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Ancient Eleutherna description and photos - Greece: Crete. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The name in English is Eleutherna.
Photo and description
Eleftterna, also known as Apollonia, is an ancient Greek city-state discovered by archaeologists on the northern foothills of Mount Ida (the highest peak of the island of Crete), at an altitude of 380 m above sea level, approximately 25-30 km south of Rethymno. This city is known as the birthplace of the philosopher Diogenes, the sculptor Timocharis, the ancient Greek poets Linos and Amitor.
The ancient settlement of Eleftterna was founded by the Dorians in the 9th century BC. on a steep, naturally-fortified hill. The city developed rapidly and had a huge influence in the ancient world. It was located at the crossroads between Kydonia and Knossos, the ports of Stavromen and Panormos controlled by Elefttern, and a sanctuary on the top of Mount Ida. Due to its strategic position and natural resources, Eleftterna flourished. The city did not lose its influence even after the conquest of Crete by the Romans in 67 BC. This is evidenced by the rich houses, Roman baths and various public buildings discovered during excavations. In 365, a significant part of it was destroyed. It is known that in the 7th century Bishop Euphratas built a large Christian basilica here. The settlement existed until the Middle Ages, but gradually fell into decay and was abandoned.
The first archaeological excavations of this area were carried out by the British Archaeological School of Athens in 1929. Systematic research began already in 1984 under the guidance of archaeologists from the University of Crete. Important archaeological sites have been discovered, ranging from the Geometric to the early Byzantine period, as well as evidence of the existence of a settlement here even during the period of the Minoan civilization (3rd millennium BC). A huge number of artifacts found here were recognized by the scientific community as unique, and Ancient Eleftterna - one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.
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Topic: Ancient Eleutherna description and photos - Greece: Crete.