Each historical era has left its sign in the soil of Sitia. During the declining years of the Minoan civilisation, the city of Presos continued to uphold Minoan values, successfully holding off Dorian invaders. It was finally destroyed by the powerful city of Ierapetra. The development of the Greek and Hellenistic period came to a halt with the arrival of the Romans who in turn left their mark – eg. the Roman fish tanks in Sitia and the theatre on the island of Koufonisi. The subsequent Byzantine period led to the construction of new fortresses, major ports and churches both large and small. Despite being easy prey for marauding pirates and robbers the Sitian people continued an uninterrupted cultural development of some significance.
The Venetians – new masters of the region – buried all previous history under the foundations of their new buildings, in this way stamping their authority on the area and leaving their own mark on the passage of time.
The Kazarma fortress, the feudal towers scattered around the area, imposing buildings and new settlements are all built on the ruins of the old. Wherever the visitor wanders, he can see traces of the long Venetian occupation in the “vigilae” and guard towers, in the spacious villas of the ruling families and in the fortifications.
The Ottoman Turks were the next people to leave their mark in the region. However, the Ottomans left few traces of cultural development. Their mark can be seen only in written archives and felt in the living traditions and stories which are etched into the collective memory of the peoples of Sitia and of the surrounding villages, many of which have names which can be traced back to the Ottoman occupation.