ISTHMUS canal - acrocorinth - ancient corinth half day
Isthmus Canal-The Isthmus Canal / Corinth Canal
-Zulu Bungy (www.zulubungy.com)
Acrocorinth-First, Second, Third Gates
-Temple of Aphrodite
-Views of Geraneia Mountain with the Blue lake and Temple of Hera.
-Acrocorinth Snack bar / Restaurant with fabulous views.
Ancient Corinth-Hadgimoustafa fountain
-Archaeological Museum of ancient Corinth
-Temple of Apollo
-Theatre and Odeon / Asklepieion
-St. Paul's church with the fabulous mosaic / mural depicting his vision
-Enjoy a delicious traditional authentic lunch on a fabulous balcony overlooking the entire archaeological site... Gemelos'taverna!
The Isthmus of Corinth connects the Peloponesse with mainland Greece. It is made up of heavy faulted limestone rising from the south in terraces to a bleak windswept central plateau almost 300 feet (90meters) above sea level.
The Canal we see today was built in 1882 -1893 by Greek and French engineers using the most advanced machinery of that time.
The Canal is 6.343 meters long. It is 24.60 meters wide on surface level, 21.30 meters on sea bed and, at some places its side are 79 meters high. The canal is crossed by road and railway bridges while connection between Central Greece and the Peloponesse is also achived by two 'ferries' in the form of submersible bridges, one at either end ( Poseidonia and Isthmia ) . The canal reduced the distance between the ports of the Aegean and the Adriatic Sea by 131 Nautical miles!
From a distance, acrocorinth is seen by every visitor to ancient Corinth. It looms up in the background, its fortification walls clearly visible. Few visitors actually see acrocorinth as only the most dedicated archeological tours take the trouble to drive up to this lofty fortress hill to be captivated by the breathtaking ,magical,spectacular views.
Acrocorinth was first a Greek acropolis, then a Roman citadel. Later it became a Byzantine fortress. The Franks captured it in 1210, and it then fell into the hands of one of the rulers of Naples. An arms manufacturer and banker then owned it,followed by the Knights of Rhodes, the Turks, the Venetians, then the Turks again. After the 1821 War of Independence it returned in the hands of of the Greeks.
There are three lines of defense and three gates protecting the citadel from the west. The First Gate was built in the 14th c. A moat was cut out of the rock to provide a defense against attack. The Venetians were responsible for building the Second Gate with a tower on one side and the Third Gate has two rectangular towers on either side.
The tower on the right is mostly from the 4th century BC, while the other one is Byzantine as are most of the walls. From the Third Gate the path takes you up through the old Turkish part to the rampart and the northern postern. A steep climb takes you to the remains of the mosque and the minaret.
Keep..... This is the Turkish sections, where you see the remains of the Frankish castle of the Villehardouin who held it in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The southern ramparts leads you towards the Peirene Spring which is next to the ruin of an old Turkish barracks. Modern steps will lead you down into an underground chamber from the Hellenistic period with the roof being added by the Romans. The legend associated with this spring is with the winged horse Pegasus who stamped its hoof and created the spring. While he was drinking the water, he was captured by Bellerephon.
The Temple of Aphrodite...retracing your steps north of the southern rampart and then making your way north west to the highest section at 574 meters you will find a column marking the place where the temple once stood.
From here, the views are breathtaking.
You can see beyond Corinth to Mount Parnassus in the north,Attica in the east and on to the mountains of the Peloponesse in the south.
The Temple of Aphrodite who was worshiped here was a center of religious prostitution. Over 1000 prostitutes worked here and as a result Acrocorinth was notorious for its licentiousness all over the ancient world. ST. Paul may have preached here during his visit in Corinth.
When Paul arrived in 51CE, the Corinth he saw was little more than 100 years old, but was five times as large as Athens and the capital of the province. Ancient Corinth founded in the 10th century BCE had been the richest port and the largest city in ancient Greece. Strategically located guarding the narrow isthmus that connects the Peloponesse to the mainland it was a powerful commercial centre near two seaports only 4 miles apart Lechaeum and Cenchreae . It had a population of 90.000 in 400 BC and 50 000 to 700 000 after the Romans built the new city.
Ancient Corinth was young,dynamic not hidebound by tradition with no dominant religious or intellectual tradition. The heart of the city, the forum, was filled with temples and shrines to the Roman Emperor and various members of his family,built alongside temples to the older Greek gods such as Apollo. Apollo's son, Asklepios, the god of healing had a shrine there as well as at Epidaurus, the ancient site of miracle healings.
Little remains of ancient Corinth. These ruined arches and entryways to shops on what was once the Agora call on ones imagination to see the gleaming buildings complete with statuary as they once were.One sees acres of buildings and pavement stones, the well known synagogue lintel inscription and the 'Bema' on which the Roman proconsul would hold court.The Bema was also the public platform where St.Paul had to plead his case when the Corinthians hauled him up in front of the Roman governor Gallio in 52 AD.
The Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth contains a number of artifacts of religious interest, including inscriptions of Gallio and Erastus,both mentioned in the Book of Acts;a synagogue inscription,menorah reliefs and votive offerings of terracotta body parts to Asklepios.
Duration: Half day
Type: Ancient History, Sightseeing, Walking, Half Day, Shopping
Ancient Corinth Entrance Ticket: 7€*
* Students of non European Union countries holders of an international student card are entitled to 50% discount on the entrance fee. Young people up the age of 18 are entitled to free admission. European Union students are entitled to free entrance while European Union senior citizens over 65 have 50% discount on entry to all Greek museums and archaeological sites.
Free admission days : 6 March, 5 June , 18 April, 18 May, the last weekend of September annually, Sundays in the period between 1 November and 31 March, first Sunday of every month, except for July, August and September and on 27 September International Tourism Day.
Ancient Corinth is open: In winter: 8:00am to 3:00pm | In Summer: 8:00am to 7:30pm
Closed on Holidays: Jan 1st, March 25th, May 1st, Oct 28th.
Christmas and Boxing Day: closed
Easter Sunday: closed
Good Friday: open from 12noon to 3:00pm.
Holy Saturday: open from 8:30am to 3:00pm
Easter Monday: open from 08:30am to 3:00pm.
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