Phaistos is an Bronze Age archaeological site at modern Phaistos, a municipality in south central Crete. The was the second largest ancient palace in Crete.

Phaistos was inhabited from about 4000 BC. The palace, dating from the Middle Bronze Age (2000 BC), was destroyed by an earthquake during the Late Bronze Age. Knossos along with other Minoan sites was destroyed at that time. The palace was rebuilt toward the end of the Late Bronze Age. Around 1400 BC, the invading Achaeans destroyed Phaistos, as well as Knossos. The palace appears to have been unused thereafter, as evidence of the Mycenaean era have not been found.

The new inhabitance began during the Geometric Age and continued to historical times (8th century BC onwards), up to the 3rd century, when the city was finally destroyed by neighboring Gortyn.

Phaistos had its own currency and had created an alliance with other autonomous Cretan cities, and with the king of Pergamon Eumenes II. Around the end of the 3rd century BC, Phaestos was destroyed by the Gortynians and since then ceased to exist in the history of Crete.


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Founded: 2000 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Julian Ludwig (20 months ago)
The better Knossos. Lesser People and clean toilets. Less restricted pave ways to explore the ruins. Must go if you visit Phaistos: Matala. Just 5min away and great coast.
Marie Marsh (23 months ago)
Interesting place but you really need a good guide to explain what it used to be.
DR E W Ferg (2 years ago)
Another stunning Minoan complex, rich with ancient ruins, Minoan culture and ruined with modern concrete!!! Spot the official date tags fixed to the ready mix. can't blame this one on Arthur Evans.
Ronald Meyers (2 years ago)
Definately worth 1-2 hours or more. A word of caution. When we first arrived we stopped at the "Main Gate" parked, and walked into the ruins. Not too much to see. However, we didn't realize to continue driving up the hill another Km to where the most important ruins lie. These were most impressive and I'm glad we didn't just turn around and leave after we viewed the Main Gate.
Mario Siegel (2 years ago)
Smaller excavation than Knossos. I would only recommend to visit it if you are really interested in the Minoan-era. The layout of the palace and its function is very similar to the one in Knossos. But compared to Knossos there is almost nothing that was reconstructed. Don't get me wrong here. The excavation is great if you wanna see all the big excavations of Crete, and if you are really interested in it. But for visitors that have only time to visit one excavation, i would have to recommend visiting Knossos instead. There is simply more to see and to discover and it gives you a far better idea and visualization fo the Minoan-era.
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