Agia Rouméli village - Tarra
Sfakia, South Hania
The ancient city of Tarra (GR: Τάρρα). Here according to mythology the god Apollo and his sister Artemis sought refuge after killing the Python at Delphi. Apollo Tarraios was worshiped in Tarra and temples were built in his honor.
In 1415, the Franciscan monk Buondelmonti - probably the first traveller in the area - reported the existence of large buildings, cisterns, ruined marble temples, parts of broken statues and figurines. He also detected in the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, an inscription in Greek that was saying: “Peel your shoes, cover your head and come in.” A similar inscription was found at the Temple of Matala. Robert Pashley however, who was the first who identified the location of Tarra, have not observed any of the above.
Tarra was probably established in the Classical period and was very important religious centre. The city flourished in the Greco - Roman period and is frequently cited in the ancient sources.
Although it was small town, Tarra had its own coins that depicted a wild goat with an arrow on one side an a honeybee on the other. Tarra had monetary union with Elyros, Yrtakina and Lissos. The coins belong to the 3rd and 2nd century BC, when Tarra became member of the Republic of Cretans. The city had established a colony of the same name in the Caucasus. It is also believed that Tarra of South Italy was another colony of the city.
Apollo, after the murder of Python, went to Tarra, where there were done purgatorial rituals by priest Karmanoras. According to Pausanias, Apollo “in the house of Karmanor, Apollo made love with nymph Akakallida”. The nymph gave birth to twins, Phylakides, and Philanders. A goat fed them. Therefore, the Elyrians presented to Delphi bronze goat feeding to infants. In Tarra, there were glass workshops.
It was the birthplace of the author Lucillus of Tarrha or Loukillos. He commented on the Argonautics by Apollonios of Rhodes. Chrysothemis, a lyre player, son of Karmanor, who won at the Pythian festival, was from Tarra as well. Tarra is one of the cities that signed decree with Eumenes B’ in 170 BC. In the area, there was found headstone with inscribed double axes that is exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Chania.
At the western bank of the river on the ruins of a n ancient temple (probably of Apollo) was built an early Christian Basilica that was later converted to the present church of Panagia (Our Lady)
In the village there was excavated part of the cemetery of the ancient town.


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