Aigosthena. On the trail of the ancient guards of Attica
Aigosthena. A very interesting day trip from Athens
If you want to see how an ancient defensive tower was and feel like the ancient guards, go to Porto Germeno, ancient Aigosthena.
It’s a very interesting day trip from Athens. If you go in summer, you can combine it with a nice beach.
Aigosthena was a city of the state of Megara. It was at the foot of Kithairon.
In the 4th century BC, the Megarians were allies of the Athenians. With their help, they built large fortifications to deal with the danger from Boeotia. These walls are still in good condition.
The current name dates from the Frankish occupation, by the vow of a Frankish sailor to Saint Germain, to build a church if the saint saved him from a storm. The sailor survived and built the church that gave to the area its name.
A unique ancient monument
What gives Porto Germeno special value today is one of the fortification towers, recently restored.
It’s the only fully restored ancient fortified tower. In addition to its walls that were erected again with its ancient materials, the various levels inside and the roof were reconstructed, with new materials, but imitating the ancient ones.
The restorers tried to make the new materials stand out from the ancient ones, but the overall effect is elegant. If you imagine the stairs of wood, you get a very good picture of the tower in antiquity.
From its windows, you will admire the view the ancient guards saw. A view that embraces a vast area towards the sea and the land.
The view from a window of the tower to the Corinthian Gulf
The view from a window of the tower to the land
Finally, you will see the very beautiful little Byzantine churches on the same site.
The Byzantine church of Saint George, in the area of the ancient fortress
The Byzantine church of the Virgin Mary (or Saint Anne), in the place of an early Christian basilica. It’s obvious that they built it with ancient materials
About the author
Hello! I am Denis, an architect based in Athens, Greece. I teach history of art and architecture in higher education. That’s one passion of mine. The other one is hiking, in and out of town. If you follow me, I’ll share my discoveries with you.
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