Located on a hilltop in the southern part of the island of Crete, Phaistos, also transliterated as Phaestos, Festos and Latin Phaestus is an ancient archaeological site that attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is believed to have been a significant city during the Bronze Age and is considered to be one of the most important Minoan sites on the island.
Phaistos was first inhabited around 4000 BC, and it reached its peak during the Middle and Late Minoan periods (around 1900-1400 BC). The city was destroyed around 1450 BC, possibly due to a natural disaster, and was never rebuilt. The ruins of Phaistos were rediscovered in the late 19th century by Italian archaeologists, and extensive excavations have been carried out over the years.
The main attraction at Phaistos is the palace complex, which is located on the top of the hill. The palace was the center of political, economic, and religious activity in the city and was the residence of the rulers of Phaistos. The palace complex covers an area of about 8,400 square meters and is surrounded by walls that are up to 5 meters high.
The palace complex is divided into several different areas, including the central court, the residential area, and the storage areas. The central court is the largest area of the complex and is surrounded by a number of rooms and corridors. The residential area includes several large rooms that were likely used as living quarters for the ruling family and their attendants. The storage areas consist of several large rooms that were used for storing food, wine, and other supplies.
One of the most famous artifacts discovered at Phaistos is the Phaistos Disc, which is a clay disk covered in inscriptions. The disk dates back to the 2nd millennium BC and is covered in symbols that have yet to be deciphered. The disk is considered to be one of the most important artifacts from the Bronze Age and is on display at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.
Visitors to Phaistos can also explore the surrounding area, which includes a number of smaller ruins and tombs. There is a small museum on site that displays some of the artifacts that have been discovered during excavations, including pottery, jewelry, and figurines.
Overall, a visit to Phaistos offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient history of Crete and the Minoan civilization. The impressive palace complex and the mysterious Phaistos Disc are both must-see attractions for anyone interested in archaeology or ancient history.