Hellenistic times are a period of flourshing for the city, which lasts
until the 2nd century b.C., when it is conquered by the neighbouring
powerful city of Gortyn(a). The glory of Phaistos is forgotten ever since;
only a few traces of the Venetian period in the area around indicate
that people continued to live there.
By the end of the 19th the Italian Archaeological Institute conducts
excavations on the site, which last until the 1970s'. Apart from the
excavations, it has been taken care to consolidate and restore the monument
(not in the way Evans restored Knossos) and several parts were cover
with a roof in order to protect the ruins.
During the tour of the site, the visitor can see several architectural
complexes, first of all the palace itself which is considered as typical
of the Minoan palatial architecture, both for the design and for the
perfect construction. Ruins of both the older and the more recent palaces
are visible. The palace is organised around a peristyle central courtyard,
with store rooms at the West, the royal quartiers at the North and the
workshops at the East. Western to the storehouses it is found the so-called
"theatrical space" with the "procession streets", whereas below them
are found the grain storehouses of the Old Palatial building.
At theWestern propylaia, the visitor comes accross the most impressive
entrance ever seen in a Minoan palace. The mobile finds of the site are
housed and displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.
The earlier palace was built at the beginning of the 2nd millennium b.C.
and flourished until circa 1700 b.C., when it seems to have collapsed
by an earthquake, along with the Knossos palaces of the same period.
On the ruins of the older destroyed building a new one is constructed,
muc more magnificent than the previous one. This building that is destroyed
again, possibly by the Mycenean invadors. Following its destruction,
it is abandonned and only some parts of it are transformed in private
Extended parts of the Minoan an of the more recent city have been detected
at the South and West of the palace, in the sites of Chalara and Aghia
Leaving the archaeological site, it is worth seeing the Venetian church
of Aghios Georgios of Falandra, situated at the West of the area of the
palace, at the left side of the road to Aghia Triada and Matala.
The visitor may find information material about the site in the entrance.