Troizen

Troizen, Hippolytos court
Only a few remains of the ancient city of Troizen have survived, apart from the remains of the city walls and a reasonably preserved square tower. The lower half is antique, the rest is medieval. From here you can follow a path to an old aqueduct up to the picturesque medieval bridge known as the phyra tou dhiavolou “the devil’s bridge”. Surrounded as Troizen was on the landward side by difficult to pass, hills had traditionally been close to Attica, as is also apparent from the story of Pausanias. The mythical king of Athens Theseus came from Troizen, where his son Hippolytos was killed. The good relations with Athens were retained even after the Doric migrations, as evidenced, among other things, by the assistance offered by the Troisians in 480 when they had to flee the Persians: where the men of Athens embarked on the war fleet, the Troisians temporarily took their women and children.

From left to right, above, the temple of Hippolytos and the remains of the “hospital” (aerial photos GoPro). On the right the holy court of Hippolytos (images from Papachatzis). It seems that Hippolytos was considered a healing god. Just before their marriage, young girls sacrificed one of their braids to Hippolytos, who had chosen to always live a virgin life in the service of Artemis. In the Byzantine period a (now ruined) church has been erected in the court of Hippolytos (below).

Poros - Kalaureia

Poros (Kalaureia)

 

The island of Sphairia, together with Kalaureia discussed later, forms the modern island of Poros, whereby a fixed bridge connects Sphairia (on which the actual city of Poros is located) with the second island. Of the two islets, Kalaureia was the most important, and formed the center of a shadowy maritime confederation of states, founded in the 7th century BC. under the patronage of Poseidon. The most important member states were Athens, Aigina, Epidauros, Hermione, Nauplia, Prasiai and Troizen, together with the Boiotic Orchomenos. The sanctuary of Poseidon that Pausanias speaks of is high up on the mountains on the island of Kalaureia, where you can still see a few skinny remains. The Athenian orator Demosthenes, a stubborn opponent of Philippos of Macedonia (“son of Amyntas”), sought after the collapse of the anti-Macedonian front in this sanctuary asylum (after the death of Alexander), was cornered by the envoys of Antipater and committed suicide (in 322 BC) by drinking poison. There are hardly any traces left of the city of Kalaureia, which was directly southwest of the sanctuary. Both, the city and the sanctuary, were largely stripped of building material in the 18th century for the construction of monasteries and churches, as described by the English traveler Richard Chandler in 1765. Apart from the foundations of the temple of Poseidon, there are remains of at least four stoas found at the excavations in 1892. The temple itself was built around 520-510 BC. and is of the Doric type, with 6 x 12 columns, and lay within a separate stone fence with a monumental entrance. The Poseidon sanctuary also has hardly recognizable remains of buildings. Recent excavations (2012) have yielded a lot of new data, while the sanctuary (with new information signs) is much better accessible.

Left: map of the sanctuary of Poseidon in Kalaureia, right reconstruction of the temple (source: Papachatzis), below some GoPro aerial photos and the site of the old temple, where only trenches of the old foundation are left.