The town is present throughout the history of Crete. According to the myths, Cyrbas was one of the first settlers.
The town was initially called Cyrbas, from the name of its founder.
Later it was called Kamiros, Pytna, Ierapytna and eventually Ierapetra.

Growing from the early years of the ancient Cretan civilization, this gifted and strategic corner of Europe has always a strong point of interest and activity.
Ancient Ierapetra will reach her peak during the 2nd and 1st century BC.

The town rules a very large area of southeast Crete which includes the once powerful cities of Pressos, Priansos, Malla and Oleros which once blocked her expansion. Ierapetra resisted the Roman invaders harder than any other Cretan city, however it was destroyed by the conquerors in 66 BC.

It was rebuilt to a magnificent city according to the Roman model with a theatre and other public buildings.
In the Byzantine period Ierapetra sustained her significance but was destroyed by the Saracens in 828 AD who rebuilt it partially mainly to use it as a center of piracy operations.

Persefoni: a life size statue
Copyright 2002 - Ierapetra Team