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Map of Peloponesos Peninsula Korinthos Olympia Kaiafas sp Mikines Epidaurus Greece


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Korinthos

Jason, being persuaded by king of Corinth to marry his daughter, Glauke, and to govern the country, is moved to engage himself to her though he has a wife, Medea. And this is to be the beginning of that dreadful story.

Corinth

The ruins of ancient Corinth, being the scene of the Greek tragedy 'Queen Medea', are located at about 90Km far from Athens, the root of Peloponnesos Peninsula.



The temple of Apollo and Lechaion road

Outstanding Mt. Acrocorinth attracts our attention even from a distance. The ancient town spread out at the foot of this mountain used to have the shopping street, the theatre, the concert hall, the temple of Apollo, as well as the big public bathhouse and flush toilets.

The scale of the town is much bigger than I expected and shows the past prosperity. This ancient kingdom is dignified and imposing enough to make me think that Jason couldn't help faithlessness to his wife. Corinth became one of my favorite ruins.




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Mikines

The Youth of Antikythera
Who is the most beautiful goddess?

Paris, judge of this difficult question, is lured by the words of Venus - "If you nominate me, I would give you the most beautiful woman in the world ・・・" and he finally hands her an apple.

It was the cause of the Trojan War that Paris, prince of Troy, abducts Helen who is the most beautiful woman in the world and queen of Sparta hostile to Troy.



The Youth of Antikythera

Divers discovered this statue in the depths of the sea off Antikythera in 1900 .



The Lions' Gate

The Lions' Gate
At that time Agamemnon governed Mycenae who was elder brother of king of Sparta and also commander of Greek army during the Trojan War.

It changed itself from its myth to the historical evidence through the excavation by Schliemann.


I visited here imagining rich land of Mycenae covered with green grass and trees as it fostered Mycenean civilization abounding with gold. But on the contrary, calcareous Greek land is different from that of Japan and it looked barren and dreary.



gold mask of Agamemnon
gold mask of "Agamemnon"

It is the most expressive and perfect of the masks from Circle A. The face is that of a true leader of men and king of kings.

National Museum of Athens


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Epidaurus - God of medicine, Asklepios

It is said that Asklepios was born to be the son of Apollo,the god of the sun, was left in the care of centaurs soon after his birth and learned medicine from them. A centaur is an animal having the head, breast and arms of a man, and the body and legs of a horse. Epidaurus is regarded as his birthplace and prospered as a sanctuary.

It is said that during its height of prosperity(about 4th c. B.C.), many medical facilities were built and many people visited here from all over the Greece to have the madical treatment. But now only the temple and the theatre etc. can be seen in the large site of ruins.

The Asklepios clinic in Bergama in Turkey referred in the page of Egypt is said to have started in around 4th c. B.C. by the doctors invited from Epidaurus.

The theatre in Epidaurus

The theatre in Epidaurus


This theater has the capacity of 14,000 audience and its acoustics are so perfect that the sound of a coin dropped on the stage can be heard in the last row.

This place is also famous for its Epidaurus Festival showing Greek ancient dramas on the stage every summer(from June to early September) and the theatergoing tours are also available in Athens during the festival.




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Olympia

Ancient Olympia is said to be the birthplace of the Olympic and located in the small town in the northwest part of the peninsula. The large archaeological site is dotted with the gymnasium, the stadium, the church and the temple of Zeus, etc.

Heraion
I walked around the vast site, sometimes taking a rest in the shade of a tree. If you enter beyond a fence for getting a closer look, you would be surprised to hear a whistle.

It took me sometime to find a man under a tree and he was not a resting tourist but a watchman whistling for the warning. There are many watchmen here and there in the site.


The modern Olympic Flame is lighted in front of the temple of Hera (above picture) and a torchbearer starts out from Olympia, bearing the sacred flame to the place where the Games are held.



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Sparta

There is little to marvel at on the site of ancient Sparta, since from the 6th century B.C. its citizens lived amidst such austerity. Their way of life was said to be their only monument.

Leonidas
Trace of the Acropolis and Theatre (2nd or 1st century B.C.) can be seen, but much of the marble that formed the seats was removed for use in the building of Mistra.



The Leonidaion

This monument to Leonidas contained the bones of the hero of Thermopylai; it lies to the north of the modern town.



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Mistra

This former capital of the Morea is the most important and most representative example of a Byzantine city of the 14th and 15th century that exists.

St.Nikolaos
In 1249, Guillaume de Villehardouin built his castle on top of Myzithra hill, and the town grew up around it on the slopes below.

It was divided into the upper and lower towns, which were connected by the Monemvassia and Nafplion gates.




Valley

The Frankish Castle is interesting in terms of both its architecture and its magnificent view, which encompasses the Tygetos to the west and valley of Laconia to the east.



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Nafplion

Nafplion is the first capital of modern Greece and today that is capital of Algolis. The town is located at a distance of 147km to the south of Athens. The legendary founder of the city Nafplion is said to be Nafplios, son of Amymoniand the god Poseidon. His own son and successor was Palamedes, the well-known hero of the Trojan War.

Nafplion

The Byzantines were the first to erect, on the top of the ancient "cyclopean" walls, the fortress of Acronafplia. Then the Francs and Venetian rulers proceeded to further reinforcing the fortification by adding, above Acronafplia, Palamidiandbu completing the relevant works on the little island of Bourtzi.



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Secret health resort!
Kaiafas spa


Kaiafas spa
This place is a sanatorium rather than a health resort. A part of the building is in the cave naturally made at the foot of a rocky mountain. The two big cave-baths are waiting for the visitors at the end of the corridor.

There is almost nothing artificial in the bathroom. Only a naked electric bulb lights it. I was scared of staying alone inside the cave-baths.


There is a hotel nearby for those who want to stay for a long period of time for recuperation. Bathing fee is Dr.500 (equivalent to about \200, July in 1995).

You must take a Swimming suit with you.



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