Phaestus, Phaistos, Phaestos

View of Phaestus. By: Jerzystrzelecki
View of Phaestus. By: Jerzystrzelecki

Location -Phaestus sits on the western end of Crete close to the Mediterranean Sea. 

Phaestus is one of the most important centres of the Minoan civilization. It was known to be the most wealthy and powerful city in Southern Crete. It flourished from the Neolithic period until 15th century BC when many Minoan palaces were beginning to develop.

This Minoan city covered most of the palatial centre.

Phaestus. [Photograph]. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 08 May, 2013, from
Phaestus. [Photograph]. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 08 May, 2013, from


Phaestus was occupied since the 4th millennium BC but became more popular during the Bronze ages (3000c-1600BC). A massive earthquake destroyed the city in the late Bronze Age (1400) but it became reoccupied in 13th century BC. The classical and Hellenistic times were when this city really thrived.

This city flourished in spouts of time periods but mostly in

4th millennium

3200BC- 1400 BC



end of 4BC-160BC

The Temple of Rhea was built. It stood south of where the old palace stood. This was a Hellenistic city and the residents were mostly wealthy and successful. There were many growing residences west of the palace.

Eventually, the neighboring city of Gortyn destroyed Phaestus in the middle of the 2nd century BC.

Significant Monuments

Phaestus is known for it’s architectural masterpieces of palaces both old and new. They were spread out on different levels and terraces throughout the city with accessible staircases. The Palace of Phaestus is known to be the finest of all the Minoan palaces. It included courtyards, shrines, and royal quarters that made this city an architectural dream.

The Venetian Church of St. George of Phalandria lies west of the Palace.

Who you will meet: Minoas, King Minos, and probably anyone else you’d might run into at Knossos in Northern Crete.


Architecture of Minoan Crete: constructing identity in the Aegean Bronze Age, John C. McEnroe, University of Texas Press, 2010 – 202 pages

Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2013

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