Boeotia Attractions Viotía
Boeotia occupies an area of 3,000 sq. km/1,160 sq. mi in central Greece, between the gulfs of Corinth and Euboea and between Phocis and Attica.
The plain around its capital, Thebes, and in the Asopos valley - supplemented in modern times by the land won by the drainage of Lake Kopais - have made Boeotia an agricultural region since ancient times; and its inhabitants were traditionally regarded as rather uncouth rustics, in spite of the fact that Hesiod, Pindar and Plutarch all came from Boeotia. In the field of art it produced only the sculptor Kalami, famed for his figures of horses.In Mycenaean times Boeotia had important fortified towns such as Thebes, Orchomenos and Gla. In the historical period a league of cities was formed, of which Thebes became leader in the time of Epameinondas (371-361 B.C.). The city of Thebes was destroyed on several occasions, e.g. by Alexander the Great in 335 B.C. and by Catalan mercenaries in the 13th century, and did not recover its position until the 19th century. During the Turkish occupation the chief town of the region was Livadiá.Although most visitors only pass through Boeotia on the way to somewhere else, it has a number of sites and monuments which are well worth seeing. The Mycenaean period is represented by Orchomenos and Gla, the first millennium B.C. by Chaironeia and the Kabirion of Thebes, and the Christian era by the churches of Skripoú, one of which can be seen when visiting Osios Loukás or Orchomenos.
The Ossios Loukas Monastery, located in the Helikon range, contains fine 11th C mosaics.
Plataiai was an ancient city that was rebuilt numerous times and lasted until the Roman and Byzantine times. The city was also the site of the last battle of the Persian war on Greek soil.
The Mycenaean fortress of Gla lies at the northeast end of the Kopais plain (formerly Lake Kopais).26km/16mi from Thebes on the main road to Lamía the hill on which Gla lies can be seen rising out of the plain on the right of the road, 1km/.75mi away. To reach it, take the turn-off for the village of Kástro. The narrow road encircles the hill, which rises to 70m/230ft on the north side. The massive walls, 5.7m/19ft thick and still standing 3m/10ft high, enclose the whole area of the hill. The walls have a total length of 3km/2mi (compared with Mycenae's 900m/985yd) and take in an area of 200,000 sq.m/215,000 sq.yd, making this the largest stronghold of its period.From the north gate we continue up to the highest point on the hill, with the remains of the palace, the two wings of which are set at right angles. To the south, in the direction of the south gate, are the remains of other houses. There was a double gateway on the east side.
Livadiá, capital of Boeotia, is a busy town on the southwestern edge of the fertile Kopais plain. On the main road through the town is a spacious square laid out in gardens, with tavernas.In antiquity Livadiá was famed for the oracle of Zeus Trophonios, which continued to flourish into the Roman Imperial period and was described by Pausanias in the A.D. second century. In the Middle Ages the town was occupied by Catalan mercenaries, who built a castle on the hill (now called Áyios Ilías) on which the sanctuary of the oracle once stood. In 1460 Livadiá fell into Turkish hands and became the chief town in Boeotia.Bus connections with Athens and Delphi.
In the Erkyna gorge at the west end of the town is the Cold Spring, probably the ancient Spring of Mnemosyne. The Springs of Memory (Mnemosyne) and Forgetfulness (Lethe) played a part in the process of consulting the oracle. Cut in the rock are recesses for votive offerings.
Town & Lion of Chaironeia, Chaironeia, Greece
The monumental Lion of Chaironeia, 5.5m/18ft high, rears up against a backdrop of cypress trees by the roadside 14 km/8.5mi north of Livadiá. It commemorates a battle in 338 B.C. in which the allied Greek city states were defeated by Philip II of Macedon and his 18-year-old son Alexander. The battle marked the beginning of the Macedonian domination of Greece. The fallen Macedonians were buried in an earth mound on the battlefield (2 km/1.25mi east of the Lion), and Philip sent the ashes of the dead Athenians to Athens, while Thebes raised a tomb for its dead which was enclosed by a low wall and marked by the figure of the lion.This is a village of great archeological interest and Plutarch's birthplace.
Of the ancient city of Chaironeia (1.5km/1mi west) there remains only a small theater hewn from the rock on the slopes of the acropolis hill, now called Mt Petrakhos. This was the birthplace of the philosopher and biographer Plutarch, a priest of Apollo at Delphi (A.D. ca. 45 - ca. 120), who returned to Chaironeia in his old age.
Chaironeia Archeological Museum (Closed Temporarily for Restoration)
Finds from the Lion of Chaironeia site are displayed in this museum.
Sitting at the very Eastern end of the Corinthian Bay surrounded by mountains, this picturesque village's main attraction is its Acropolis. The walls date to the 4th c BC. The fortress was restored by the Franks in the 13 c with the most notable feature being a tower. A small chapel stands in the middle of the ruins looking down at the harbor.