Phaistos (GR: Φαιστός – also spelled : Phaestos, Phaestus, Faistos, Festus and Festos) was one of the most important centres of Minoan civilization, and the most wealthy and powerful city in southern Crete.
The Minoan Palace of Phaistos is located in the Messara Plain at a short distance from the archaeological site of Agia Triada, the archaeological site of Gortys and Matala. The palace corresponds to a flourishing city which arose in the fertile plain of the Messara in prehistoric times, from circa 6000 BC to the 1st century BC, as archaeological finds confirm.
Phaistos was inhabited from the Neolithic period until the foundation and development of the Minoan palaces in the 15th century B.C.
The Minoan city covered a considerable area around the palatial centre. After the destruction of the palace in the 15th century, the city continued to be inhabited in the Mycenaean and Geometric periods, that is, until the 8th century B.C.
Although many inscriptions were found by the archaeologists, they are all in Linear A code which is still undeciphered, and all we know about the site, even its name are based to the ancient writers and findings from Knossos.
According to mythology, Phaistos was the seat of king Radamanthis, brother of king Minos. It was also the city that gave birth to the great wise man and soothsayer Epimenidis, one of the seven wise men of the ancient world.