Archeological sites around Sykia
Tempre of Hera
On a calm and sunny day there is hardly a more beautiful place that the Heraion of Perachora on the whole of the Corinthian coast. The sanctuary of goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, lies under a lighthouse, in the company of a very small and very picturesque church, in a secluded bay facing the city of Corinth. The ruins of the sanctuary are visible eveywhere: a temple, a cictern, a stoa…
Mycenae was given UNESCO world heritage ranking in 1999 and since then ranks among the world’s most important cultural sites. You have probably heard of the infamous Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks in their long war against Troy (a war triggered by the abduction by Paris, the prince of Troy, of the beautiful Helen, wife of Agamemnon’s brother and king of Sparta, Menelaos). Mycenae was the capital of his kingdom.
The most famous archeological site in Greece, at least since the 2004 Summer Olympics. In Antiquity it was the site of the famous Olympic Games of Antiquity, which took place every 4 years. In fact they were so important that all wars stopped during that time. The most impressive monument in this site is the temple of Zeus. Its enormous stone columns fell to the ground during two earthquakes in the 6th centure AD and remain in their original fallen position, like domino blocks.
At the foot of the beautiful Mount Parnassos, lies Delphi, the seat of Antiquity’s most famous oracle. The site has a number of well-preserved monuments, such as a theatre, a stadium and a tholos, In its museum you will see the famous “Charioteer”, a beautiful statue of a beautiful young man!
Ancient Stymfalia is on the shore of Lake Stymfalia, made famous by Hercules, who performed here one of his 12 labours, namely the slaying of the man-eating birds. The ruins of Ancient Stymfalia are being excavated by Canadian archeologist Prof. Hector Williams. Walking around the ruins you will the remains of houses, a theatre, a small temple and an acropolis.
A little further up the mountain from Ancient Corinth is the Acrocorinth, the acropolis of Ancient Corinth, from where the view of the sea below are also quite spectacular! Nothing much remains here from Antiquity,as the site was occupied by everyone who passed through this area: Turks, Francs etc. You can visit the frankish walls and the remains of their castle, as well as a small Turkish mosque.
The ancient theatre of Epidaurus, which is still used today, is a place you must visit at least once in your lifetime. Epidaurus is also a UNESCO world heritage centre , and not for its theatre. The site also includes an “Asklepion”, a healing centre, and in fact the most famous and important healing centre of the Ancient and Roman worlds.
Ancient Nemea: Another small but well-preserved ancient site, with a very pretty museum. You can visit here the religious complex, comprising a still-standing temple, and the ancient stadium. Very important games took place here in Antiquity, called the “Nemea”. A nice surprise is the “Aidonia treasure”, a collection of ancient antiquities stolen during the excavations and restored to Greece in 1993. A seperate wing was built in the museum to house them.
A small archeological site, but a very important one. In fact, the theatre of Ancient Sikyon, which you can visit, was among the biggest ones in Ancient Greece. And it is this theatre that, according to legend, witnessed the birth of tragedy. Its new museum is definitely worth a visit!
Undoubtedly the highlight of Ancient Aigeira, excavated since the early 20th century by the Austrian Archeological Institute, is its well-preserved theatre facing the Gulf of Corinth and Ancient Delphi on the opposite side of the sea. The earliest findings on this site attest to a social life here since the Neolithic age, although the theatre itself was built during the 3rd century BC.
The most important archeological site in our immediate vicinity is a sight you should not miss. Well preserved, with its main temple still standing and its agora distinguishable, it is well worth a quiet and contempletative walk. Remember that it is here that the Apostle Paul delivered his famous first epistle to the Corinthians (also called the Hymn to Love).