Gortyn. Crete. Greece. View of the scare remains of the Temple of Pythian Apollo which was the holiest sanctuary in Gortyn and known throughout the ancient world. The temple was built in the 7th century BC above an earlier Minoan temple, and was remodelled in the Hellenistic period and then was converted to a Christian church in the 2nd century AD. The vast Greco-Roman ruins of Gortyn or Gortys, a former ancient capital of Crete, are scattered among fields and olive groves in the middle of the Messara plain in the prefecture of Iraklio. Crete is Greece’s largest island and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean.