The present town of Hersonissos retains the name of the ancient city of Hersonissos or Heronissos, meaning "peninsula". The town existed since the Minoan period, but flourished after the conquest of Crete by the Romans. Heronissos was the port city of Lyttos, but soon overcame its mother town in power and minted its own currency. Its rich history is testified by the imposing buildings that have come to light during several excavations, such as the basilicas at Kastri and Agios Nikolaos, fountains, tombs with rich findings and more.
Inside the current town of Hersonissos there is the main archaeological site (1.2 hectares) of ancient Herronissos with the theater of the ancient city. The length of the theater was 83m and its width 30m, while unfortunately it suffered extensive damage in 1897, when residents used the stones to build their houses. It is interesting that the supportive wall of the theater still stands in good shape.