Gortyna ~ famous for Written Laws & Byzantine Basilica

Gortyn (Crete) Travel Blog

 › entry 29 of 38 › view all entries
across the grounds toward the basilica

David and I drove back to the Gortyna site...  We had it located (finally the day before ) and were looking forward to exploring it. 

Gortyna was founded in the 5th century BC.  It's golden days were between the Roman conquest of 67 BC until it's destruction by the Turks in 824 AD.  There was a church that is The Basilica of Aghios Titos the bears the monogram of the emperor on it.  It was built in 550 BC.  It's existance showed Gortyna was important in the Hellentystic, Roman and Christian Crete.   There was also a covered concert hall that was rebuilt during Trajan's reign.  

The most important feature in the site is a huge stone wall inscribed with laws.

gortyna
   It has a nick name of  the "Queen of Inscriptions" and can still be read easily (if you read greek......I do not )  The law are outlining the private and public rights of citizens.  It is the oldest and most complete collection of laws from the Greek past.  Gortyna was the administrative area plus the economic center of Crete during the Roman conquest. 

We arrived early.  We were traveling off season and there was scarcely anyone around.   We paid the admission and went in.....   The remains of the Basilica were beautiful...  The beautiful curved ceiling was exposed to the elements.  There were quite a few birds flying in and out of the structure.  The outer lobby had  a few statues in it.  They were all Roman statues dating from about the second or third century BC.

Law Code of Gortyn
   They were not well preserved and were in different states of deterioration.   We were surprised to see so many pieces of things in the area.  There was a statue that was broken and only the feet were left.  A half buried stone coffin stood against the wall.   A huge boulder had writing on it.   Along the front of the basilica were several fragments of the roof and sides.   

We spoke briefly to a French couple who had been at several sites we visited that week.   They had a guide book and were avid in following the map and layout.   It was nice to see people as dotty as we are about ancient ruins. LOL ... (probably not a compliment to them!)  We were carrying copies of pages from a book we have at the house. 

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across the grounds toward the basi…
across the grounds toward the bas…
gortyna
gortyna
Law Code of Gortyn
Law Code of Gortyn
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Sign
Sign
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD - the oth…
Roman statues 200-300 AD - the ot…
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Roman statues 200-300 AD
Gortyna, Crete
Gortyna, Crete
Inside the right hand half of the …
Inside the right hand half of the…
Bird in the church opening
Bird in the church opening
church window
church window
pieces of the ancient basilica
pieces of the ancient basilica
The sign for the Basilica (It said…
The sign for the Basilica (It sai…
pieces of pillars, basilica...
pieces of pillars, basilica...
the grounds area
the grounds area
grounds of gortyna
grounds of gortyna
Basilica
Basilica
basilica
basilica
basilica
basilica
the cove
the cove
poster
poster
The ceiling
The ceiling
basilica window
basilica window
basilica
basilica
really old, gnarled olive tree
really old, gnarled olive tree
olive tree
olive tree
A sign we saw.
A sign we saw.
gortyna
gortyna
odeum at gortyna
odeum at gortyna
gortyna
gortyna
gortyna
gortyna
gortyna
gortyna
Yikes... its supported but not ve…
Yikes... it's supported but not v…
bottom of a pillar
bottom of a pillar
Great ... another spelling ...
Great ... another spelling ...
Law Code of Gortyn
Law Code of Gortyn
Law Code of Gortyn
Law Code of Gortyn
the code is contained in this hall…
the code is contained in this hal…
supporting the walls...
supporting the walls...
basilica
basilica
Yikes....sarcophacus
Yikes....sarcophacus
stone coffin
stone coffin
basilica
basilica
carvings
carvings
buried carved items
buried carved items
carving details
carving details
carving... waves and sun?
carving... waves and sun?
Foot with a sandal
Foot with a sandal
Gortyna
Gortyna
gortyna carving
gortyna carving
beautiful edging
beautiful edging
A corinthian pillar
A corinthian pillar
carving details
carving details
This inscription carved stone is n…
This inscription carved stone is …
Stone details
Stone details
Stone details
Stone details
the side of the basilica
the side of the basilica
Basilica
Basilica
carving
carving
carvings
carvings
carvings
carvings
part of the basilica
part of the basilica
gortyna
gortyna
gortyna
gortyna
plant - geranium....  why did I ta…
plant - geranium.... why did I t…
small modern fountain
small modern fountain
A pot in the entrance / exit
A pot in the entrance / exit
A pot in the entry / exit
A pot in the entry / exit
the road leading out
the road leading out
a simple shrine
a simple shrine
rock strata.... ( I love them) .. …
rock strata.... ( I love them) ..…
Gortyn (Crete)
photo by: sylviandavid