Villages to Visit in Epidaurus, Greece
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Epidaurus is most known for being the home of an ancient theater that is actually still in use periodically today. The Ancient Greeks are known to have invented theater, and along with this, they are also known to have constructed large, acoustically sound theaters. The theater at Epidaurus is one of the noteworthy attractions in the region, especially since it is incredibly good condition.
However, there is so much more to Epidaurus than the theater! There is actually plenty to do here, and much of the activity is centered around these two villages:
Ancient Epidaurus Village
Also known as “Palea Epidaurus,” this place seems to have resisted the influence of time, resembling the sort of area one might read of from Homer. In Homer’s day, Epidaurus was a religious community dedicated to Asklepios, though Artemis, Dimitra, Hera and Apollo, Asklepios’ father were also worshipped.
Palea Epidaurus was a major city of Argolida that remains prosperous due to its location. It was also the most vital port along the Peloponnese Gulf, with many residents focused on sailing. Today, visitors can tour the ruins of the sanctuaries to Asklepios and Apollo Maleatas. Palea Epidarus is also known for its theatre, built by Polyklitus the Younger of Argos.
Polyklitus also designed the temple of Asklepios. The theatre remains the most intact feature of the village, notable for both its construction and its acoustics. To the west of the peninsula rests the island of Nisi, home to a smaller theatre dedicated not to Asklepios but to Dionysus.
Nea Epidarus, or “New Epidarus,” is found along the base of Akros and 7 kilometers north of Palea Epidarus. It is the first settlement in the Epidarus Municiplaity and home to over 1,000 people whom mostly either fish or tend to citrus or olive crops. That said, the village is also known as a tourist spot due to its beautiful houses, a Frankish castle, the breathtaking Gorge of Vothila and a pair of monsteries: Agnuntos and Polemarcha.
Another notable feature of this area is that it marks where the first Greek National Assembly convened on December 1921, shortly after Greece regained freedom from the Ottomans. This is where Greece’s national colors and the Constitution of Epidarus were drafted.
Touching back on religious history, Agmuntos is the oldest monastery in the country and visitors can also head to the chapel of St. Ionnais, known for iconography dedicated to the Assumption. In total, Nea Epidaurus has 20 churches, mostly as a result of Byzantine influence.
Nea Epidaurus has many accommodations for visitors, whether they feel like a hotel or even camping out. Swimming and fishing are common leisure activities done in either of the local bays. You can also find countless groves of pines and orange trees, as well as lush beaches. Lastly, the village has a few summertime festivals, hence the spike in tourists during the summer months.
Overall, these two villages are rich in culture and history. Palea Epidaurus is a settlement that seems locked in time and has an amazingly well-preserved theater. Nea Epidaurus is where the people live amid orange trees, olive trees, a great deal of religious sites and some notable spots relevant to the country’s national history. Coming to Epidaurus is a trip you will never forget. You won’t want to miss the chance to visit either of them!
Categorized in: About Epidaurus, Greece, Greek Travel Guide
This post was written by Greek Boston
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