Trip Start May 25, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The ruins of Heraion ( Ireo)

The ruins of Heraion were discovered about 8 km from Pythagorio, which was the official sanctuary on Samos where it is said the goddess Hera grew up.

The first temple dated 8th Century B.C. was built of wood.

According to mythology the first builders of the sanctuary were the Nymphs and the Leleges.  Angeos, the king of Samos built the wooden temple and installed an image of the goddess.

The first depiction of Hera was a piece of board with a painting of the goddess.  It had great idolatry value so when the Samians discovered it, they tied it with wicker branches as they considered it sacrilege to touch it and carried it to the temple.

In the 7th century BC the wooden sanctuary was replaced by a construction made of stone which was destroyed by the Persian King Kyros. 

Finally, Polycrates assigned the task of building a new temple in the same place to Theodoros, the son of Roikos, which was described by the ancient historian Herodotus, as a splendid building. 

It had 133 columns and a height that reached 25m.

This temple was destroyed by a geological disaster.  What remains today is only one column which also gives it name to the region.

After it was destroyed, various sanctuaries were continued to be built on this site (Heraion) followed later –with the spread of Christianity- by churches.


If someone wishes to visit the ruins, has better visit the Eupalinos tunnel near Pythagorio first where he is to pay about 8 euro (and it is worth it) and on the way out he is given another ticket valued 3 euros for Ireo ruins to be shown when visiting the ruins at Ireon, without any extra charge.

I had no idea, so we went first to Ireo and I had to pay 3 euros and then I was asked to pay another 8 for Eupalinos tunnel.

I informed the man in charge that I am taking photos and insisted that I did  not know and I was let free to be honest.  I just paid the 3 euros at Ireo. But tourists going there have to know that.
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