Located on the crossroads between mainland Greece and the Peloponnese and between the Saronic Gulf and the Corinthian Gulf, just 84 km from Athens, Corinth was an important city in Greek, Hellenistic and Roman times. In 734 BC Corinthians founded the city of Syracuse, the most powerful Greek colony of the Mediterranean, which is located on the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, next to the Gulf of Syracuse beside the Ionian Sea. The influence of the Corinthians is obvious up until today since the city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture. The city of Corinth is filled with monuments, museums and historical sites:
Ancient Corinth was one of the most important city-states of ancient Greece. Today in the archaeological site, one can visit the Temple of Apollo; its seven remaining Doric columns stand in a prominent position overlooking the ancient Agora. The temple was built in 530 BC, consisting of 2 rooms, and originally had 15 Doric-order columns along its length and 6 along its width. The city market had a rectangular shape, housing a number of similarly laid-out stores, each divided into 2 rooms. Its front was consisted by a double row of columns, the outer Doric and inner Ionic. In the ancient Agora, one can also visit the shops where the Apostle Paul once stood, along with the ancient Council. Descending the steps of the ‘propylaia’ (front gates) will lead you to Lecheou street where you will encounter the Pirene Fountain, with its six cave-like chambers, and the Glauki fountain standing carved in the rock. In the archaeological site you will also have the chance to visit the Odeon, built in the 1st century AD; and the 18,000-seat theater built in the fifth century BC, and later converted by the Romans into an arena for animal fights. Finally, you can walk through the remnants of the gymnasium and Temple of Asclepius near the Lerna fountain. Above Ancient Corinth lies the Castle of Akrocorinth, the Acropolis of the ancient city, which is itself worth a visit.
Temple of Poseidon. The Archaic temple was constructed during the seventh century BC but was unfortunately destroyed by fire in the fifth century BC. It was subsequently rebuilt according to a Doric peripteral plan, from local Corinthian limestone, but was destroyed again in 390 BC. Again rebuilt, it flourished until 146 BC when the Roman consul Mummius destroyed the city. In 44 AD it was again rebuilt, but took its final form including the courtyard and colonnades during the second century AD.
Corinth Canal. From ancient times, people have searched for an easier way to transfer ships from the Korinthian to the Saronic Gulf and vice versa. Created for this reason was the Diolkos, a paved road along which boats could be dragged across the isthmus. The Diolkos was constructed by the tyrant Periander of Korinthos, who had envisioned the opening of the canal. The opening of the canal had subsequently been attempted by Demetrios Poliorketes, Julius Caesar, Caligula, Nero, Herod Atticus, various Byzantines and Venetians, to no avail. The opening was re-launched by Kapodistrias but was again stopped due to lack of money. In 1881 the work of the excavation was undertaken by a Hungarian businessman, in exchange for a 99-year lease on the site, but who also abandoned the effort. The cutting was eventually completed thanks to the donation of Andreas Syngros. Over 10 years the Greeks finally managed to dig the canal, which opened on 25 July 1893. About 15,000 ships pass through the Canal of Korinthos every year.
Crossing the Isthmus, the Six-Mile Wall (“Examilio Tichos”) stretches from the Saronic Gulf to the Corinthian Gulf. Built to protect against attack from the North, it is also known as the Justinian Wall. In its day, it was the largest protective wall in the Greek world, with a length of 7.5 km and a width of 3 m, with 67 watchtowers. It takes advantage of the lines of the natural landscape and was built (for better or worse) of recycled materials from classical-era structures, such as the nearby temple of Isthmian Poseidon.
Places of interest near Corinth
Itea (Greek: Ιτέα meaning willow), is a town and a former municipality in the southeastern part of Phocis, Greece. Built in the background of the Crissaean Gulf extends together with the neighbouring Kirra, along the coastline of the plain sharing the same name, the Crissaean Plain and it is the south ending up of the famous landscape of Delphi. It is a relatively new city, since it was founded in 1830 and it managed to become soon an important commercial and transit centre due to a series of favourable circumstances. The access to the city is easy, either by sea - it has a good port that serves the transport of both people and goods - or by land, as it is connected to the big road axis of Greece. It constitutes the way out to the sea not only for the Department - it is the port of Amfissa and Delphi - but also for the entire area of Central Greece.
Galaxidi or Galaxeidi is a town and a former municipality in the southern part of Phocis. Modern Galaxidi is built on the site of ancient Haleion, a city of western Locris. Traces of habitation are discernible since prehistoric times with a peak in the Early Helladic Period (Anemokambi, Pelekaris, Kefalari, islet of Apsifia). A significant Mycenaean settlement has been located at Villa; the hill of St. Athanasios also revealed a fortified Geometric settlement (ca. 700 BC). In the Archaic and Classical periods (7th-4th centuries BC) was developed the administrative and religious centre at the modern site of Agios Vlasis. It seems that in ca. 300 BC the present site was settled and surrounded by a fortification wall; it is the period of the expansion of power of the Aetolian League. Haleion flourished throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods until the 2nd century AD. In an old mansion of Galaxidi are situated two museums: