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Ancient Diktynna

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Above the stunning Menies beach in the Spatha peninsula was the location of ancient Diktynna. Diktynna was the most significant temple of the goddess Vritomartis, who is thought to have been the Cretan version of the goddess Artemis. Thousands would come to the area from all over the island, making Diktynna one of the most important pilgrimages in Crete. Vritomartis was worshiped here during the Hellenistic and Roman times. Even the name Diktynna is a name for Vritomartis, who once fell into the sea from Mount Dikti to save herself from King Minos.

The possession of Diktynna has been a conflict between the towns Kydonia and Polirinia, with the latter having possession for most of the time. The few remains of today belong to a temple dating back from the era of Adrianos rule, that was built on the site of an older temple dating back from the rule of August. The findings that have been discovered are a statue of Artemis, a head of Adrianos, and another statue; these are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Chania.

It is fascinating to note that there was a long ancient paved road that connected the sanctuary with Polirinia. Today, we can still see some remnants of the road in the area between the temple and the village Rodopou. The distance of the road was 11 Roman miles, or 16,291 meters.

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