After the Palace of Knossos Phaistos (pronounced "Festos") is the
second largest Minoan palace in Crete. Originated with the blossoming of the Minoan civilization
in the Phaistos Period from 1900 to 1850 BC, the palace had the same meaning as Knossos. It was several times damaged by earthquakes and a fire, most recently by the big earthquake in 1700 BC.
Phaistos as ruling city on South Crete but was about 180 BC through the eastern
neighboring city Gortyn subject, which became from 67 BC the capital of Crete. Among numerous artifacts the famous "Discus of Phaistos" was found, which still could not be decrypted.
According to legend, the city was founded by King Minos Phaistos and named
after a son or grandson of Heracles (Heros Phaistos).
He later was killed by Idomeneus, the grandson of Minos, the king of Crete.