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Epidaurus

epidavrosOld Epidaurus is a village of the Argolida Prefecture, located east, on the shores of the Saronic Gulf. It is built upon the narrow bay that constitutes its harbor, with a small plain abundant in orange trees at its very end. Epidaurus owes its name to its third ruler, who was also a hero of the city, Epidaurus, son of Argos and Evadni. According to Homer, Epidaurus fought in the Trojan War and his leaders were Podalirius and Machaon, sons of Asclepius. The city participated in the Median Wars, and was an ally of the Spartans in the Peloponnesian War. The city became famous all over Greece due to its Asklepieion, one of the greatest in ancient times, with its temple of Asclepius and the renowned ancient theatre, 15 km from the city.

Old Epidaurus is scattered with antiquities, as the ancient city of Epidaurus was located right where the modern village now stands. From the ancient city of Epidaurus remains the Small Theatre, located on the Nisi peninsula. The theatre is dedicated to the god Dionysus and its construction is estimated around the 4th century B.C. according to inscriptions. 23 centuries later, in 1971, excavations in the area began, and even today works are being carried out to conclude its restoration.

Next to the theatre, in the sea around the Nisi peninsula, there are remains of the ancient city, which archaeologists have not yet brought to light.  On the highest point of the peninsula, in the church yard of Panagia (“Panagitsa of the island”, as locals call it), the remains of the ancient city castle can be clearly seen. Right across the Small Theatre of Epidaurus there is a Mycenaean cemetery with seven domed tombs (tholos tombs), while in close vicinity we can see the remains of the Ancient Temple of Artemis, accessed from a path connected with the small country road from Corinth to the Theatre.

 

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