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PELOPONNESE
Vacations and Sightseeing

Basic information
Official languageGreek
CapitalPatras (biggest city)
Area21.379 kmĀ²
Population576,474  (2015)
Currencyeuro  (EUR)
Web.gr
Code.GRC
Tel.+30

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Vacations and Sightseeing

The Peloponnese has many attractions related to Greek antiquity and history. Below is a description of the main attractions.

Ancient Olympia is found in the western Peloponnese between the rivers of Alfeios and Kladeos. It was a sanctuary of ancient Greece and the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games. The first Olympiad took place in 776 BC. The sanctuary consists of several buildings built in different eras. The Temple of Hera was built in the 7th century B.C. The Temple of Zeus and the Hippodrome were built during the Classical period. The Prytaneion was built in 470B BC. During the Hellenistic period, the Palaestra and the Gymnasion were erected. During the Roman period, the Nympheumen was built and repairs were made to older buildings. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the gigantic golden and ivory statue of Zeus sculpted by Pheidias, used to stand on this site.

Epidaurus was a small city in ancient Greece. It was a spiritual centre in ancient times. Greeks went there to pay homage to Asklipios the god of healing and to ask the gods to cure their illness. Epidaurus was built in the 3rd century BC and the most famous structure is the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. The theatre was designed by Polykleitos the younger. The Romans sometimes changed the ancient Greek theatres but fortunately not the theatre of Epidaurus. They only lengthened the rows from 21 to 34. The view and acoustics of the theatre are remarkable for all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seats. Today, the theatre is used for ancient tragedies, festivals and concerts.

Mycenae, largely excavated by the famous German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1880), is an archaeological site at Argolida in the north-eastern Peloponnese, about 90 kilometres south-west of Athens and 48 kilometres from Corinth.

Mycenae was the centre of power in ancient Greece during the period between 1600 and 1100 BC. The Mycenaean culture dominated the Bronze Age with its art, legends and ideas, such as the works of Hercules, the dynasty of Atreids, the Trojan War and Agamemnon.

Near the ruins of the Mycenaean Acropolis, the Lion's Gate is the entrance to the Acropolis through a pathway leading to a number of ancient buildings up to the palace where Agamemnon was murdered. The burial circle just inside the Lion's Gate contains six royal tombs. Death masks from these tombs are now on display in the Archaeological Museum in Athens.

Opposite the palace on another hill is the Treasury of Atreus. It is a large tomb also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon, which was built around 1250 BC.

Mystras is a collection of ruins of a medieval fortress built on the eastern slopes of Mount Taygetos about eight kilometres from the city of Sparta. The ruins include palaces, churches and monasteries. The city dates from the 13th century and by the 15th century had a population of over 40,000. It is one of the most important Byzantine sites in the world and has been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1989.

There are, of course, also tourists who do not visit the Peloponessus for its classical antiquity. For them, there are numerous nice walks in a beautiful and varied landscape. There are also many large and small beaches, especially on the west coast, the south coast and in the north. The longest sandy beach in the Peloponnese (65 km) is located between the villages of Agianakis and Gianitsochori. This makes the Peloponnese a holiday destination that will appeal to many people, even in winter, as for example the village Kastania in Corinth is a very popular winter sports destination. Part of the Peloponnese is also popular with the jet set. Among others, Willem-Alexander and Maxima of the Netherlands have a holiday home here.

A ride on the Diakofto railway, built in 1893 by an Italian company, from Diakofto to Kalavryta high up in the mountains is a must for every visitor to the Peloponnese. The diesel train climbs up to Kalavryta via a beautiful route of approx. 22 km through the Voraikos gorge. The difference in altitude is 750 metres and the really steep parts, with gradients of up to 28%, are done by rack and pinion railway.


Sources

Wikipedia

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info