Orchomenos (Arcadia)

The Arcadian city of Orchomenos occupied a strategic position in the middle of the main route between the north and south of the Peloponnese. Soldiers from Orchomenos fought in the Persian wars at Thermopylai as well as Plataia. In 418 the city was taken by the Athenians and Argives, and with the foundation of Megalopolis the city lost all meaning.

Parts of the city walls can be seen on the antique remains, with (among other things) an impressive tower, several temples, two colonnade on the antique agora and a theater. The remains of the temples, stoas and theater are fragmentary, but offer sufficient opportunity for recognition. Immediately before the temple of Artemis Mesapolitis (‘in the city’) is a huge altar. If you look carefully, you will discover the remains of the Greek markings on (many) foundation stones, which suggest that the altar has been produced elsewhere and has been brought to its current location in parts.

Particularly beautiful about the site is its majestic location between the two plains of Arcadia. On the photos from left to right a drone photo of the agora of Orchomenos, with the temple of Artemis Mesapolitis in the lower left corner and the altar in front, two large colonnade in the center and the remains of the theater to the right; the second photo shows the aforementioned temple and to the right the theater can be seen from the sky. Remarkably, the temple is not surrounded by columns, but was built from stucco, unbaked clay tiles on a stone foundation.

Below the colonnade can be seen again, a two detail of the theater and the remains of a second temple some distance from the agora. This is located right next to a modern church and the cemetery of the current village. Unfortunately, given the capitals of the Doric order preserved on site, this second temple is less well exhibited.