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Makrigialos Roman Villa

Archaeological Sites

Lassithi

At first glance

Approximately at the midway point of the southern road axis between Sitia and Ierapetra, you  will come across the region of Makrigialos, a coastal town that was inhabited since Prehistoric times.The foundationsof the romanvillawere brought to lightduring excavations at the site ofKatovigliin 1977 by Nikolaos Papadakis, the archaeologist in charge whomanaged to uncover the rich past of the region.

Places to visit

The roman villa dates back from the first century BC to the third century AD and is situated next to the church of theDormition of the Mother ofGod. It consisted of quarters, auxiliaryroomsandan impressive bath system, known as balneum, with an outdoor cistern that transported water through a system of built-in andpipedducts. On the grounds of the villaand next to a pool, a largemosaic withgeometricillustrations was found, whereasamongthe differentareasof thebalneum, a room for burial ceremonies and an entombment were discovered.

The complex arrangement of the rooms occupiedan area of 1.5 acres: the rooms were arranged around an outdoor court, whereasentrances to the premises were ornate with big sandstonethresholds.The villa’s corridors and courts would function as principal axes around whichtheroomsandauxiliaryspaces were organised. The entrance to the villa was paved and decorated with geometric and plantdesigns, whereasthe floors and wallsof the main rooms werecoatedwithmarbleslabs.

The nearly complete lack of tangiblefindingsamidst the ruins of this impressive archaeological site might suggest that the villa was systematically looted by pirates of the Byzantine Empire, whereas more recent pillaging is equally plausible.

Not to be missed

The Makrigialos roman villa is unique for its impressive bath system on the southeast side of the building. This system, known as balneum, has a characteristic undercroft and horseshoe-shaped marble pool.

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More Information

  • Accessible for people with special needs: NO
  • Operation Hours: 08:00-15:00

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