In the initial stages, Phocas attempted to transfer the capital to the hinterland of the Heraklion area by building a fortress named Temenos, on a site named Rocca by the village of Profitis Ilias. Yet nothing came of this attempt, and Chandax was finally to become the administrative centre of Crete.
The city was bounded by what are now Beaufort, Daedalou and Chandakos Streets. Excavations have unearthed buildings of various types dating to this period, such as two large, finely built public bathhouses, one in Koronaiou St and the other in Chortatson St, as well as water cisterns and tombs. A large number of movable finds have also come to light, such as coins and exquisite examples of glazed pottery. With regard to contemporary fortifications, it is considered almost certain that at many points the Byzantine enceinte rested on the pre-existing Arab stone base. Some portions of it have been uncovered during earthworks for new buildings on plots along Daedalou St.