The ancient city
Corinth is on the narrow isthmus connecting the Saronic and Corinthian gulfs, that is, the city was the port of two seas, and through him was all the trade between the West and the East of Greece. It was a very prosperous city since the eighth century BC had its commercial and military fleet. But in rivalry with Athens Corinth lost and gradually fell into decay. In 44 BC Julius Caesar re-founded Corinth as a Roman colony. Here preached the Apostle Paul.
Archaeological excavations of the city allow us to estimate the huge size of Corinth. Most of the buildings of the city belong to Roman time, but the remains and the more ancient buildings. For example, the complex of the ruins of the temple of Apollo 550 B. C. He was standing in the center of town, on a low hill. Preserved seven of its monolithic limestone columns. Elegant ancient Greek city fountain Peirene, restored in Roman times, still supplies water to the local village.
Paved marble road Lechaion linked its port with the city and ended the extant staircase with majestic Propylaea. From the temple of Octavia remained only three Corinthian columns. The temple was built on a raised Foundation and is dedicated to the sister of Emperor Augustus.
4 km from the city on the rock is Acrocorinth. This fortress, erected on the ruins of the Acropolis, which it has was rebuilt by the Byzantines, the Turks and the crusaders. Here are preserved fortified walls with imposing towers and minarets, Muslim tombs, chapels, ruins of temple of Aphrodite – a variety of evidence of the eventful history of the fortress. It offers a magnificent view of the surroundings. In the archaeological Museum of Corinth presents all periods of the history of the ancient city.
With the VI century BC here was the sanctuary of the God of healing Asclepius. Here gathered thousands of pilgrims with requests for healing. Hosted sports competitions, arranged various processions.
In most parts of the sanctuary of Asclepius excavations. You can see the huge Propylaea gate on the North side of the sanctuary, the ruins of the Tholos, the purpose of which remains unknown, and animation separate room for the sick awaiting healing. From the temple of Asclepius remained only the Foundation.
Ruins of the theatre built in the IV century BC, the Theater had a diameter of 114 meters and was divided into sectors by stone stairs. Preserved the scene (the orchestra), with a diameter of 20 meters. The actors came on stage through the corridors on both sides of the stage, through the monumental gate. Epidaurus theatre is glorified for its excellent acoustics. Here is annually held the summer festival of Greek drama.
The heyday of the famous Mycenae belongs to the XV-XI centuries BC and in the XII century BC the city fell into decay. The Palace complex was discovered by the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1876, who discovered in shaft tombs gold products and thus confirmed the glory of “setoobinline of Mycenae”. Mycenaean gold is kept in the National archaeological Museum in Athens.
Such citadels were built for the ruling elite. Outside the city walls lived not only of the aristocracy but artisans, merchants. The fortress walls reach a width of 14 meters. They are called “cyclopean” because of the legend according to which these walls were built by Cyclops. From a huge Royal Palace located on top of a hill, there are only floors. On the rocks it is still possible to see traces of the fire that destroyed this magnificent building.
Lion’s gate was built in the XIII century BC and lead to the Acropolis. Their name they owe to the bas-relief with lions, crowning the doorway. Inside the Acropolis was discovered six Royal tombs with rich grave gifts of these treasures and found Schliemann.
Inside the walls there is also several tombs, of which the best preserved Treasury of Atreus and tomb of Clytemnestra. Treasury of Atreus in the fourteenth century BC. This dual-chamber tomb: down the long corridor leading to the domed room where rested the body of the deceased king, and in a small side chapel were the remains of previous burials. Huge 9-meter stone slab weighing 120 tons was set above the entrance to the Treasury. How set the ancient masters is still unknown.
At the confluence of two rivers – Alfios and Kladeos, was founded in Olympia, for thousands of years served as a sanctuary of Zeus and venue of the sporting events – the Olympic games.
The temple of Zeus was constructed around 470 BC architect and sculptor Phidias. Come down to our time fragments of the Foundation and fragments of columns allow us to estimate the grandeur of this building. In ancient times the temple was decorated with marble and painted.Inside the temple stood the famous statue of Zeus, by Phidias. It was made of gold, ivory and wood, and was considered one of the seven wonders of the world. On this statue of Phidias worked in a special building – Workshop, which was subsequently converted into a Christian Church.
Nearby was located the temple of Hera, oldest in Greece ( beginning of VI century BC), all the capitals of the columns which are very different from each other. Here kindle the fire of modern Olympic games. Also preserved and Filippin – round building, the construction of which was started by king Philip II and completed under Alexander the Great.
On-site gymnasium was practice. Located near the palaestra was used for changing clothes, washing and recreational athletes. It also housed a dining hall and a library. Leonídion – the largest building in Olympia. Its purpose is to noble guests of the games. Leonídion consists of an outer colonnade of a building in the shape of a square and an internal colonnade. In the centre of the courtyard was dug, the pool with a small island.
The famous Olympic stadium is similar to a highly elongated hollow. The stands were not there, and the audience watched the games right from the grassy slopes around the stadium. In the Archaeological Museum of Olympia houses priceless finds from excavations of the ancient city. This is one of the richest museums in Greece. The exhibits are presented in chronological order, from prehistoric times to the Roman period.