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The unknown Acropolis of the Peloponnese

It could start like that;  … like a fairy tale!
Once upon a time, there was an imperious king who was living in a big city on a hill with his beautiful son …

Ancient Oiniades

The myth

… The name of the king of the castle was Trikardos (=the one who has three hearts). His son, a very handsome young man, had the name Aniliagos (=the one who can’t face the sun) because he should never face the sunlight.

Αnialiagos was in love with Kyra-Rini, who lived in another tower and he visited her every night. However, he always bid her farewell before dawn.
Kyra-Rini was jealous because she thought that her beloved was going back to another woman and she decided to trick him. She slaughtered all the roosters of the castle and Aniliagos did not understand the coming of the day. On his return to his castle,  he faced the sun and disappeared forever …

Would you like to learn more about unknown Greece?

The reality 

The city was founded in the 7th century BC. by the Corinthians. According to tradition, the founder of the city was the mythical hero Alkmaion from Argos who fought against Akarnanes on behalf of the king Oineas. It is assumed that the city was named after king Oineas. Another opinion about the name of the city is that it is connected with the vineyards of the area and the excellent wine (in ancient Greek: οίνος / inos).


There, the only which remains is a unique archaeological site, the existence of which is practically unknown to anyone but the locals. You’ll find it 59 kilometres from Patras, on the right bank of the river Acheloos, on a series of hills. There, the ruins of the ancient castle of Oiniades are to be found, which seem to be well preserved. In the past, it was an important port because of its strategic location. Today, it is an easy destination for those who want to make a short trip. And of course, there is much for a visitor to see …

The well-kept walls are impressive. At the top of the hill is the Acropolis with a separate defending wall. Outside the walls, many graves with significant finds have been excavated. Inside the walls, the public buildings of the ancient  “Agora“, a “Loutro” (=bath) and the theatre are visible. The last is impressive. This is a theatre for 5.500 spectators, carved into the rock of the slope. In some of its seats, you can still see inscriptions.

The shipyard we can see at Oimiades is one of the most imposing of antiquity. It was in full operation for over 1500 years and it has been recognized as the oldest in the world. Here, the ships were recovered, repaired, and remained for a few months in winter.
It is about 41 m x 47 m and is almost entirely carved vertically into the natural rock.

If you are not afraid to disappear when you look into the sun, visit this wonderful place in daylight!

                                     © Lato,
Het Griekse Taal– & CultuurCentrum van Amsterdam

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