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The city is located near the exit of the Samaria Gorge on the eastern side of the river. The city was founded classical times, was small but independent and minted its own coins, which, on one side depicts the head of an ibex (ibex) and arrow and another bee. It was a great religious center of the Dorians, with temples of the goddess Vritomartydos, which was the protector of flocks, Apollo and Artemis, the main worship Tarraiou Apollo. The city was famous for its oracle and had established colonies in southern Italy and the Caucasus. Apollo left here with dolphins, Delphi and went to the solid Greece and founded the oracle of Delphi.

It flourished during the Hellenistic, but mainly Roman period. The Romans when they found the Temple of Vritomartidas, protector of herds, the same dedicated to their goddess, the Roumilia. When Christianity prevailed, was named St. Roumilia and later Agia Roumeli, where in one version the name originates in the region. During antiquity and later the Venetian rule, Tarra was a major shipyard. The location was ideal for such a task, and this for two reasons, because there afenos large quantity of raw wood near the coast and also because the river has been a great source of energy for sawmills that existed here. Four thousand years ago, Tara was a major exporter of timber. Also in town were glassmaking workshops.

From here came the Lucilla who flourished in the 2nd BC century, and wrote comments in the Argonautica of Apollonius rhodium, and the guitar player Chrisothemis, son of Karmanoros, who defeated the Pythia. 183 BC appears to be one of the cities that signed the alliance of 30 Cretan cities with Eumenes II of Pergamon. The city was destroyed in 66p.Ch. by an earthquake. The coast of Tara, until 365 AD about, had nothing in common with today's beach, and then dried rose sharply by about 4 m along the coast of Sfakia.

Near the old village of Agia Roumeli, the ruins of an ancient temple of Apollo, on which had been founded early Christian basilica (still preserved walls 3m. Wonderful and mosaics), which later turned into the small church of Panagia on the 1500s.