Perahora Tourist Attractions
The ancient shrine of Hera at Perakhóra lies on the shores of a sharply pointed peninsula between the Halcyonic Gulf and the Gulf of Corinth. The road from Corinth, running northwest via Loutráki, passes (on the right) the village of Perakhóra, which was badly damaged in an earthquake in 1981, skirts a lake (bathing beach, taverna) and ends near a lighthouse (20 km/12.5 mi). Below, to the left, is the little bay with the remains of the ancient sanctuary; straight ahead, on the south side of the gulf, is the prominent bulk of Acrocorinth. It is well worth while making the trip to Perakhóra both for the historical importance of the scanty remains, dating from the early period of Greek temple-building, and for the magnificent setting; and there is, too, the additional attraction of a swim in the ancient harbor.In the Mycenaean period the sanctuary belonged to Megara, later to Corinth. The oracle here, sacred to the goddess Hera, flourished particularly in the Geometric period (ninth and eighth C.), although nothing is known of the cult practices. In 390 the sanctuary was seized by the Spartan Agesilaos. During the Roman period the site was abandoned. It was excavated by British archeologists in 1930-33.
Shrine of Hera
On the shores of the bay is an altar with Doric triglyphs (ca. 500 B.C.), and to the north of this are traces of the temple of Hera Akraia. A stretch of wall 6.8m/22ft long running from east to west, with an apse at the west end, is all that remains of a temple of the Geometric period (ca. 850 B.C.), which was only 5-6m/16-20ft wide and 8m/26ft long. About 530 B.C. a considerably larger Archaic temple (9.5m/31ft by 30m/98ft), the west end of which has been preserved, was built to the west of the first one. This temple was flanked by an L-shaped stoa (fifth-fourth century B.C.) and the Agora (ca. 500 B.C.).Higher up, in a small valley to the east, are other ancient buildings, which were approached by a stepped path. The most striking feature is a large Hellenistic cistern. Nearby, facing south, is the temple of Hera Limenaia, which dates from about 750 B.C. (i.e. the time of Homer). Measuring 5.6m/18ft by 9.5m/31ft, it contains a number of stone slabs which formed part of the sacrificial altar. While the normal Greek temple was merely designed to house the cult image, and the cult ceremonies took place outside the temple, this temple was an assembly hall in which the sacred ceremonies were performed. It thus marks the beginning of a development which ended in the Telesterion of the Eleusinian mystery cult (see Eleusis).Near the temple were found a sacrificial pit with many thousands of votive potsherds and a sacred lake where the pronouncements of the oracle are thought to have been made.