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The Area

About Kiato and Korinthos Greece

A quick tour about the area its history and places of interest

Kiato-history

Kiato is near the known ancient city Sikiona. According to Greek mythology, here was the place where gods and humans gathered after the Titanomachy in order to divide the property of the world. The judge of the procedure was Prometheus, the Greek titan. Prometheus who was on the side of the humans tricked the gods and convinced them to accept the bones (and not the meat) as sacrifices on their altars. In addition he stole the fire from the gods and gave it to humans, an action which symbolizes the beginning of the human civilization. The Olympian gods found out his deed and punished Prometheus by enchaining him on the mountain Kafkasos where an eagle of Zeus came every morning and ate the liver of Prometheus. Today Kiato is the capital of the Municipality Sikionon and extends on the seaside part of the Municipality. It consists of the main city and the surrounding settlements Neapoli, Tragana and Agios Ioannis. Trade and tourism are the main economic activities of the area. The seaside resort is surrounded by a fertile land with vines, orange trees, apricot trees and lemon trees. The harbor of Kiato serves the trading activities of the area. During the end of the 19th century until the German occupancy of Greece the town was extremely developed mostly because of the exportations of their famous product, the Corinthian raisin.

Kiato-geography

Near the railway tracks of Kiato you will find the house of Theocharis family which houses the Municipal Art Gallery of Kiato. The building was constructed in 1853 by the famous architect Ernesto Chiller. The Early Christian Basilica of Kiato is a three-aisled basilica with narthex and atrium. It is an important religious monument and unique sample of Early Christian architectural style in the area. You could also visit the Warehouses of the Independent Raisin Organization (I.R.O). It is a building complex which consists of five stone buildings that were built in 1932 by B. Frantzi in order to store the raisins, the main exportable product of the area. The building complex was later bought by the IRO. About 4km southwest of Kiato, at the hill of Basilico village, there is the archaeological site of Ancient Sikiona and the archaeological museum. The ancient theater and the Roman bath are the most important remains of this archaeological site. The ancient city existed since the Mycenaean Period (2.000BC) and was developed especially during the time when the tyrant Kleisthenis was in charge of the city. The main river of Sikionia was Asopos and the city was often called “Asopia”. At the estuary of Asopos River there was the harbor of the ancient city. In 303BC the city was destroyed and the Hellenistic city was built at a higher level. The theater was built in this level after the establishment of the new city (303BC). Excavations of this theater have revealed the stage, the orchestra and part of the seats. Near the theater you can still see the remains of the stadium and the underpinning of the Hellenistic building “vouleftirion”. Another important monument of this area is the archaic temple at the precinct of the agora. The temple was dedicated either to Artemis or to Apollo. About 26,5km away from Kiato, near Titani village, there are the remains of another ancient city. Ancient Titani was directly connected to Ancient Sikiona. According to Greek mythology this place was the first residence of the Titans. Also according to myths the son of Apollo, Asclepius (the god of medicine) visited this area and built the famous Asclepion which was one of the oldest in Greece. Today the visitor can still admire the walls of the Hellenistic acropolis at the top of the steep mountain slop. Quite close to Titani village, there is the byzantine monastery Koimiseos Theotokou Lechovas which is a religious monument located at the east side of the mountain Titan (also known as Beseza). The route to the monastery is beautiful and covered with maple trees. Also the position of the monastery is marvelous inside a fir tree forest. The time of its construction hasn’t been clarified and the professor Anastasios Orlandos according to indications dated the monastery to 11th or 12th century AD. The preserved mosaic floor is the jewel of this monastery.

Korinthos-History

Corinth derives its name from Ancient Corinth, a city-state of antiquity. The site was occupied from before 3000 BC. Historical references begin with the early 8th century BC, when Corinth began to develop as a commercial center. Between the 8th and 7th centuries, the Bacchiad family ruled Corinth. Cypselus overthrew the Bacchiad family, and between 657 and 550 BC, he and his son Periander ruled Corinth as the Tyrants. In about 550 BC, an oligarchical government seized power. This government allied with Sparta within the Peloponnesian League, and Corinth participated in the Persian Wars and Peloponnesian War as an ally of Sparta. After Sparta's victory in the Peloponnesian war, the two allies fell out with one another, and Corinth pursued an independent policy in the various wars of the early 4th century BC. After the Macedonian conquest of Greece, the Acrocorinth was the seat of a Macedonian garrison until 243 BC, when the city was liberated and joined the Achaean League. Nearly a century later, in 146 BC, Corinth was captured and was completely destroyed by the Roman army. As a newly rebuilt Roman colony in 44 BC, Corinth flourished and became the administrative capital of the Roman province of Achaea.[3] In 1858, the old city, now known as Ancient Corinth (Αρχαία Κόρινθος, Archaia Korinthos), located 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) south-west of the modern city, was totally destroyed by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake. New Corinth (Nea Korinthos) was then built to the north-east of it, on the coast of the Gulf of Corinth. In 1928, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake devastated the new city, which was then rebuilt on the same site.[4] In 1933, there was a great fire, and the new city was rebuilt again.

Korinthos-places of interest

The archaeological site of Ancient Korinthos is 9 km north-west of the modern city. You can see the ruins at Pirini fountain, the courtyard of Apollo, the foundations of a significant Roman basilica, the temple of the goddess Tyche (Fortune) or Apollo Klarios, the stores in the agora, the temple of Apollo, the ruins of the theatre and the Lerna fountain. The town of Acrocorinth, at whose foot the ancient city was built, dates to circa 4000 B.C. The Archaeological Museum operates at the archaeological site (built in 1931-32) with an exhibition collection dating from the Prehistoric Period through to the Roman and Byzantine Period. It is worth seeing the large Mycenaean crater (vessel) (circa 1200 B.C.), the Corinthian amphora and stopper (600 B.C.) etc Ancient Corinth - Acrocorinth (the residence of the Sun God!), 3.5 km south of ancient Korinthos, at the peak of a 575 m high hill, has always been the fortified acropolis of Korinthos. It is the oldest, largest and most impressive castle in the Peloponnese, whose walls were built during the middle Ages. It is worth seeing the ruins at the temple of Aphrodite, and the relics of the Christian Churches and the Turkish buildings, on the peak of the hill. In addition to its archaeological significance, Acrocorinth is a rich botanical garden with numerous indigenous Greek wild flowers and belongs to the “Natura 2000” European Union habitat network. On the opposite hill (Penteskoufi) there is a smaller medieval castle (13th century), which is however difficult to access. - The Corinthian Canal: the idea for the canal, which connects the Saronic to the Corinthian gulf, was conceived by Periander (6th century B.C.); however, the canal was finally opened after Greece’s independence, during the period 1882-1893. It has a length of 6,346 metres, a width of 24.6 metres at sea level and a depth of 8 metres. - Possidonia (on the western side of the canal, close to the Corinthian gulf), where you can see the Ancient Passage Way (Diolkos). It is a paved road that was constructed due to the need for rapid passage by ships from the Saronic to the Corinthian gulf and vice versa. It was constructed in the early 6th century B.C. and is associated with Periander’s tyranny in Korinthos. Its western edge was reconstructed in the early 4th century B.C. It was used to transport small (especially military) vessels. This use has been attested by sources down to the 9th century A.D. - Lechaio is a beautiful seaside town, 8 km to the west of Korinthos. The region was developed in the 6th century B.C, since Lechaio – together with Keghrees – were the city’s two ports. The ruins of the ancient port have survived to the present day. Excavations have uncovered the ruins of a palaeo-Christian basilica, to the west of the ancient port, which was constructed in the 5th century A.D in honour of the martyr Leonidis and the seven Virgins who martyred during the Decian persecution in 251 A.D. The church of Agios Gerasimos is also situated at Lechaio where Gerasimos Notaras was a hermit. There is a fertile valley in the wider region, where fruit and grape vines are cultivated. - The gorgeous mountain area.