The Original Greek City

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The Original Greek City
Ancient Corinth
The ruins of ancient Corinth, a short drive from the modern city of Corinth, are spread around the
base of the rock of Acrocorinth, which forms a natural acropolis for the city. Most of the surviving
buildings are Roman rather than Greek; dating from the city's prosperous age after Caesar sacked
and rebuilt much of the original Greek city. Much of the city has been toppled by recurring
earthquakes over the centuries.

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On the Acrocorinth itself are ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite, of which little remains. The Temple of
Aphrodite had more than 1,000 sacred prostitutes at one time, exemplifying the ancient city's
reputation for luxury and vice. Also on Acrocorinth are the ruins of a stone minaret and ancient
defensive walls.
Gortyna, Greece
The most important ancient site in Gortyna is the ruins of the Temple of Pythian Apollo. The
rectangular outline of the sanctuary and most of the altar remain.
Other ancient Greek sites of interest in Gortyna include the Temple of Isis and Serapis and the
Odeon, where archaeologists found the famous law code of Gortys (500 BC).
Panagia Chalkeon, Thessaloniki
The Panagia Chalkeon has a classic Byzantine cross-in-square plan with three apses on the east end
and a narthex on the west end. It is constructed of deep red bricks that have given it a local nickname
of "Red Church." It has a rather charming appearance due to its small size and sunken position below
modern street level.
The main facade is pleasingly symmetrical, with three tall arches and three domes. The central dome
is supported on an octagonal drum and the cross-arms have triangular pediments.
Agios Stefanos Monastery, Meteora
The old katholikon, which was rebuilt in 1545 and frescoed shortly thereafter, still stands. The new
katholikon of Agiou Stefanou was built in 1798 and is currently being frescoed by a modern artist. It is
dedicated to the martyred St. Charalambos, whose head it contains.
The refectory (15th century) has a surviving fresco of the Virgin in the apse. The monastery contains a
small museum of vestments and other religious objects and the nuns sell handmade embroideries
and other trinkets.

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