Cretan History


Ancient Tarra
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Tarra was an ancient autonomous city of Crete and seaport of Elyros, built at the site of current Agia Roumeli. Here there was a very famous temple of Apollo and ahealing center. The legend tells that once the god Apollo himself came to Samaria to purify himself by the great priest and healer Karmanor as after killing the Python at Delphi. There Apollo fell in love to the Minoan nymph Akkakalis. Enchanted by her beauty, he stayed in her hug and forgot to start the morning at its time. It was the longest night ever known in the world.

The coins of Tarra depicted on the one side a head of a Cretan goat and on the other one bee. In the 3rd century BC it was a member of the Mountainous Association, a federation with mountain towns who were independent but had common internal and foreign policy. This federation was composed of the cities Lissos, Syia, Pikilassos, Tarra, Hyrtakina and Elyros.

Today few ruins survive from Tarra, especially near the exit of the Samaria Gorge to the sea. Also from the city is saved part of an Early Christian Basilica, on which is built today the church of Panagia Kera.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Ancient City
  • Peak Period: Classical & Hellenistic Age (800 BC - 69 BC)
  • Accessibility: Boat, Walking

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