Corinth Tourist Attractions
After a severe earthquake Corinth was moved in 1858 from the site of ancient Corinth to its present position, where it was again rebuilt after a further earthquake in 1928 and a great fire in 1933.
The site of ancient Corinth, excavated by the American School in Athens from 1896 onwards, lies 7km/4.25mi southwest in a beautiful setting at the foot of the hill of Acrocorinth (Akrokorinthos). There are extensive remains, mostly dating from the Roman period, dominated by the imposing ruins of the Archaic temple of Apollo.Corinth owed its great importance in ancient times to its situation, with the hill of Acrocorinth providing a strong acropolis. It was said that Acrocorinth and Ithome were the two horns of the Greek bull, and that whoever held them possessed the Peloponnese. Corinth controlled the 6km/4mi wide Isthmus, the only land route into the Peloponnese, and with its two harbors, Lechaion in the Gulf of Corinth and Kenchreai in the Saronic Gulf, also controlled the movement of goods between the two gulfs. The area of Corinth (the name of which is pre-Greek) was already occupied in Neolithic times. In historical times the city attributed its foundation to Korinthos, son of Marathon, and to Sisyphos. Around 1000 BC. Doric settlers established themselves here beside a Phoenician trading post. Under the Bacchiad dynasty (from 747 BC.) the city enjoyed a period of prosperity, founding colonies on Corfu and at Syracuse. In 657 BC. (?) the Bacchiads were succeeded by Kypselos, who ruled for 30 years as a tyrant and was succeeded by his more notable son Periandros, as absolute ruler for 40 years, from about 628 BC. He ranked as one of the Seven Sages, and during his reign the Archaic culture of Corinth reached its apogee, the city's political and economic power being matched by its cultural achievement. Here the Doric temple gained its classical form, and the typical "Corinthian roof" of flat tiles was developed. Corinthian bronzes and pottery were disseminated throughout the Greek world; and during this period, according to Vitruvius, the Corinthian capital was invented by Kallimachos. In 196 BC. Corinth became the headquarters of the Achaean League. In 146 it was plundered and destroyed by a Roman general, Mummius, and remained in a state of ruin until it was rebuilt by Caesar in 44 BC. In AD. 51-52 the Apostle Paul lived and taught in Corinth. In the second century the city was embellished by the Emperor Hadrian and by Herodes Atticus. In 521 Corinth was destroyed by a severe earthquake, and thereafter only Acrocorinth remained inhabited, until in the 10th century a settlement grew up in the area of the ancient Agora. Neither under the Franks (from 1210) nor under Turkish rule was Corinth able to recover its former importance; nor indeed has it done so in modern times.Rail lines to Athens/Piraeus, Patras-Kalamáta, Argos-Kalamáta.
Ancient Corinth is an important archeological site which has revealed many great finds. The impressive museum provides an overview of the site.
The ascent of Acrocorinth (Akrokórinthos; 575m/1,887ft) is made easier by a road which climbs to a point near the lowest gate on the west side. This commanding site was fortified in ancient times, and its defenses were maintained and developed during the Byzantine, Frankish, Turkish and Venetian periods. Beyond a moat (alt. 380m/1,245ft) constructed by the Venetians we come to the first gate (Frankish, 14th C.) and first wall (15th C.); then follow the second and third walls (Byzantine), with a Hellenistic tower in front of the third gate, to the right. Within the fortress we follow a path running northeast to the remains of a mosque (16th C.), and then turn south until we join a path leading up to the eastern summit, on which there once stood the famous temple of Aphrodite, who was worshipped here after the Eastern fashion. From here there are fine views of the Isthmus and the hills of the Peloponnese.
Opening hours: Jun 15 to Oct 31: 8am-7pm
Nov 1 to May 31: 8:30am-3pm; Closed: Mon
Nov 1 to May 31: 8:30am-3pm; Closed: Mon
Always opened on: Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), Óhi Day - Greece & Cyprus (Oct 28)
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Greek National Day (Mar 25), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Easter - Christian
Entrance fee: Adult Free
The old harbor of Lechaion lies north of ancient Corinth, 4 km/2.5 mi west of the modern town. It is now completely silted up, but the outlines of the harbor basin can still be distinguished. In 1956-61 Greek archeologists brought to light on its west side the remains of a fifth century Christian basilica, the largest in Greece (220m/720ft long).
The Isthmus of Corinth is cut by the Corinth Canal, constructed between 1882 and 1893. Involving an excavation up to 80m/260ft in depth, the canal is 6.3km/4mi long, 23m/75ft wide and 8m/26ft deep, and can take vessels of up to 10,000 tons. It follows much the same line as a canal planned by the Emperor Nero, but this early project, like other later ones, were never constructed. The best view of the canal is from the bridge which carries the road over it. An interesting feature is the movable bridge at the northwest end, which can be sunk below the surface.
There are many noteworthy towns and sites within a short drive of Corinth.
Loutráki is a popular seaside resort and spa (recommended for disorders of the urinary tract, gravel and stones in the kidneys and gallstones) at the east end of the Gulf of Corinth.To the northwest is the beautiful peninsula of Perakhóra, with the sanctuary of Hera, and thus this rustic arm into the sea is also called the Heraion Headland.
From Kiáton, 13km/8mi southeast of Xylókastron, a road branches off on the right to the village of Vasilikó (6km/4mi), and the site of ancient Sikyon, birthplace of the sculptor Lysippos. To the left of the access road are the foundations of a temple of Apollo or Artemis. South of this can be seen the remains of a stoa, a bouleuterion and a gymnasion. On the slopes of the acropolis is a theater.Sikyon features an Archeological Site and Museum that is located in a Roman bath-house. It features pavement mosaics, sculptures and other decorative artifacts.
Two km/1.25mi south of the temple of Poseidon is the village of Kekhriás, which marks the site of the ancient Corinthian port of Kenchreai, with remains of the old harbor works (partly under water). North of the harbor, near the Kalamaki Beach Hotel, the site of a temple of the classical period has been identified.2km/1.25mi south of the harbor of Kenchreai is a spring with an abundant flow of water which has been known since the time of Pausanias as Helen's Bath (Loutró Elénis).
Xylokastron is a popular holiday resort on the south side of the Gulf of Corinth, 33km/21miwest of Corinth.On the highway and railroad between Corinth and Patras; bus connections with both towns.
31km/19mi southwest of Xylókastron lies the village of Tríkala (alt. 1,100m/3,610ft), from which Mt Kyllíni (2,376m/7,796ft) can be climbed.
Map of Corinth Attractions