Antiquities in Aegina

Antiquities in Aegina

The history of Aegina is rich with daily opportunities for escapes.

The Archaeological site of Kolona

Kolona is an archaeological place and due to its findings, history has information on Ancient Aegina. It's located on the left from the harbour of Aegina and it was the Acropolis in Aegina in the Ancient times. It was the religious and political base of the city. It was named after it's only pillar which remains until today. Kolona was first inhabited in 3500 b.c. which was the copper era.

The settlement was protected by a wall which was built in 3000 b.c. The settlement was destroyed about ten times and it was re-built.

The northern walls have been saved which were built in around 1600 b.c. along with some ruins that are dated back to 1300 b.c.

In the southern part there are remains of Byzantine buildings and priests' residences.

The Temple of Aphaia

The temple of Athena Aphaia is built in the northern part of the island in a place covered with pine trees and with a view of the beautiful blue sea.It's in a very good condition. Twenty-four pillars of the temple remain, out of a total of 34.

It has been built in 480 b.c. just after the naval battle in Salamina. Pafsanias gives us more information about Aphaia from some traditions in Crete.According to those, Vritomartis was born from Zeus and Karmi and because she liked hunting very much, Goddess Artemis was fond of her.

Minoas fell in love with Virtomartis and in order to get away from him, she fell into the sea where she got tangled up in some fishermen's nets and they took her with them on their ship.

But on the ship, a sailor fell in love with Vritomartis so she was forced to fall into the sea again in order to get away from him and she managed to swim to the island. The girl headed towards the forest of the island and the sailors watched her from the ship as she was vanishing with some kind of holy intervention and that's why they named her Aphaia from the word afandos which in greek means that someone has vanished into thin air.

When the atmosphere is clear, you can see Poseidon's temple in Sounio and the Acropolis of Athens. It is said that the 3 temples form a triangle (the holy triangle of ancient times).

The Temple of Apollonas

At the top of the hill of Kolona was the Temple of Apollo. It was built in the 6th century b.c. and only one pillar is left from the temple. The temple had the shape of a rectangle with 11 pillars on the big side and 6 one the small one.

In the southern part of the temple, was the entrance and 2 small rectangular buildings.In the east was the altar of the temple, southeast was the temple of Artemidos, west was a round building and northern we have the foundations of a rectangular building.

In excavations that took place, an ancient cemetary was discovered in the northern part of Apollo's temple where many tombs were found. Many gold jewellery, which are now in the British museum, were found in the tombs.

The Temple of Ellanios Zeus

Mount Ellanio is the highest mountain in Aegina. It's 532 meters high and at the peak of the mountain there is the Ascension Church. According to Mythology, during a period of drought, Aiakos asked Zeus to rain. His requests were heard and then Aiakos built a sanctuary in honour of Zeus in a place which today is called Sfirixtres.

From the Hellenistic years, a wall was remained and next to it a stony staircase. At the top of the staircase there is a flat area and the sanctuary of Zeus is built in this area. We can see the foundations of a big building as well as the foundations of pillars that are in three sets.

Higher up, were two tanks of water between the rocks. The higher one is the biggest. The view from Mount Ellanios is truly fantastic. You can literally see Saronikos.

In the north part of the mountain, there is the church of Taxiarxon and in the lower parts of the mountain there is a town called Pahia Rahi which is built on the slope, over Marathonas.