Peloponnese-Korinthos

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General Information for Korinthos

Korinthos The strategically positioned - adjacent to the Isthmus of Korinth-Korinthia was once one of the most powerful regions of the country and the mighty city of Korinth was its dominant part. Today the Old Korinth is one of the main tourist attractions.

Modern Korinth, 52 miles from Athens has very little to offer a visitor. Virtually destroyed by a powerful earthquake in 1928, was rebuilt erecting strong concrete buildings in order to withstand future calamities. It offers a nice harbor, good food, hospitable people and good accommodation if you plan an overnight stay. Its proximity to the ancient site (appr. 4 1/2 nukes), makes it very convenient and attractive. Ancient Korinth is one of the most significant ancient sites of Peloponnese. The Temple of Apollo is one of the oldest in Greece and the most prominent monument on the site. Near the museum is a Roman Temple. Its three white marble columns of Korinth style, have been restored. North to the museum there is a rock, where, many believe the mythical Owl's fountain is located. From the Propylaea you'll enter the huge agora. Αt the eastern end of the agora/forum there is the Peirene Fountain and near it the Julian Basilica (taking that name because it housed the statues of Julius Ceasar's family).

Acrokorinth - behind the city - constitutes not only the largest but the oldest fortress of Peloponnese as well. You will reach the top of the hill going through three successive gateways, where the element of Frankish architecture is dominating. On the higher of Acrokorinth's two summits the Temple of Aphrodite is located. It was there, where the sacred courtesans catered to the wishes of the Korinthians. The temple is in ruins, the view, however, is breath taking. The site is closed Mondays. Mycenae is synonymous with Homer and Heinrich Schliemann. In the 9th century BC Homer told in his epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, of a well-built city, Mycenae, rich in gold and fame. These poems were - until the 19th century AD - regarded as gripping and beautiful legends.

In the 1870's, though, the amateur archeologist Heinrich Schliemann (1822-90) despite derision from professional archeologists, proved that the kingdom of Myceane was not a product of Homer's imagination but had indeed played a great role in Ancient Greece and it was considered the cradle of a splendid civilization, the Myceanean Civilization. The city appeared to be an administrative centre and was fortified with Cyclopean Walls. Huge polygonal stones fitted together (during the classical period it was believed that - due to their size - they must had been built by giants (the Cyclops).

The Myceanean Civilization came to end around 1100 BC with the Dorian invasion, as many historians claim. Most of the classical drama plots are drawn from the Homeric dynasty of Mycenae, which was a family beset by treacheries, tragedies and intrigue. Mycenae (Ancient Mycenae) is regarded as one of the most significant sites in Greece today and many of Schlieman's findings are exhibited at the National Archeological Museum of Athens, while a number of them that the Greek government had given to Schliemann and were in Germany (his native country) till the 2nd World War are now in Moscow. There is also the Modern small town of Mycenae, where you could comfortably stay overnight, at La Belle Helene or at any other small hotel, and then stroll past the ancient ruins enjoying the splendid site of the fortified Acropolis of Mycenae. Go through the famous Gate of the Lions (in the north-west corner of the fortress), its impressive relief is the oldest of monumental sculpture in Europe. Proceed through the passage beyond to the royal graveyard where the unlaundered tombs were excavated by Schliemann in 1876 and priceless treasures - gold masks, weapons, jewellery and other items - were discovered. Admire the most impressive buildings of the Mycenean Age, the arched tombs, especially the Atreus Treasure or the Tomb of Agamemnon, with the decorated entrance and the circular inner chamber still somewhat intact and only the contents of the ornamented interior being in ruins. As it was customary, the entrance of the tomb had to be sealed, after the burial of the head of the family, thus, the explanations of the stone's size over the doorway of Agamamnon's tomb (weighing appr. 120 tons). The Mycenean Age that produced splendid art and culture reached its zenith between 1600 and 1100 BC.

Epidavros/Epidaurus Approximately 20 miles east of Nafplion you'll encounter one of the most famous ancient sites of Greece, where the best preserved, renowned Epidavros theatre is located. The open theatre - built inside a forest - enchants visitors with its architecture and superb acoustics. Every summer the Royal Theatre Company performs outstanding ancient dramas which are not to be missed.

Programs can be obtained at the EOT offices. The ancient town of Epidavros - near the east coast of Peloponnese - was known as the most significant (out of many) sanctuary of the god of healing, Asclepios (Apollo's son). In today's museum one sees a remarkable collection of replicas of anatomical parts offered to Asclepios after the treatment.

 

Besides the museum and the theatre - which was built by the architect Polycletos (dating back to the 4th century BC) and seats approximately 15,000 - within the sacred sector there are also a stadium, bath-houses, a large guest-house, a luxurious circular structure, the Temple of Themis, the foundations of the Temple of Artemis (goddess of hunting), etc. Nafplio(n) The destination of most tourists going to Argolis is to visit the famous ancient sites of Mycenae and Epidavros and they overlook the beauty of a modern town of 10,000 inhabitants, which is an unadulterated landscape of fairy tale proportions.

Nafplio's charms rest on the elegant neo-classical buildings, rambling mosques, historical squares and the sea-side cafes and tavernas. Decide to visit the celebrated Palamidi with the profound medieval atmosphere, where its summit is dominated by the ruins of seven fortresses.

The peninsula of Acronafplio with the Greek fort on the north side and the Frankish fort in the west were connected through a secret passage. You can reach Burtzi - which occupied a strategic position during the Venetians - by motor boat (this fort was converted into a hotel no longer in operation). Argolis, in addition, offers some superb beaches on the Saronic but mainly the Argolic Gulf (e.g. Arvanitia, Karathonas, Nea Chios, Assinis Beach, Tolo, Porto Cheli, New and Old Epidavros and Galatas). From the lovely towns of Porto Cheli and Galatas you could easily visit the off-shore islands of Hydra, Poros and Spetches by hydrofoils which make regular journeys in these waters.