Samos – 4

This is the fourth of five short pieces about my recent visit to the island of Samos in the Aegean Islands. Samos is only about two miles from the Turkish coast but is definitely part of Greece. The picture was taken by me and is of the UNESCO World Heritage Site called The Heraion on Samos.

The Efpalinio Orygma aqueduct is 1036 metres long and was built by Eupalinos of Megara on the orders of Polycrates, using slave labour. The tunnel was dug through solid rock by two sets of slaves starting at opposite sides of the hill and working towards each other. The whole venture was a success and the aqueduct provided the town with running water until Byzantine times.

 The most famous sight on Samos is the Heraion, on the far side of the airport coming from the Pythagorio direction. Visitors will walk along the narrow side road through groves of olive trees before reaching the entrance. After entering, a long processional way exposed to the elements can be used to gradually approach the main site. In ancient times, this processional or sacred way would have stretched right back to Pythagorio. As you walk along, there are circular sections of discarded columns and individual shaped stones, indicating there must have been small temples on both sides when the Heraion was a place of worship and pilgrimage. At one point, there are some beautifully carved figures called the Geneleos. Although headless, they have a sensuous grace and smoothness unique at this sight. All around are the foundations for a number of different buildings such as The Aphrodite Temple, The Large Altar of Hera, and The Exedra of Cicero.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: