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Ancient Phoenix (Katopolis)

  • Ancient Phoenix (Katopolis)


About Ancient Phoenix (Katopolis)

Today’s Loutro settlement is built on the bay that once served as the port for the ancient towns of Anopolis and Aradena. This port is referred to in ancient texts as Phoenix or Katopolis. The gods Zeus and Apollo were worshiped in Phoenix.

The city thrived from the Hellenistic Ages to the late Byzantine era, as evidenced by the extensive area covered by the archaeological site and the remains of its public buildings. The key role was undoubtedly the excellent protection provided by the natural harbor and its strategic location on a peninsula overlooking a large part of Sfakia province.

Currently, visitors can see scattered ruins of the ancient city a few meters southwest of the port, along the path leading to the settlement now known as Phoenix (Finikas). Among the ruins are public buildings such as baths, the temple of Apollo, various tombs, and vaulted structures.

The cavernous temple of Saint Anthony (Agios Antonios) also exists, which was likely a place of worship even in ancient times. A unique custom takes place in this church on the feast day of Saint Anthony (January 17), which has its roots in antiquity. The Sfakians bring bread shaped like humans, animals, or body parts, similar to how their ancient ancestors dedicated clay devotions to their gods in the form of humans, animals, or human parts. The purpose was to protect individuals or animals, or to treat the depicted human part.

Categories & Tags

  • Archaeological Sites

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