Favorite modern & ancient sites. Let us take you to hidden and known places...
Aegina, in the centre of the Argosaronic, immediately conquers the visitor, as soon as the boat passes the lighthouse, the town and port of Aegina appear. A walk around the town will lead to many historical buildings dating from 19th c. Among them is the house of Capodistrias, the first Governor of Greece after the War of Independence in 1821. It has remained standing to remind us that Aegina was for two years the temporary capital city of Greece, before it was officially installed in Nafplion. A stroll near the port will bring you to the archaeological site of Kolonas. Here the ancient city was built, when Aegina, with its powerful fleet, ruled the seas, long before Athens began to make its presence felt.
Athens. Athens is a place of great cultural interest, as well as a vivid and modern city. The harmonious and perfectly balanced combination between the old and the new age make this city unique. Both sides of Athens are extremely appealing to tourists.
Corinth was transferred to a new site in 1858 after a severe earthquake and rebuilt after a further earthquake in 1928 and a great fire in 1933. The city of ancient Corinth grew up 7 km (4 miles) SW in a beautiful setting on the northern slopes at the foot of the hill of Acrocorinth (Akrokorinthos), which acted as the fortified citadel of the ancient and medieval cities. The site was occupied continuously from the Neolithic period to the Middle Ages. There are extensive remains, mostly dating from the Roman period, dominated by the imposing ruins of the Archaic Temple of Apollo.
Delphi stands high on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in the heart of Phocis at the crossroads of important routes of the ancient world. Is one of the most famous cult sites in Greece, renowned throughout the ancient Greek world and beyond as the sanctuary of Apollo and the seat of his oracle. It was at the end of the Mycenaean period that Apollo, Olympian God and guarantor of universal harmony, is supposed to have overcome the old underworld deities. A hymn attributed to Homer tells how, after his birth on Delos Zeus' son came to Delphi, killed the snake Python with his bow and arrow and in accordance with divine law, he went into exile for eight years to atone for the killing of the snake and on his return, he took his place, becoming the god Python, who gave oracles through the intermediary of the Pythia. A festival consisting dramatic and lyric contests were held in the sanctuary theatre, and the stadium was home not only to the athletic games, but also to musical events.
Epidavros. In the hinterland of Epidavros, on a site enjoying a mild climate and plentiful water from healing springs, the Epidavrians founded the sanctuary of Asklepios, the most brilliant centre of healing in the ancient world, which flourished from the late 5th century B.C. until the end of Roman era. The towns magnificent theatre, still almost intact, stands in a wooded hollow of a hill not far from the Archaeological Museum.
Gythion. A seaside town in Laconia in Greece, long known as the seaport of Sparta some 30 miles inland. It lies at the northwestern end of the Gulf of Laconia, in a fertile small plain around the mouth of the Gythius River. The reputed founders of ancient Gythion were Heracles and Apollo. In 455 BC, during the first Peloponnesian War, it was burned by the Athenian admiral Tolmides. In 370 BC Epaminondas besieged it unsuccessfully for three days. Its fortifications were strengthened by the tyrant Nabis, but in 195 BC it was invested and taken by Titus and Lucius Quintius Flamininus, and, though recovered by Nabis two or three years later, was recaptured immediately after his murder (192 BC) by Philopoemen and Aulus Atilius, and remained in the Achaean League until the league's dissolution in 146 BC.
Levadia, a lively town, an important junction in the road network and an industrial centre, the textile mills treat the cotton grown in the Copais valley. The upper town is graced by white houses with jutting wooden balconies dating from 18c. We'll stop for a drink by the beautiful river Krya. Over the spot where the water springs out, lies the Municipal Cafe "XENIA". During the ancient times, Krya is said to be the location of the Oracle of Trofonios Zeus which included the springs of Mnemosyne (Remembrance) and the spring of Lethe (oblivion). The oracle was used as a stage before visiting the oracle of Delphi and as such, through the times, it acquired great power and riches.
Mani is the southernmost part of the Peloponnesus, a great rocky trident of land stretching into the Sea of Crete. Here lies the inhospitable region known as the deep mani. Nominally part of the prefecture of Laconia, it is really another country, with its own customs, architecture and code of honor. In such fortified towns, their characteristic, Maniot tower - dwellings silhouetted against the clear Peloponnesian sky , it is easy to see why the Maniates are considered the true heirs of the bellicose ancient Spartans, known as the Lacedaemonians.
The Ancient Messini-Ithomi was an ancient fort in the region of Messinia, in south-west Peloponnese. At the top of the homonymous mountain at a height of 805 meters. The mountain was dedicated to Zeus the Ithomata because of several lightning bolts that fell there, and was on top of an altar. The fortress of Ithomi played an important role in A' Messinian War in the late 7th century BC, between Messenia and Sparta.
Meteora - The Rocky Forest of Greece. 64 gigantic rocks rise perpendicularly from the ground on the western edge of the plain of Thessaly in the heart of northern Greece. These ancient pinnacles etched by wind and rain echoed the chants of the ascetic community of Meteora, home of monks who live in monasteries and chapels perched precariously upon the rocks. Meteora stands on the plain of Thessaly beside the village of Kastraki around 26 km (16 m) north of Trikala and 375 km (234 m) northwest of Athens. The grey monolithic rocks stand in front of the Pindos Mountains. The impressive rocks are composed of a mixture of sandstone and hard gravel called conglomerate.
Monemvasia, a name which derives from moni emvasis, the Greek for "single entrance", is a truncated mass of rock Attached, tentatively, to the eastern coast of Laconia by a slender modern causeway. A true island known as the "Gibraltar of Greece" , Monemvasia was settled in the sixth century AD. by Lacedaemonians fleeing Sparta.
Mycenae. Greece in the bronze age, had several important centers, including Mycenae. The city of Agamemnon was one of several heavily fortified strongholds. The king lived in a place with many rooms which served as a military headquarters and a centre of administration for the surrounding countryside. The Mycenaean's were warriors, and weapons and armor have been found in their graves. They were also great traders and sailed far and wide. Their civilization reached the height of its power in about 1600 b.c and eclipsed the Minoan civilization of Crete. All seemed secure and prosperous, but around 1300 b.c the Mycenaean's started to build huge defensive walls around all the major towns. The Mycenaean world was under threat from foreign invaders. By about 1200 b.c the cities began to be abandoned or destroyed.
Mystras, the Medieval town. Following the road from Sparta which passes through plane trees, cypresses, olive trees, mulberries and orange trees we reach Mystras. In the distance, mount Taygetos looms proudly. We scan its innumerable peaks, precipitous slopes and deep gorges until our gaze suddenly rests on a hill, detached from the mountain range. On the naturally defended hill of Myzithras in Lacedaimon, the ruler of the Frankish Principate of Achaia Guillaume de Villehardouin built in 1249 a strong medieval castle the Oriokastro which was to play an important role in the history of the last centuries of the Byzantine empire.
Nafpaktos or Naupactus (Greek: Ναύπακτος, Latin: Naupactos; Italian, Spanish and Portuguese: Lepanto), is a town in the prefecture of Aetolia-Acarnania, Greece, situated on a bay on the north side of the straits of Lepanto. The harbor, once the best on the northern coast of the Corinthian Gulf, is accessible only to the smallest craft. The origin of Naupactus comes from the two Greek words: ναύς naus ship, boat and πήγνυμι pÍgnumi, pegnymi builder, fixer. Distance from Patras is about 15 km NE and about 215 km NW of Athens with the new Rio-Antirio bridge. Battle of Naupactus (429 BC) and Battle of Lepanto 1571.
In historical times it belonged to the Locrians; but about 455 BC, in spite of a partial resettlement with Locrians of Opus, it fell to the Athenians, who peopled it with Messenian refugees and made it their chief naval station in western Greece during the Peloponnesian war. Two major battles were fought at this location.
The Battle of Naupactus (429 BC) was a naval battle in the Peloponnesian War. The battle, which took place a week after the Athenian victory at Rion, set an Athenian fleet of 20 ships, commanded by Phormio, against a Peloponnesian fleet of 77 ships, commanded by Cnemus
In the battle, the Peloponnesians drew the Athenians out from their anchorage at Antirio by sailing into the Corinthian gulf, moving as if to attack the vital Athenian base at Naupactus. The Athenians were forced to shadow their movements, sailing eastward along the northern shore of the gulf. Attacking suddenly, the Peloponnesians drove nine Athenian ships ashore and pursued the others towards Naupactus; victory seemed securely in their hands. At the entrance to the harbor of Naupactus, however, the last Athenian ship to reach the harbor turned the tide by circling around an anchored merchant ship to ram and sink its leading pursuer. Confusion set in among the Peloponnesians, and the newly emboldened Athenians set out after them and routed them. In all, the Athenians recaptured all but one of their nine grounded ships and seized six Peloponnesian ships to boot. This surprising victory preserved Athens' naval dominance and kept Naupactus secure; the arrival of an additional 20 Athenian ships shortly afterwards secured the victory and put an end to Sparta's attempt to take the offensive in the Northwest.
In the Middle Ages it fell into the hands of the Venetians, who fortified it so strongly that in 1477 it successfully resisted a four months siege by a Turkish army thirty thousand strong; in 1499, however, it was rumoured to have been sold by the Venetians to Beyazid II (Turks invading forces). The mouth of the Gulf of Lepanto was the scene of the great sea fight in which the naval power of the Ottoman Empire was nearly completely destroyed by the united papal, Spanish, Habsburg and Venetian forces ( Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571, the allied fleet of the Holy League destroyed the Ottoman navy. Contemporaries celebrated the victory of united Christendom over the 'infidel' Turks) . In 1678 it was recaptured by the Venetians, but was again restored in 1699, by the treaty of Karlowitz to the Ottomans. In the war of independence it finally became Greek once more (March 1829). After World War II and the Greek Civil War, its buildings were rebuilt while its architecture remain.
Nafplion has 20,000 inhabitants and is divided into the old and the new town. The old town was built mainly in the days of the governor Ioannis Capodistrias, at the beginning of the 19th c, but buildings still exist from the Venetian era. The new town is an ordinary Greek town with no special assets, so stroll about the old, historical quarters with their neoclassical buildings, charming squares and majestic fonts. Nafplio has known tourism since the first decades of the century. It is a colorful town with culture and history and tallies entirely with the standards of the demanding modern visitor for accommodation, meals and entertainment
Nemea (41 km. from Corinthos) is close to the limits of the state of Argolida. This municipality is surrounded by an abundance of grapevines, which have given Nemea fame for the good wine they produce. Even in ancient times Nemea was renowned as being the place in Greek Mythology where Hercules killed the fearful lion. In the ancient site of Nemea the most notable building is the temple of Zeus ( 40c BC), The archaeological digs (which are still going on ) have brought to light baths and arenas, a stadium and the entrance of the athletes and foundations of other buildings.
Olympia. Every four years Greeks from all over the Greek world gathered in this sanctuary to participate in the Olympiada. A sacred truce was kept during the period of the games and attempts were made to settle wars and conflicts between the (poleis -cities) based on reasoning inspired by Zeus. They were finally banned by the Emperor Theodosius, and came to an end in AD 393 after an existence of more than a thousand years. A direct consequence was the revival of the Olympic Games by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the first modern Games being held in Athens in 1896. The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games is marked with the arrival of the Olympic flame which is taken on every occasion from Olympia, Greece, the original site of the Olympic Games.
Orchomenos in Boeotia. Orchomenos was a very important Boeotian city and was particularly prosperous in Mycenaean times. It is referred to by Homer, Strabo and Pausanias as one of the strongest centers of the heroic past, with legendary wealth. Excavations carried out at Orchomenos since the end of the last century have yielded rich fruit, which attests to the continuous occupation of the area from 2200 BC down to Roman times. The ancient city extends over the slopes of a low hill in the eastern foothills of Mount Akontion. The acropolis of historical times was laid out on the higher parts of the hill. In the 5th century BC Orchomenos was a member of the Boeotian League. It continued to be tied to Thebes until 395 BC, when, during the course of the Boeotian War, it entered into alliance with the Spartans against Thebes. In 364 BC, the city was destroyed by the Thebans. The city was refunded by Philip II after the battle of Chaeronia (338 BC). During Alexander the Grate's campaign against Thebes (335 BC), Orchomenos took the side of the Macedonians. Alexander recompensed the city by granting it privileges, such as the extending of its fortification wall. In the 3rd and 2nd century BC, Orchomenos and the other large cities of Boeotia (Thebes, Plataia, Thespiai and Tanagra) reformed the Boeotian League. Orchomenos was destroyed by the Roman general Sulla in 86 BC, during the Mithridatic Wars.
Pelion. Legend has it that this mountain was the summer resort of the Gods of Olympus and the magic country of the Centaur. It rises, imposing and green, above Volos between the Pagasitic Gulf and the Aegean Sea. Here in the magnetic atmosphere of the Pelioritic Landscape, history mingles with legend, the wild with the tranquil, yesterday with today.
Sounion. Ancient Greeks believed that Sounio was the house of Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Today the Greeks still come and pay homepage to the divine nature of the Cape Akrotirion words cannot describe it .
Sparta in Southern Greece was founded in the 10th c. B.C. in a fertile plain of Laconia, by the Dorian's, who defeated the original inhabitants of the area. Its remoteness was an advantage to the warring Spartans and the high mountains to the east, north, and west, and the sea to the south, formed natural defences. Two centuries later, Sparta conquered its neighbour, Messenia, and gained excellent agricultural land. It became a luxury - loving state producing fine crafts. Music and poetry also flourished. Later, the Spartans were defeated in war, and the conquered Messenians engaged in a long running rebellion, so Sparta turned to military matters. It became a super power in Greece and the main rival of Athens and Spartan society was dominated by the need to maintain power.
Vassae. The temple of Epikurios Apollo stands at a height of 1130m on mount Kotilio, 14km south of Andritsaina. At this site, which was called Vassai (little valleys) in antiquity, the inhabitants of nearby Phigaleia founded a sanctuary of Apollo Bassitas in the 7thc BC, where they worshipped the god with the epithet Epikourios- supporter in war or illness. The temple of Apollo in the sanctuary at Vassai is one of the best-preserved monuments of the ancient Classical world. It was built from 420 to 400 BC on the site of an earlier Archaic temple. It is believed that the temple was built in honor of Epikurios Apollo, as gratitude for saving their town from a plague. The traveler Pausanias, who visited and admired the monument in the middle of the 2nd C. AD, states that its architect was Iktinos who was also the architect of the Parthenon in Athens.
Vergina - Aegae. A highly important ancient city, certainly to be identified with Aegae, the firts ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedonia, spreads over the low hills in the northern slopes of' the Pierian range, between the modern villages of Palatitsia and Vergina. This city was the most important urban centre in the region until the 4th c. BC. Here were to be found the ancestral sanctuaries of the Macedonians, and the palaces and the tombs (with their famous treasures) of the Argead dynasty, which traced its origins to the mythical hero Heracles and gave Greek history its most captivating figure, Alexander the Great.
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