Peak Sanctuary of


Jiouchtas Peak Sanctuary
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Jiouchtas in ancient times was considered a sacred mountain, mainly because it resembles a human face that looks to the sky from the northwest. Even today the human face- like mountain causes interest for its anthropomorphic shape. According to the legend, this is the face of the greek Zeus and the mountain is his tomb. Indeed the name Jiouchtas is a corruption of the Latin word for Zeus, Jupiter.

The mountain was very important for the Minoans since it was the first mountain they saw while their ships approached the shores of Crete. Here they built at least two Minoan sanctuaries, the one at the highest point of the mountain (Psili Korfi) and the second at the position Anemospilia.

The sanctuary of the Giouchtas peak is the most important and largest peak sanctuary in Crete and was directly dependent on Knossos with covered and open spaces for accommodation, storage and rituals. .

The Psili Korifi peak hosted an 8mx5m worship building with a precinct surrounded by a cyclopean wall, in the sanctuary of which the archaeologists have revealed many idols of men, women, animals, body parts, offering tables, inscriptions on Linear A script, bronze and silver pendants, bronze axes and golden items. The natural trench of the sanctuary on the rock of the mountain, where many of the archeological findings were found, was used for putting the devotees of the worshippers.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Peak Sanctuary
  • Peak Period: Minoan Era (3000 BC-1200 BC)
  • Accessibility: Walking

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