The northern part of the excavations of Gortys.
On the north terrain of Gortys lies the Acropolis. It’s situated against the hill in the North-Western corner, of which only ruins can be seen. A little bit lower lie the remains of a theatre. Within the fenced area on the North side the Odeon lies the covered roofed theatre.
In front of the Odeon lies the Agora, on the South side with the Titus basilica from the 6th century. This basilica is named after bishop Titus, who was alledgedly a student of Paulus who also preached here. The basilica is built on top of the bishop’s grave.
The basilica was destroyed by the Arabs in 828 AD, but in 969 it was rebuilt by the Romans. Today only the center piece of the basilica is standing, but this gives an impression of the size of the basilica. It is the oldest and most important Christian building of the island. The small museum holds only one room with a few Roman statues.
Prominent is the fact that the information signs that hang at the foot of the statues are in Greek and Italian. This can be explained by the fact that the excavations were and still are for the most part carried out by Italian archaeologists. In 1912 the Italian archaeologist Pernier started to systematically excavate the terrain, after two other Italian archaeologists, Halbherr and Fabricius, had earlier discovered the city.
Another curiosity on the terrain with a story attached is the tree of Gortys.
According to the mythology, this is the tree where Zeus made love to Europe. Zeus was dressed up as an ox during the act of love. According to the legend, this is where king Minos and his brothers were conceived.