The modern town of Hersonissos still carries the name of the ancient city of Hersonissos or Heronissos, which translates to “peninsula.” The town has been in existence since the Minoan period but experienced significant growth after the Romans conquered Crete. Heronissos served as the port city for Lyttos, but it eventually surpassed its parent city in power and even minted its own currency. The town’s rich history is evident in the impressive structures that have been unearthed during various excavations, including the basilicas at Kastri and Agios Nikolaos, fountains, tombs with valuable discoveries, and more.
Within the present-day town of Hersonissos lies the primary archaeological site (1.2 hectares) of ancient Herronissos, featuring the theater of the ancient city. The theater measured 83 meters in length and 30 meters in width. Unfortunately, it suffered significant damage in 1897 when residents used the stones to construct their homes. Interestingly, the supporting wall of the theater remains in good condition.
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