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The Minoan Palace at Phaistos was the capital of the Messara is similar in importance to that of Knossos on the north coast. Unlike Knossos, there has been no reconstruction and the excavations continue unearthing the wonders of the Minoan civilisation. It is built on a hill that dominates the large plain to the east, south and west. To the north stands the Psiloritis mountain, sacred to the Minoans and the location of the Kamares cave.

View to SE across the Messara

Theatre area and steps to the early palace

Corridor of the palace magazines

Magazine with channels cut into floor

The palace ruins are extensive and give a flavour of the elegance that once stood here and the views are stunning to the north, south and east. There are three paved courts; three sets of magnificent staircases and the outline of the buildings that last stood here are easily discernable. The workshops and storage magazines, some still containing large ‘pithos’ storage vessels, are remarkably intact, as are the ‘megarons’ containing bathing facilities in the royal quarters.

Phaistos provided the engraved disc from which the Minoan script has been partially deciphered along with exquisite clay models, wall frescoes and the famous Kamares pottery.

For a short video showing the palace of Phaistos, click on the button below

The church of Aghios Georgios

On the road outside the site of Phaistos is the 14th Century Church os Aghios Georgios. It can be found by the junction of the road leading to Agia Triada. It is in a poor state of repair, but you can walk around it and view the architecture.