Listed 28 sub titles with search on: Main pages
for wider area of: "ILIA
Main pages (28)
Tel: +30 26220 41455
Tel: +30 26220 94596
Tel: +30 26220 41237
Temple of Apollo Helper (Epicurius)
The Temple of Epicurean Apollo
The temple of Apollo Epikourios stands at a height of 1130m on
Mount Kotilio, 14km south of Andritsaina. At this site, which was called Bassai
(little valleys) in antiquity, the inhabitants of nearby Phigaleia founded a
sanctuary of Apollo Bassitas in the 7th c. BC, where they worshipped the god
with the epithet Epikourios - supporter in war or illness. The temple of Apollo
in the sanctuary at Bassai is one of the best-preserved monuments of the ancient
Classical world. It was built from 420 to 400 BC on the site of an earlier,
Archaic temple. The traveller Pausanias, who visited and admired the monument
about the middle of the 2nd c. AD, states that its architect was Iktinos.
The temple occupies a unique position in the history of the Greek
architecture: it is an ingenious combination of archaising elements dictated
by the local religious tradition, and the bold innovations of its creator. It
is a Doric, peripteral temple, oriented north-south, with dimensions of 14.48x38.24
at the height of the stylobate. The very long, narrow plan of the peristyle,
the number of columns (6x15 instead of the 6x13 usually found at this period),
and the disposition of the columns (with larger intercolumniations at the ends
of the temple) are all Archaic features and have reference to a specific model:
the temple of Apollo at Delphi. They coexist harmoniously, however, with some
of the progressive hallmarks of nature Classical Athenian architecture, such
as the delicate columns, the low crepidoma and entablature, and the spacious
prodomos and opisthodomos.
The great originality of the monument lies in its internal design.
In the cella, there is a suggestion of a collonade on three of the four sides,
as in the Parthenon and the temple of Hephaistos (the Theseion) in Athens, but
the columns on the longer sides are not free-standing. They are engaged in the
walls, forming delicate transverse partitions (similar to those in the Archaic
temple of Hera at Olympia) that end in lonic half-columns with unusual capitals
and bases. At the end of the cella, opposite the entrance, the free-standing
column (and perhaps also the two and half-columns aligned with it carried the
first Corinthian capital in the history of architecture. The colonnade supported
an lonic entablature with a relief frieze encircling the inside of the cella
on all four sides. It was 31m long and consisted of 23 slabs, with scenes of
an Amazonomachy and a Centauromachy, which have been in the British Museum since
1814. Behind the free-standing Corinthian column, in the position occupied in
other temples by the closed adytum
, there was a small room which, while
it communicated freely with the cella, nonetheless "faced" east for
religious reasons, with a door opening on to the east pteron
. All these
elements were designed to draw attention to the interior space and were innovations
destined to exercise a decisive influence on the evolution of architecture over
the following centuries.
The temple is built of local limestone, with marble being used for
the capitals in the cella, some parts of the ceiling and roof, and sculptural
decoration. It began to fall into ruins in Roman times, initially because of
human actions and later as a result of earthquakes. Today the temple is preserved
in the form it received after the restoration work carried out by the Archaeological
Society at the beginning of the century.
Since 1965, and systematically since 1982, the Ministry of Culture
has undertaken the difficult task of conserving and protecting the monument.
The canopy that protects the sensitive building material from the extreme weather
conditions in the region, the seismic-resistant scaffolding, and the other installations
are all temporary, and will be removed once the rescue work is completed.
Text by: Th. Karagiorga-Stathakopoulou
Cited Sep 2002 from the Archaeological site pamphlet
Tel: +30 26220 91203
Tel: +30 26220 94201
Tel: +30 26220 94070
Tel: +30 26220 92349
Tel: +30 26220 23157
Tel: +30 26250 61483
Tel: +30 26220 41286
Elis in antiquity
The city-state of Elis developed in the northwest Peloponnese, far
away from the major urban centres of the rest of Greece, and played only a limited
role in the military and political events of the ancient Hellenic world. Neverthless,
it remained centre-stage for hundreds of years, as quardian of the panhellenic
Sanctuary of Olympia, responsible
for the irreproachable preparation and organization of the Olympic Games.
Evidence from excavations to date shows that Elis was settled, albeit
as a small farming village, from the Early Helladic period (c.2800-2000 BC). In
Mycenaean times (c. 1600-1100 BC) it was one of the four most important town in
the region and its ingabitants, who are referred to as Epeians
in the Iliad, took part in the Trojan War under the leadership of Polyxenus.
The city of Elis was founded by Oxylus, who came from Aetolia
in the 12th century BC, with the socalled Descent of the Dorians, and united all
the scattered townships. Ancient tradition has nowadays been confirmed by the
rich finds of the Submycenaean, Protogeometric and Geometric periods (c. 1100-700
BC) recovered from the region.
Oxylus founded the Olympic Games when he incorporated the Sanctuary
of Olympia in the city-state of Elis. The games were reorganized in the 8th century
BC by his descendant King Iphitus, who signed a treaty with the kings Lycurgus
of Sparta and Cleisthenes
of Pisa. Under the terms
of the 'Sacred Truce' the entire region of Elis was declared sacred, thus guaranteeing
peace and the success of the games. In 776 BC, when the first Olympiad was held,
the Eleians assumed supervision of the Sanctuary of Olympia. They forfeited this
privilege to the Pisans in 668 BC but regained it, with the help of the Spartans
in 580 BC.
Henceforth the city enjoyed a great heyday, which lasted until the
end of the 5th century BC. Political and other public issues were of little interest
to Elis, whose chief concern was the organization of the Olympiads. The games
were quinquennial, that is they were held at the end of a four-year period,
most probably in mid-July. To comply with the rules, the competing athletes were
obliged to come to Elis for training one month before the games commenced. They
were accompanied by friends and relatives, resulting in the influx to the city
of choice foreigners from the mainland and islands of Greece, as well as from
the prosperous colonies in Asia Minor and Pontos, Magna Graecia and Africa.
The importance that the Eleians attached to the organization of the
Olympiads is reflected in the picture of the city's agora. The traveller Pausanias,
who visited Elis in the 2nd century AD, describes gymnasia, a palaestra, stoas,
temples, sanctuaries and temene (sacred precincts) but no building associated
with civic life. These edifices were adorned with a host of statues and sculptures
by famous artists fo antiquity. Pausanias mentions, among other monuments, the
temple of Aphrodite Urania (Heavenly), with its chryselephantine statue of the
goddess, a work by Pheidias; the open-air temenos of Aphrodite Pandemos (of the
people), which housed a renowned bronze statue of the goddess, a work by Scopas;
the temple and statue of Apollo Acesius (Healer); the temple of the Graces with
the acrolithic statues of them; the temple of Silenus and the sculptural group
of the god with Methe (Drunkeness).
At its zenith the Eleian state comprised four districts: Coele (Hollow)
Elis - the fertile plain where the capital of the Eleians developed -, Acroreia,
Pisatis and Triphylia.
The people lived in an atmosphere of peace, prosperity and lawfulness. The rich
soil of the region and the mild climate favoured the development of agriculture
and animal husbandry. Indeed he names Elis and Eleians (ancient Falis and
Faleioi) denote the valley and the valley-dwellers respectively.
In recent years excavations have revealed 120 settlements, while surveys
have located another 200 or so sites. Most of these were probably small villages
or isolated farmsteads. Only the capital, Elis, developed into a thriving urban
centre. After the establishment of the democratic body politic and its second
synoecism in particular (471 BC), it was reinforced considerably and became one
of the largest and most populous cities in the Peloponnese. It occupied the area
between the present villages of Paliopolis
(or Nea Elis) in the southeast, Bouchioti
(or Avgeion) in the southwest and Kalyvia
in the west. The ancient acropolis was on Ayannis hill.
Women played a significant role in the management of public affairs
in Elis. According o Pausanias, there was a council of sixteen wise Eleian women,
which had to its credit the reconcilation of Pisa and Elis, as well as the institution
of the Heraean Games. These were panhellenic foot races for girls, held in honour
of the goddess Hera and organized every four years, like the Olympics but on different
By the late 6th century BC Elis was minting its own coinage, which
during the period of its peak rivalled that of other Greek cities in art and execution.
There were also local pottery workshops and foundries for casting bronze statues,
whose products had a very distinctive character.
The flourishing of the Eleian state was largely due to its long-standing
alliance with Spata, which was dissolved during the Peloponnesian War (431-404
BC). In the 4th century BC the first signs of its imminent decline and the vicissitudes
of the Eleians appeared. In 191 BC they joined the Archaean Confederacy, while
in 146 BC they were subjugated by the Romas, becoming part of the Roman province
ar Achaea. During the period of Roman rule (27 BC - AD 250) the city of Elis expanded
even more. Villas and thermae, which were particularly popular among the Romans,
were built, some of them upon the ruins of Classical edifices.
In Late Roman and Early Christian times (3rd - 5th century AD) habitation
was confined to just one sector of the city, while in other part a large cemetary
was founded, perhaps after the destruction by the Herulians in AD 267. Decadence
came when the Emperor of Byzantium Theodosius I banned the Olympic Games, in AD
393, and life in the Sanctuary of Olympia ceased. The earthquake that struck the
region in the 6th century AD dealt the final blow to the Eleian state.
Xeni Arapoyanni, ed.
Translation by: Alexandra Doumas
Cited Sep 2002, from the Municipality of Amaliada information pamphlet
Xeni Arapoyanni, ed.
Translation by: Alexandra Doumas
This text is cited Sep 2002
, from the information pamphlet of
Tel: +30 26220 41413
Tel: +30 26220 27135
Tel: +30 26220 41640
Tel: +30 26220 94080
Tel: +30 26250 61335
Tel: +30 26210 94273
Tel: +30 26220 41356
Zacharo, the magic city that lies on the southwest coast of Ilia
Ionian Sea side. The visitor
can admire the natural beauty of the area and the longest sandy beach in Europe
with crystal clear water. Escaping into the deep blue of the sea promises to water
sports lovers (and not only them) the largest center of water sports in Peloponnisos.
The unique Kaiafa
lake with its thermal springs is included in the beautiful countryside. It
also provides world class water ski installations.
Archaeological sites, old fashioned villages with rare customs and
traditional museums and also intense night life are amongst the highlights of
municipality of Zacharo.
Visitors can address municipality’s tourist office for their
The text is cited March 2004 from the Municipality
of Zacharo tourist pamphlet.