Piraeus Ancient History Background
Themistocles advised the Athenians to take advantage of Piraeus harbours' strategical potential, instead of using the sandy bay of Phaleron. Foreseeing a new attack by the Persians he built large fortification works and turned Piraeus into a military harbor.
The shipyards that were created then, built the mighty Athenian fleet, which distinguished itself at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. Since then, Piraeus has been used as a navy base for the developed and powerful fleet of Athens in the Aegean Sea.
This event is the most interesting for me though I'm very doubt this battle had place there in that time. Have a look at the pic of ancient triera and decide for youself how it could be produced and how it could be moved over the sea? In my opinion it's impossible.
The peninsula is entirely of volcanic origin and contains over 30 volcanic eruption centers.
The peninsula is the northwesternmost of the arc of the Aegean islands of which the active volcanic areas are Methana, Milos, Santorini and Nisyros. In the future, Methana (and the area of the Saronic Gulf) may expect other volcanic eruptions.
The highest point is 740 m (Helona Mountain).
The mountain range covers the central part of the peninsula and has a small ridge north of the seat. The residential area is within the sea. The pastures are around Methana. A mountain ridge is founded in the west and is about 3 km long with a stream in the middle and a cliff in the south.
You may watch my high resolution photos of Methana on Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 36' 9.13" N 23º 28' 37.55" E
or on my Google Earth Panoramio Methana.
Berfore being to Greece, I used to consider Piraeus as Athens’ port. But Pireaus is much more than that, it is a large municipality with a population of about half a million including suburbs. It has its own personality.
Piraeus was not always the natural port of Athens: in early antiquity Piraeus was a rocky island separated from the mainland by a marsh called Halipedon (salt field). In that period the harbor of Phaleron was the natural port of Athens. By the end of the 6th century BC, when the flooding had ceased and the soil was safe, the peninsula was fortified by Hippias and Piraeus became the harbor of Athens, as this was deeper than Phaleron harbor.
In the History of the Peloponnesian War (5th century BC), Thucydides reports the construction of the Long Walls, connecting Athens to Piraeus and Phaleron. Today, the Electric train connects them instead.
Piraeus is the largest passenger port (20 million passengers/year) and among the first ten ports in container traffic in Europe.
Apart from the large port of Piraeus, there are two small ones, Pasalimani and Mikrolimano (or Turkolimano), the most picturesque of them.
Follow the Guide -Nautical Museum-
The Museum was founded in 1949 and comprises nine rooms, where the nautical history of Greece, from prehistoric times to our day, comes to life. Among the exhibits there are models of ancient and mondern ships, paintings by some of the greatest 19th and 20th century Greek painters of seascapes (Prossalendis, Volanakis, Hadjis, etc.); also guns, maps, flags, medals, nautical instruments, etc.
Model of a Byzantine corvette, the main warship of Byzantium.
Planisphere, showing the visible stars for each period of the year.
"Model of the Lugger"
Two-master of the "lugger" type.
"The sea battle of Navarino"
"The sea battle of Navarino", oil painting by Karnares.
"The torpedo boat"
The torpedo boat "Thyella", oil painting by B. Hadjis.