Aiyina Khora Tourist Attractions
The capital of the island of Aíyina bears the same name. Aíyina town, lies on the gentle slopes above a wide bay at the north end of the west coast, roughly on the site of the larger ancient city. From the harbor, protected by a breakwater, there are fine views of the little islands of Metópi and Ankístri to the south-west and Moní to the south and of the hills round Epidauros.Aíyina was the capital of Greece from January 12th to October third 1828.The Archeological Museum contains material recovered from the temples of Aphaia and Aphrodite and much else besides, ranging in date from the third millennium B.C. to Roman times.
On the hill of Kolóna, to the north of the town of Aegina, is an 26ft/8m high Doric column, all that is left of a temple by the harbor (460 B.C.), according to Pausanias a temple of Aphrodite but now known to have been dedicated to Apollo. Under the temple were found remains of Mycenaean and pre-Mycenaean settlement (third millennium B.C.); to the west were two smaller temples, probably dedicated to Artemis and Dionysos. The "Aeginetan sphinx" (480 B.C.) discovered here in 1904 is now in the Archeological Museum.
Below the temple of Aphrodite, to the south, was the ancient commercial harbor (now silted up); when the sea is calm the old quays can be seen under the water. The modern harbor, on the site of the ancient naval harbor, is still protected by the ancient breakwaters. On the long northern breakwater is the early 19th century chapel of Áyios Nikólaos (St Nicholas).
Thomb of Phokos
1.5km/1 mi north of the town of Aegina is an artificial mound (sixth century B.C.) similar to the one at Marathon, traditionally believed to be the tomb of Phokos, half-brother of Pelesus and Telamon, who killed him. From here the road to the temple of Aphaia (13 km/8 mi east of Aíyina) runs through hilly country, partly wooded and partly under cultivation, passing the church of the Áyii Theodóri (frescoes), built in 1289 with stone from ancient temples.
Eight km/5mi from the church of Áyii Theodóri, the road comes to Palaiokhóra, chief town of the island of Aegina until its abandonment around 1800, with the monastery of Áyios Nektários, named after Archbishop Nektarios (d. 1920, canonized 1961), whose tomb attracts many pilgrims. Above the monastery are the ruins of a medieval castle. In the ruins of Palaiokhóra, scattered about on a hill, are more than 20 whitewashed churches of the 13th and 14th centuries, some of them with frescoes.
Near the ruins of Palaiokhóra are the scattered houses of Mesagró. Soon after this a steep path leads up to the Temple of Aphaia.
Aegina Archeological Museum
The Aegina Archeological Museum contains grave-finds dating from the third millennium B.C. up to Roman times, especially from the Temples of Aphaia and Aphrodite.There are plans to transfer the collection to the Capodistrian Orphanage of Aigina.