On the fateful night of April 12, 1990, the guard at the archaeological site of Ancient Corinth found himself in the midst of a horrifying situation. He was suddenly attacked by burglars who had managed to climb over the roof of the site’s museum and break into the gallery. With the guard subdued, the thieves made away with a staggering 285 ancient artifacts, making it the largest theft ever recorded at a Greek museum. For years, there were fears that these priceless treasures would never be recovered.
However, hope was restored nine years later in 1999 when a tip-off led Greek police to the United States. With assistance from the FBI, the stolen items were found hidden within crates of fresh fish in a Miami warehouse. These valuable antiquities were subsequently returned to the museum, which now boasts an effective alarm system to prevent any future occurrences. Today, these precious artifacts serve as a highlight of a visit to Ancient Corinth.
While Ancient Corinth is undoubtedly a fascinating archaeological site, it also holds great significance for Christians due to the time that the apostle Paul spent there. This ancient city was once one of Greece’s most important urban centers and continues to captivate visitors with its rich history. Located just 80 kilometers west of Athens, Corinth offers a plethora of activities and attractions that can be enjoyed in a day trip or over a longer stay.
If you’re considering a day trip from Athens to Corinth, it’s important to note that public transport offers a convenient and hassle-free option. There is a direct train service between the two cities that operates almost every hour and takes just over an hour. However, it’s worth mentioning that the train station in Corinth is situated quite far from the city center, and the main attractions within Corinth are spread out. This means that upon arrival, you may need to hire a taxi as public transport options are limited. Alternatively, if you enjoy hiking, it is possible to walk between the various attractions, although it can be quite a challenging feat to cover everything within a day. Renting a car provides the most flexibility and allows you to see all the main sights at your own pace.
For those who prefer a guided experience, there are several tour options available for day trips to Corinth. Small-group tours provide the opportunity to visit the highlights, with a particular focus on Ancient Corinth. Additionally, private tours are available for smaller groups, offering a more personalized experience. Corinth can also be combined with other destinations in the Peloponnese region, such as the Daphni Monastery or Mycenae, allowing for a more comprehensive exploration of the area.
Regardless of the method chosen for the trip, visitors to Corinth are guaranteed an incredibly interesting and diverse experience. The city offers a wide range of activities and attractions that span different historical periods, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Corinth’s past. One of the most notable sights is the Acrocorinth, a fortress that dominates the skyline and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the area. The fortress has a fascinating history, with various empires and civilizations leaving their mark on its walls throughout the centuries.
As you explore the Acrocorinth, you’ll come across a network of paths that lead you through the site. While many of the historical buildings are now in ruins, there are a number of churches and mosques that have been protected or restored. These structures offer a glimpse into the city’s diverse religious history. The post-Byzantine church, situated to the left of the main entrance, is one of the most intact. Additionally, the remains of a mosque can be found near the Ottoman Bath, providing further insights into Corinth’s multicultural past.
One of the highlights of the Acrocorinth is the Frankish Tower, situated on the southern side of the fortress. Although reaching the top of the tower requires a bit of effort, the reward is well worth it. From the top of the tower, which stands at a height of 530 meters above sea level, visitors can enjoy a stunning view of the fortress and the surrounding area. The tower itself was mainly built during the Ottoman period, but it gained its nickname, the Frankish Tower, due to its restoration by the Frankish Prince William II of Villehardouin in the 13th century.
For the more adventurous and energetic visitors, a hike to the highest point of the Acrocorinth will lead you to the remains of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite. Although there isn’t much to see in terms of the temple itself, the foundations provide a glimpse into its former grandeur. Additionally, the views from this point offer a unique perspective of the Acrocorinth and its surroundings.
In addition to the Acrocorinth, a visit to Corinth is not complete without exploring the Ancient Corinth site. Located at the base of the Acrocorinth, about six kilometers southwest of the modern city, Ancient Corinth offers a wealth of historical treasures. This ancient city played a vital role in Greek history, serving as a hub for trade and commerce due to its strategic location on the isthmus connecting the Peloponnese with Attica.
One of the standout attractions at Ancient Corinth is the Temple of Apollo. With its seven standing columns, the temple is an iconic symbol of the site. Visitors can walk around its platform and admire its impressive architectural features. Built in the 6th century BC in the Doric style, the temple originally boasted six columns at each end and fifteen along each side. Despite being partially in ruins, the temple’s grandeur is still evident and provides valuable insights into the architectural achievements of Ancient Greece.
Ancient Corinth offers a plethora of other fascinating sites, each with its own unique story to tell. From the impressive Peirene Fountain, which once provided water to the city, to the Lechaion Road, a sprawling ancient road lined with shops and stalls, there is no shortage of historical marvels to explore. The site features informative signage that helps visitors navigate through the different areas and understand the significance of each landmark.
Overall, a visit to Corinth promises an enriching experience that combines history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you choose to explore at your own pace or opt for a guided tour, there is no doubt that Corinth’s allure lies in its ability to transport visitors back in time. With its rich historical heritage and captivating attractions, Corinth offers a truly immersive journey into the ancient world.