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    Lentas owes its name to the magisterial rock which is the western boundary of the bay of Lentas and it looks like a seated lion or a seated "Leonta" if you prefer. However, during the Minoan period when Lentas was an important port it was known as Levina or Levin. A variety of finds from that period like vessels, cycladic idols, gems and an Egyptian scarabaeus are displayed in the archaeological museum of Heraklion.

    However the site of Lentas is more known due to the Temple of Asklepios which dates back to the 5th century B.C. Asklepios was a god with therapeutic skills so many people, not only from Greece but from South Africa as well, visited Lentas in order to be cured. Although the monument suffered physical damage and destruction over the centuries, surviving several parts, most important of which is a mosaic depicting the hippocampus. The city - port as well asthe temple flourished during the 2nd century BC, after the destruction of Phaistos, Gortyn became the capital of Messara and later the entire island. The city was destroyed in 46 BC after a massive earthquake but was rebuilt during the Roman Empire where there was a significant link between Egypt and the East.  

    Although the monument has suffered great damage during the centuries, many parts have been preserved and the most popular is the mosaic, picturing a hippocampus. Only a few meters from the Temple of Asklepios you can visit the church of the village (15th century A.D.) where you can still see many pillars of the original temple.


Filoxenia Lentas
Tel: (+0030) 6976579579, 6976355355
Lentas 70400
Heraklion, Crete

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