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Visiting Corinth:

 

opening hours:

winter               8:30 ÷ 15:30

summer            8:00 ÷ 20:00

 

ticket price:

8,- normal / 4,- reduced

includes ancient Corinth, Acrocorinth and the Archaeological Museum of Corinth

 

coordinates for navigation:

 

parking in front of the excavations of ancient Corinth:

37.905950, 22.878096

 

parking lot in front of the entrance to Acrocorynt:

37.889672, 22.868200

Construction of the ancient city of Corinth

According to archaeological research, the city was designed according to the hippodrome grid, i.e. a system of streets intersecting at a right angle. The main square is a forum, i.e. a place of meetings and conversations of the Greeks. Around the square were the most magnificent buildings, i.e. the apartments of the wealthiest burghers. There were also monuments near the city center. In ancient times, statues were believed to have souls, which is why they were important objects of small architecture.

Even when Corinth was completely destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, a hundred years later it became the capital of the Roman colony, as well as an entertainment center for the Roman elite. Horace, who lived in the first century BC and is described as the greatest Latin lyricist, wrote: "Not everyone is allowed to visit Corinth." Why? It was a place for the elite, that is, for the richest.

Isthmian Games in Corinth

The first took place at the turn of the seventh and sixth centuries BC. They lasted four days and took place every two years. Only men divided into three age groups participated. The competition included running, fistfights, chariot races, wrestling and swimming competitions. The winner received a wreath of dry celery leaves. Today, this award seems ridiculous, but in those days getting a wreath meant respect and recognition.

Games are associated with an interesting, but also tragic Greek myth of the seventh century BC. At that time, the aristocrat Archias lived in Corinth, known for lascivious events involving young boys. He liked young Acteon. Father Melissos, seeing the terror of his son, but also fearing the loss of reputation, decided at all costs to protect his beloved son. Unfortunately, the tragic event destroyed not only honor. One evening, along with his companions, heavily drunk Archias, attacked the house of Melissos and Acteon to kidnap a young man. A fight broke out, during which the boy was pulled with all his strength by his father and the other by the attacker. The final of the evening was terrible because Acteon was torn to shreds. Father, unable to accept the loss of his son, went to the Isthmus of Corinth to commit suicide, throwing himself into the sea. According to reports, the event established the Isthmian Games.

Peirene fountain in Corinth

The monument owes its name to the nymph Peirini, who apparently mourning the death of her son in this place, shed so many tears that she became a source. Another story resembles Pegasus, who drank water here while traveling around Greece. The fountain dates from the 2nd century BC. Six entrances led to three pools, which were supplied with water thanks to four huge tanks.

Temple of Apollo in Corinth

In 560 B.C.E. the Temple of Apollo was established here. Before I talk about her, I will mention the elder. Although today there is no trace of it, its importance is enormous not only for architecture, but also for construction in general. Probably even earlier, because around 680 B.C.E. here stood the first, fully stone temple dedicated to the same god, or Helios. And here again the great importance of Corinth for the architecture of ancient Greece is reaffirmed. Apparently, a terracotta tile laying system was developed here, which can generally be said that it is still used in construction. This improvement initiated the use of gable roofs that allow rainwater to flow. In 585, tyranny collapsed in Corinth. At that time, the original temple burned down. The new one was created five years later, i.e. in 560 B.C.E. Made entirely of limestone, it had a modest decoration. The columns, 15 along the long side and 6 along the short side, were monolithic, i.e., carved into the rock and transported to the inclusion site. This is a sensation because all the famous temples, such as the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens, have columns composed of stacked elements. The columns from the temple in Corinth constitute a typical Doric style, i.e. they are heavy and massive. A fragment of the Sphinx survived. It is assumed that he was an acroterion, that is, an ornament set on the top of the ridge. Archaeologists say that the Temple of Apollo in Corinth was a prototype of the temple in Delphi and Athens and that they could have arisen from the builders of Corinth.

Ancient Corinth - history

It turns out that this place was already inhabited in the 7th millennium. Fertile soil and strategic location, i.e. at the point connecting the Balkan Peninsula with continental Greece, have defined this place as a region with great potential and prosperity. How important this place is politically and industrially is evidenced by the fact that already in the eighth century BC Corinth had colonies on the islands of the Ionian Sea and Sicily. In the seventh and sixth centuries BC, the prosperity of the city was extremely impressive. It was a golden time for the city. The magnificent Temple of Apollo, magnificent Peirene fountains and famous Isthmian Games remained.

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