Argyroupolis is the present-day village built on the site of the ancient city. It is a place with rich vegetation and many natural water springs. Parts of many houses in Argyroupolis
come from ancient or Venetian buildings. Beautiful Venetian mansions still stand in many parts of the village and are still inhabited. Excavations in the area have uncovered interesting finds, the oldest of which date from the Late Geometric period.
Ancient Lappa territory lied in south Rethymno , reaching from the Cretan to the Libyan Sea. In the 2nd century BC Lappa made an alliance with Lyttos and other Cretan cities against Knossos . Knossos destroyed Lyttos and its inhabitants were sheltered in Lappa. In 193 BC Lappa allied itself with Teo, a city in Ionia region (central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey) and in 183 BC with Pergamus.
During the Roman post-Caesarian civil war, Lappa ranged itself with Octavian against Antony. After Octavian’s victory, Lappa gained special privileges and self-dependence. In this period, in the Late Roman period (2nd-4th century), Lappa flourished as shown by rich impressive architectural finds in the area near rivers Mousela and Petre. Excavations have also uncovered Roman bath-houses and many coins.
The first twenty four coins minted in Lappa depict Apollo, Poseidon, Diana and Athena. Twelve coins dated from the Roman period depict Roman emperors. Other finds include pieces of sculptures, statues, bone tools, mosaics, pottery, inscriptions etc.
Lappa is considered one of the oldest Episcopal sees in Crete, founded by Apostle Titus. The city was razed by the Saracens when they seized Cretein the 9th century. In the 13th and 14th century it was used as a shelter and base of rebels who acted against the Venetian occupiers. It had been a feud belonging to the Hortatsis family since the Second Byzantine period and during the Hortatsis revolt against the Venetians it was occupied by Alexios Kallergis who had allied himself with the Venetians.
During the period of the Turkish occupation, the village was called Gaidouropoli or Samaropoli and in 1822 it was named Argyroupolis, as it is still called today, by a revolutionary committee. Its position in the area made it useful for the rebels of the 19th century. The General Assembly of the Cretans, held in 1867 and 1878, when the union of Crete with Greece was decided, took place in Argyroupolis.
Today, in the northwest area of Argyroupolis , the vegetation is very rich and there are small, beautiful water falls. In older times, the water power was used to grind grain. The water mills still stand today.
The flora of the area is quite interesting. You can follow the beautiful path through the springs and visit the cave which houses Agios Ioannis or Agia Dynami church and from which Mouselas river springs.
The water flowing through the church is considered sacred and miraculous. Argyroupolis is also well-known for its lovely taverns , where you can taste exquisite dishes of the traditional Cretan cuisine . You can also combine your visit in Argyroupolis with swimming in Episkopi beach , which is located a few minutes away from the village.