According to the myth, Zeus led Europe after kidnapping her, to Gortyna, had an affair under the plane tree; thus this tree was permitted to remain forever green and may be seen here. It was a Minoan town between 1600-1100 BC, followed by the Dorians period, during the Roman occupation (after 68 BC), Gortyna was the largest city and the Capital of Crete and Northern Africa. The city was destroyed in 828 AD by Arabs.
The most important accesible monuments are the ruins of the acropolis and the odeum, where parts of the great Law Code of Gortyna from 6th century BC inscribed on stones were discovered. Gortyna was the first city that accepted Christianity, the first Christian temples were built here and the remains of the biggest and most important Christian cathedral of Crete can still be seen today - the cathedral is dedicated to St. Titus, the first Bishop of Crete (6th century AD).

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