Information about the place KISSAMOS (Town) CHANIA - GTP - Greek Travel Pages

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Kissamos

KISSAMOS (Ancient city) CHANIA
There was another Kissamos located in Kalami village, Apokoronou province.

Spathi

SPATHI (Cape) CHANIA
The northern cape of Spatha peninsula

Commercial WebPages

Kastelli, Kissamos

KISSAMOS (Town) CHANIA
  In the middle of the gulf of Kissamos, on the north coast of Crete, is Kastelli 43km from Chania. Kastelli has a good beach with hotels and tavernas in front of the town. A central Starting Point for excursions with several tourists facilities in Kissamos is Kastelli, the capital of Kissamos. Travellers may find Kastelli an enjoyable base for exploring the area of Kissamos. You can reach many places on day trips from Kastelli. Kastelli, was a harbour of ancient Polirinia. It became a very important independent city during Roman times. During the summer months archaeological work is in progress in Kastelli and you can see remains of second and third century mosaic floors behind the Health Centre. Other areas in the city have revealed various Roman remains such as baths, villas, and tombs that show the existence of a major ancient city.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


The name Kissamos is of pre-hellenic origin and it was the name of an ancient community that existed in the same place. The ancient Kissamos was a marine and commercial center of the Western Crete, and it was the port of the ancient town of polyrenia. Later, when it was occupied by the Romans ,a new theater and Roman villas were built on top of the old town. The city continued to prosper during the early Byzantine period when it was an episcopical seat. The Venetians built the wall that parts of it are still standing inside the city. The Venetian fortress, Castelo, was the special characteristic of the city and thus the city was named after it Kasteli. Because in Crete there are many towns with the name Kasteli, it was named Kasteli Kissamou.

Lousakies

LOUSSAKIES (Village) KISSAMOS
  Lousakies is 8km from Kastelli and 51km from Chania. In the area of Lousakies there are two architecturally beautiful Byzantine churches.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


Polirinia

POLYRRINIA (Village) CHANIA
  At the first square after you enter Kastelli from the east, there is a sign on the left for Polirinia, 7km. The important ancient city of Polirinia is high and will give you a good view of the very beautiful countryside. There is also an interesting Byzantine church there.

This extract is cited Oct 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.


Educational institutions WebPages

Polirinia

POLYRRINIA (Ancient city) CHANIA
The ruined walls and the acropolis of ancient Polirinia lie in a naturally fortified position, 49 km west of Chania, and 7km south of Kissamos. Polirinia, an important ancient city of western Crete, was founded with the help of the Achaeans, who succeeded the Minoans as overlords of the island. The earliest findings date from the 6th century B.C..

Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Phalasarna

FALASARNA (Ancient city) CHANIA
  ta Phalasarna : Eth. Phalasarnios. A town of Crete, situated on the NW. side of the island, a little S. of the promontory Cimarus or Corycus, described by Dicaearchus as having a closed--up port and a temple of Artemis called Dictynna. Strabo says that Phalasarna was 60 stadia from Polyrrhenia, of which it was the port-town; and Scylax observes that it is a day's sail across from Lacedaemon to the promontory of Crete, on which is Phalasarna, being the first city to the west of the island. (Strab. x. ; Scylax; Dicaearch. Descrip. Graec. 119; Steph. B. s. v.; Plin. iv. 12. s. 20.) The Cydonians had at one time taken possession of Phalasarna, but were compelled by the Romans to give it up. (Polyb. xxiii. 15.)
  There are considerable remains of the walls of Phalasarna. They exist in a greater or less degree of preservation, from its northern side, where it seems to have reached the sea, to its south-western point, cutting off the acropolis and the city along with it as a small promontory. There are other remains, the most curious of which is an enormous chair on the SW. side of the city, cut out of the solid rock; the height of the arms above the seat is 2 feet 11 inches, and its other dimensions are in proportion. It was no doubt dedicated to some deity, probably to Artemis. Near this chair there are a number of tombs, hewn in the solid rock, nearly 30 in number.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited May 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Polyrrhenia

POLYRRINIA (Ancient city) CHANIA
  Polurrhenia, (Ptol. iii. 17. ยง 10); Polurrhen, Poluren (Steph. B. s. v.), corrected by Meineke into Polurrhenia; Pollurrhena (Scylax, p. 18), corrected by Gail; Polurrhenion, (Zenob. Prov. v. 50); Polyrrhenium, (Plin. iv. 12. s. 20): Eth. Polurrhenios (Polyb. iv. 53, 55; Strab. x. p. 479).
  A town in the NW. of Crete, whose territory occupied the whole western extremity of the island, extending from N. to S. (Scylax, p. 18.) Strabo describes it as lying W. of Cydonia, at the distance of 30 stadia from the sea, and 60 from Phalasarna, and as containing a temple of Dictynna. He adds that the Polyrrhenians formerly dwelt in villages, and that they were collected into one place by the Achaeans and Lacedaemonians, who built a strong city looking towards the south. (Strab. x. p. 479.) In the civil wars in Crete in the time of the Achaean League, B . C. 219, the Polyrrhenians, who had been subject allies of Cnossus, deserted the latter, and assisted the Lyctians against that city. They also sent auxiliary troops to the assistance of the Achaeans, because the Gnossians had supported the Aetolians. (Polyb. iv. 53, 55.) The ruins of Polyrrhenia, called Palaeokastro, near Kisamo-Kasteli, exhibit the remains of the ancient walls, from 10 to 18 feet high. (Pashley, Crete, vol. ii. p. 46, seq.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Tegea

TEGEA (Ancient city) CHANIA
A town of Crete, which, according to legend, was founded by Agamemnon. The coins which Sestini and Pellerin attributed to the Cretan Tegea have been restored by Eckhel to the Arcadian city of that name.

Biennus

VIENNOS (Ancient city) CHANIA
  Eth. Biennios: Vianos. A small city of Crete which the coast-describer (Geogr. Graec. Minor. ed. Gail, vol. ii. p. 495) places at some distance from the sea, midway between Hierapytna and Leben, the most eastern of the two parts of Gortyna. The Blenna of the Peutinger Table, which is placed at 30 M. P. from Arcadia, and 20 M. P. from Hierapytna, is no doubt the same as Biennus. In Hierocles, the name of this city occurs under the form of Bienna. The contest of Otus and Ephialtes with Ares is said to have taken place near this city. (Homer, Il. v. 315; Steph. B. s. v.) From this violent conflict the city is said to have derived its name. Mr. Pashley, in opposition to Dr. Cramer, who supposes that certain ruins said to be found at a considerable distance to the E. of Haghii Saranta may represent Biennus, fixes the site at Vianos, which agrees very well with the indications of the coast-describer. (Pashley, Travels, vol. i. p. 267.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Tegea

TEGEA (Ancient city) CHANIA
A town in Crete, said to have been founded by Agamemnon.

Perseus Project

Phalasarna

FALASARNA (Ancient city) CHANIA

Cisamus

KISSAMOS (Ancient city) CHANIA

The Catholic Encyclopedia

Cisamus

KISSAMOS (Town) CHANIA
  Cisamus, a titular see of Crete.
  Kisamos, or Kissamos, was a harbour on the north-west coast of Crete in a bay of the same name, and served Aptera as a port of entry.
  The see still exists, and is suffragan to Candia. During the occupation of the island by the Venetians there was also a Latin see subject to Gortyna and Candia.
  Kissamos, or Kissamo Kasteli, is now a little port frequented only by coasting boats.

S. Petrides, ed.
Transcribed by: Douglas J. Potter
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.


The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Phalasarna

FALASARNA (Ancient city) CHANIA
  Barely mentioned by ancient authors except geographers, who refer to it as the westernmost city of Crete and mention its enclosed harbor ([Scylax] 47; Dion. Call. 119ff). The city served also as one port of Polyrrhenia, 60 stades inland across a range of hills, but it was never dependent on Polyrrhenia.
  The city is mentioned only once by a historical source (Polyb. 22.55), when Appius Claudius made Kydonia restore its independence (184 B.C.). Very little can be gleaned from inscriptions. With Spartan mediation, the city made a treaty with Polyrrhenia in the early 3d c., when Spartan influence was strong in W Crete. It reached the zenith of its prosperity in that century, the period when the city walls were probably constructed. There is evidence of good relations with Egypt later in the century. The city is not mentioned after the 2d c., when Kydonia became the predominant power in the area; it may well have been a pirate base in the 2d-1st c. It is not listed in the Notitiae Dignitatum and by the later Roman period the site may have been uninhabited. It seems to have had a temple of Diktynna (Dion. Call. loc. cit.), and perhaps one of Apollo by the harbor (Stad. 336). Coins were struck in the 4th-3d c., showing a trident or dolphin and female head (Diktynna, Aphrodite, or the eponymous nymph Phalasarne).
  The earliest remains found so far are 6th c., the latest are Roman; they were first fully described by Pashley. The city lies on a high, rocky cape projecting W, and settlement later extended onto the isthmus (some 500 m wide) below to the E. The acropolis falls away sheer into the sea on the N and W sides, and slopes steeply on the landward (E) side, up which runs one difficult path. The top, some 100 m high, is divided into a smaller N and larger S knoll by a deep cleft and saddle, where Spratt thought he could see a temple. On top there are remains of towers and other poorly preserved buildings; some walls appear to belong to temples. There is no spring on the acropolis but several cisterns on its slopes. On the E slope are retaining walls of terraces with house foundations, some rock-cut. At the foot of this slope the city wall ran across the isthmus, with projecting rectangular towers and perhaps a second wall line 5 m inside to the W. The wall also ran round the harbor and SE to the coast; SW of the harbor it is poorly preserved.
  Spratt first made comprehensible the ruins of the lower city, by establishing that this part of the coast has been uplifted 6-7 m since the Classical period (and herein may lie the cause of the city's decline or abandonment in the later Roman period, perhaps the 4th and/or 6th c.). Thus he first identified the enclosed harbor (now some 100 m inland from the S side of the isthmus), which with its entrance channel and the bare rock on either side lies now well above sea level, with a solution notch clearly visible across the rocks marking the ancient shoreline. (For the same reason the city wall at its N end stops well short of the modern coastline.) The harbor basin, established in the shelter of the acropolis, is now filled in; it formed an irregular hexagon (ca. 60 x 70 m) with its entrance on the SW side, and was surrounded by walls with towers projecting inwards and outwards. The rock-cut entrance channel is an enlarged natural fissure, irregular in course and 10 m wide, now filled with earth and stones. West of this and just above the ancient shoreline is a rock cutting, perhaps a small dock or water channel. The bays on either side of the isthmus are too exposed to be good harbors.
  Other remains of the city E of the wall are still poorly understood (much less is visible now than when Spratt visited the site). No temple sites can be clearly identified. The most striking features are the large rectangular chambers cut in the sandstone, probably used as basements of houses or storerooms after quarrying. Southeast of the city, behind the coastal dunes, lies a necropolis with rock-cut and cist graves; most have been looted, but some produced 4th c. and Hellenistic pottery. Three rock-cut thrones are also visible, perhaps intended for the dead. East of the city another necropolis has recently been found, with pithos burials (early 6th to early 5th c.) and Early Hellenistic cist graves. In the plain S of the city Roman cisterns, walls, and graves have been found.

D. J. Blackman, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Kisamos

KISSAMOS (Ancient city) CHANIA
  The existence of two cities of this name on the N coast of Crete on either side of Kydonia is proved by the Peutinger Table, which mentions both and puts this one 8 miles E of Kydonia. This one must be the Kisamos referred to by Strabo (10.4.13) as the harbor of Aptera. Although it is usually located at or close to Kalyves, 4.5 km E-SE of Aptera, where Roman and later sherds have been found, a strong case has now been made for locating it at Kalami, on the coast by the former Fort Izzedin, immediately below Aptera and just inside (W of) the now sunken porporella (the Venetian harbor defense mole). Kalami is 8 miles (12.8 km) from Kydonia, nearer to Aptera than Kalyves and more sheltered, and has house foundations, traces of quays, and Classical as well as Roman sherds. A dependency of Aptera, the city had no history of its own. (The Kalyves site may be ancient Tanos.)

D. J. Blackman, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Polyrrhenia

POLYRRINIA (Ancient city) CHANIA
  Hill-top site 5.5 km S of Kastelli Kisamou. It was more important than surviving sources make clear. Literary references to the site are few except by the geographers: e.g. Skylax 47; Strabo 10.4.13. Polybios (4.53, 55, 61) provides details of several historical incidents. Inscriptions add a little.
  According to tradition (Strabo, loc. cit.), Achaean and Laconian immigrants settled in one city the existing population, which lived in villages. This could refer to a foundation at the end of the 2d millennium or as late as the 8th c. Apart from possible slight traces of LM III occupation (cf. the tradition of Agamemnon's visit on his voyage home from Troy), the earliest pottery found so far is archaic. In the Classical period the city was a major power in W Crete, a city of tough mountain warriors, hunters, and herdsmen. It used the ports of Kisamos and Phalasarna, 30 and 60 stades away (Strabo, correctly). Phalasama remained independent throughout, but Kisamos probably became independent only in the 3d c. A.D. Polyrrhenia allied itself with Phalasarna in the early 3d c. B.C. with Spartan mediation, honored a Spartan king ca. 273, and probably supported Sparta in the Chremonidean war (267/6-261). It supported Lyttos against Knossos and Gortyn in 220-219 and after the destruction of Lyttos continued the struggle with Macedonian and Achaean help, successfully detaching other W Cretan cities from alliance with Knossos (Polyb. loc. cit.). By 201 it seems to have ceased to support Macedon, and soon showed pro-Roman feeling, honoring Scipio Hispallus (189), clearly as a result of a visit, and joining the alliance with Eumenes (183). It remained prosperous in the 2d c., but lost to Kydonia its preeminence in W Crete. It therefore supported the Roman conquest of Crete and was favorably treated: it continued to strike coins and gained (or perhaps regained) control of the Diktynnaion. In the Imperial period it seems to have declined in importance; Kisamos seems to have been still dependent in the 2d c. but independent from the 3d. Polyrrhenia is not heard of after the 3d c.; the site was reoccupied probably early in the second Byzantine period (late 10th c.). Coins were struck from the 4th c. B.C. to the Roman period; the most distinctive feature is the city symbol--the bucranium. The city's territory was extensive in W Crete, "from the north to the south (coast)" ([Scylax] 47), though it only certainly controlled the S part of the W coast and a stretch of the N coast.
  The city lay in a naturally fortified position--on an isolated steep hill surrounded by ravines, dominating the valley approach from Kisamos. The ancient city covered the whole lower (SW) part of the hill, which slopes up NE to a steep summit, the ancient acropolis (418 m), with a lower spur beyond to the N. The visible fortifications around the hill and acropolis have clearly been much repaired and rebuilt in the second Byzantine and Venetian periods and the wall round the N spur and that along the S side of the acropolis (facing the city) seem to be entirely of those periods. But the ancient wall line can be traced on the N and NW sides of the acropolis and the NW side (with two towers) and SE side (with a gate) of the city; the line is totally lost on the SW side. These walls probably date from Early Hellenistic times, with repairs and additions in antiquity (e.g. the tower W of the village). The city was provided with water through at least two rock-cut aqueducts terminating on the W side of the modern village, with a cave nearby containing evidence of a cult of the Nymphs. A number of cisterns (perhaps all Byzantine or later) are visible in the acropolis or lower city; apart from these, few remains survive within the acropolis. On the N spur remains of a sanctuary may lie under the later chapel.
  In the city area the main concentration of ancient remains lies on a terrace near the center, by the ruined chapel of the 99 Saints. Excavations in 1938 revealed a building of good Early Hellenistic construction (60.65 x 6.73 m), a stoa or perhaps a monumental altar bordering on the N a structure that was possibly a temple, not yet proved but indicated by the many inscribed blocks reused in the chapel: these include some honorific inscriptions and statue bases, and a large number of blocks bearing a mass of personal names, clearly inscribed by individuals (almost all Polyrrhenians) coming to the temple (3d-1st c. B.C.). Few remains have been found of houses: only some rock-cut foundations. Sherds from the site cover the archaic to Roman periods, and the second Byzantine period on (especially on the acropolis).
  In the valley below to the E, at Sto Yero Kolymbo, are the poorly preserved remains of a small two-roomed building, probably a temple of the 3d c. B.C., with a bench across the rear wall of the cella. Inscribed blocks from a round structure reportedly found at Kappadoki probably derive from another sanctuary. None of the temples can be identified. The main necropolis lay on the lower W slopes of the hill at Ston Kharaka, with built tombs, and rock-cut graves and chamber tombs beyond. Another necropolis lay between the city and Kisamos. In both necropoleis all the tombs have been looted: none appears to have been earlier than 4th c. B.C.

J. D. Blackman, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


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