from the hill.


What is noteworthy about Gournia is how densely the town was built

nd how relatively small and narrow houses, corridors, doorways and streets were. The town is like a miniature of a real town, with everything apart from the essential structures missing, there’s nothing ‘extra’ in the town.

Gournia was built in 1600-1500 BC

   First constructions in the area date back further to around 2000 BC. The town was destroyed in 1450 BC and re-built in 1375-1200 BC by the Mycenaean people. Even though the area of the town revealed by the excavations is only a part of the ancient town, among Crete’s Minoan towns it does give the best idea about what a town during the Bronze Age looked and felt like.

What is still visible of the ancient town are the stony streets and the foundations of the buildings

   The upper levels made of adobe and wood have been ruined and destroyed. The area of the town was about four hectares, and there were about 1000 inhabitants in the town. The harbor of the town was located in the nearby bay.

Additional Information:

Book a HOTEL near Gournia.

Coordinates for Gournia: 35° 6’34.17″N 25°47’34.22″E