Hersonisos was an important Byzantine area and the seat of an archbishop from the first Byzantine period. A triple-aisled fifth century basilica has been excavated in Kastri--one of the largest on Crete. The floors of the church are covered with mosaic. East of the town there is another basilica dating from the sixth century and its floors are also covered with mosaic.
Hersonisos is 26km (30 minutes) east of Iraklion on the National Road. The seaside resort of Limin Hersonisou is a busy town all year round. Half of the shops and hotels are open throughout the year, in contrast to the rest of Crete where many hotels and restaurants are open only during the tourist season of April-October. Tourist offices book most of the hotels, which makes it very difficult to find a room if not booked in advance. Hersonisos is easily reached from Iraklion and Agios Nikolaos by frequent bus service. Limin Hersonisou stands on the western edge of the bay of Malia. It is a summer resort with large hotels and tourist shops. In ancient times it was an important trading centre. Originally Hersonisos, which means peninsula in Greek, was the harbour of the city of Lyttos (near Kastelli, Pediada). The city later became independent and the inhabitants minted their own coins which depicted the head of Artemis on one side and Apollo with a lyre on the opposite side. Archaeologists believe that Hersonisos was the site of a temple dedicated to Vritomartis, "the sweet virgin", an ancient Minoan deity later identified with Artemis.
This text is cited Feb 2003 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains image.
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