Ancient Lappa : Exploring the Rich History in Crete

Ancient Lappa : Exploring the Rich History in Crete

Nestled southwest of Rethymno, Ancient Lappa stands as a testament to Cretan history, steeped in myth and legend. According to Mycenaean lore, this formidable city was founded by none other than Agamemnon himself. Today, the charming village of Argyroupoli occupies this ancient site, its amphitheatrical layout and verdant surroundings offering a glimpse into the past. Throughout the village, remnants of ancient and Venetian architecture adorn coastal homes, a poignant reminder of Lappa’s storied past.

Unearthing Treasures: From Geometric Period Finds to Magnificent Venetian Mansions

Archaeological excavations have yielded remarkable discoveries, some tracing back to the late geometric period. Once sprawling across the Rethymno prefecture, Ancient Lappa formed strategic alliances with neighboring cities like Lithos and Theo of Ionia, notably resisting Knossos’ dominance. Following Lithos’ destruction, many sought refuge in Lappa, forging a resilient community. Later, aligning with Pergamum, Lappa secured special privileges for its allegiance to Octavian during Rome’s civil war against Antony.

Prosperity Amidst Ruins: Tracing the Legacy of Late Roman Influence

The late Roman period marked a zenith for Lappa, evident in the architectural marvels dotting the landscape between the Musella and Petre rivers. The presence of thermal baths and minted coins reflects the city’s affluence, with coinage featuring depictions of revered deities and Roman emperors. Excavations have unearthed a trove of artifacts, from fragments of sculptures to intricately crafted mosaics, offering insight into daily life and cultural practices.

Enduring Legacies: From Ecclesiastical Roots to Byzantine Influences

The bishopric of Lappa, believed to be one of Crete’s oldest, traces its origins to the Apostle Titus. Despite enduring invasions and upheavals, Lappa persevered, serving as a bastion of resilience during tumultuous times. Throughout the Byzantine era, control shifted between influential families, notably the Chortatsis, whose rebellion against Venetian rule left an indelible mark on the city’s history.

Experience Ancient Marvels: Rediscovering Lappa’s Timeless Charms

Today, visitors to Argyroupoli can immerse themselves in the allure of Ancient Lappa, exploring its evocative ruins and marveling at the grandeur of Venetian mansions. As they traverse the cobblestone streets, they’ll encounter echoes of a bygone era, where alliances were forged, fortunes rose and fell, and the indomitable spirit of Lappa endured.