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Phaistos or more properly the Minoan palace of Phaistos is located in South-Central Crete, in the plain of Messara, 55 km south of Heraklion and a short distance from the archeological site in Gortyna. Phaistos is one of the most important archeological sites in Crete and receives many thousands of visitors every year. The Minoan palace of Phaistos developed in the fertile plain of Messara during prehistoric times, ie from about 6000 BC until the 10th century BC as confirmed by archaeological findings.

The first palace of Phaistos was built in 2000 BC. Its mythical founder seems to be Minos himself and the first king was Rodamanthis, Minos’ brother. In 1700 BC a strong earthquake leveled the palace which was rebuilt almost immediately. Phaistos omos ceases to be the administrative center of the area. The new administrative center is located in the neighboring Agia Triada. Phaistos is still the religious and worship center in southern Crete.

In 1450 BC there is a new catastrophe not only in Phaistos but in all of Crete. The city of Phaistos recovers from the catastrophe, mints its own currency and continues to flourish in the following centuries until the 1st century BC when it is destroyed by neighboring Gortyna.