Cretan History

Olous

Ancient Olous
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Within short distance from Elounda, near the Venetian salt pans, we meet few remains of the ancient city Olous (most are inside the sea) or Oloundas that was inhabited since the Minoan period. Olous was one of the hundred most important cities of ancient Crete with a maximum population of over 30,000 people. The administrative system of Olous was Eunomia, a kind of democracy. In Olous Tallean Zeus, Apollo and Vritomartis (Artemis) were worshipped.

Olous minted its own coin. The historician Svoronos indicated 11 different types of coins. Most of them represented on one side Vritomartis Artemis and on the other Zeus with an eagle, a dolphin or a star. The development of Olous continued until the first Byzantine period as we can see by the basilicas of Poros with the marvelous mosaic and the Basilica of Kolokytha with exceptional white marble parts.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Ancient City
  • Peak Period: Roman Era (69 BC - 395 AD)
  • Accessibility: Bus services, Paved road

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