The sanctuary for Menelaus and Helena, according to Pausanias, was in Therapnai, near modern Sparta on the east bank of the Eurotas river (follow the road towards Geraki, turn left to the chapel of Ayios Ilias and from there in about 10 minutes on foot). Excavations in 1975-76 have made the identification of the site certain, with inscriptions referring to offerings to these two.The sanctuary is beautifully situated and offers a wonderful overview of the Eurotas valley, while the foundations recovered are impressive.


Just to the north-east of the sacred domain, on a slightly lower hillock, the remains of an important Mycenaean building have been found, the construction of which is reminiscent of the great Mycenaean palaces of Pylos and Mykene, but is older and simpler. The oldest construction phase (Phase I), dated in the 15th century B.C. forms one of the oldest mycenaean palace structures. The building presumably had an administrative function. The building was badly damaged in an earthquake, after which it was replaced by a new building (Phase II) in the 14th century, which was also quickly damaged and abandoned. In the 13th century the building was partly repaired and the site was used again.