Ancient Diktynna was built along modern day Menies beach, at Cape Spatha. This city was a sanctuary, its name attached to the word ‘dikty’ (=net) and Mount Dikty. According to legend, King Minos was deeply in love with goddess Britomartis, who rejected him. Thus, while trying to escape his continuous pursuit, she fell from Mount Dikty and was rescued by fishermen’s nets, hence the namesake. Then, Goddess Artemis renamed her Diktynna. This name got her wide local popularity and affection during Hellenistic and Roman times, as with the Diktynna Sanctuary, the most significant place of worship in western Crete, where rituals took place to honour her.

The two cities claiming appropriation of the sanctuary and had been in continuous rivalry were Kydonia, in Chania, and Polyrrhenia, in Kasteli. The temple ruins – a sight for the passing visitor – date back to the Roman Era, over which, in the 9th century, a Christian monastery was built, dedicated to St George. Relentless pirate raids on this seaside spot unfortunately ruined both structures.

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