Gortys, Temples of the Pythian Apollon & the Egyptian Gods

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Gortys, The Temple of the Pythian Apollon

Gortys, the Temple of the Pythian ApollonWe go back a few yards from the great basilica and follow a path on our right hand. This leads us through the olive groves to the Praetorium, the seat of the Roman governor of Crete.

The first thing you see along this route, although it is hard to make out details from the road due to the fencing, is the Temple of the Pythian Apollon.

This is one of the most important monuments of Gortys and the religious centre of the city prior to the establishment of Christianity. The original building is dated to the 7th century BC. Some inscriptions originally set in the outer walls of the temple have been preserved from this phase. The substantial remains of the stepped altar to the east, in front of the entrance, are also impressive.

Thirteen centuries of continuous worship in the same spot brought about architectural modifications to the first temple, so what we see is not the same as the original building.

Gordys, The Temple of the Egyptian Gods

Near the Temple of the Pythian Apollo is the Temple of the Egyptian gods: Isis, Serapis and Hermes Anubis. Egyptian deities were particularly popular in the Hellenistic period (4th-1st century BC), when the temple was built. This is the only temple in Crete dedicated to Egyptian gods.

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