The Sanctuary of Amphiarion is Attica’s ancient healing center, the only one of Attica! The ruins of Amphiarion are hidden among the pine forest that covers the village of Kalamos in a small valley. It used to be a healing centre but also an oracle that was a spiritual autority with prophetic opinion in ancient Greece. Of course the people had to pay for that. The patients also had to pay the entrance fee, they used the STOA for sleeping near the temple and Amphiarios visited them and cure them! For some of them there were also some other Gods like Zeus or Athena but I don’t know what was the criteria! (bring me Aphrodite plz!)
The sanctuary was built from the people of Oropos and it was dedicated to Amphiaros a king of Argos that could interpret dreams. The legend says that he didn’t die by the enemy because Zeus opened a great gap on earth that swallowed him for good measure! The problem is that this chasm must be the one between Thebes and Oropos that causes trouble with earthquakes in our days! The Greeks remembered his legend many years after when they started to build Oracles across Greece like Starbucks in our days so they dedicated some of them in his name! :) This Amphiarion is the most famous and brought a lot of money to the owners that period. Every 5 years the Amphiaria games were taking place that was as big as the Olympic games.
You can see the ruins of many buildings and monuments like:
-the Temple of Amphiaraos(pic 1),
-the Theatre of course(pic 2), It was built later than the other buildings and served the spiritual evolution of the visitors. I wonder if they pay extra ticket for this! :)
-the Klepsydra(pic 3), the most interesting item in the area for me! A hydraulic clock! The 2m deep tank was filled with water and there was a pointer that was showing the hour according to the level of the water! They say that it was more reliable that a sun clock but who knows, we only use digital clocks now! :)
-the Statue Bases(pic 4), Here, the donators have their statues! Lol If you can read ancient greek you can see some nice text lines of famous people like Bruto (yes, the one that betrayed and killed Ceasar!...) Because of these written texts we know which base belong to whom (the statues are no longer there)
-the Stoa(pic 5), you will see it on your left after the theatre. It was build around 360 BC at the same time with the big temple. Stoa was an impressive building with big rows of columns(Doric at the exterion, ionic at the interior) and had two big parts on its side one for men and one for women. The patients slept there but also those who were waiting for Oracle’s advice.
-the Sacred Spring, the water supposed to be sacred and after the bath in the waters of miracles everyone had to put gold inside to thank God for the cure or the advise they took!
-At the right side of the valley were the building of the accompanists of the patients, of the pilgrims, athletes and also stores, taverns and some kind of a police department! I told you, a lot of money was passing by here!...
You can spend about 30 minutes among the ruins but I suggest you to buy the small guide at the entrance so to know what you look. There is a small map inside the place with some written notes in case you don’t know anything about the place, but you had already read this tip so you are more than ready! :)
You can visit the Amphiarion daily (except Mondays) 8:30-15:00 and the entrance fee is only 2euro.
This is an orthodox monastery for women. It is located 4km before the village of Kalamos as you come from Athens. It was built at 6th century and most of the paintings are from 17th century. The Ottomans destroyed the church in 1824 when Omer Pasha(leader of Karystos that era) attacked from Evia. The people of Kalamos celebrate here at 5-6 of August. There is also another smaller church in the area, St Nektarios(pic 5).
the monastery is build up on a hill that overlooks down Oropos and Evoic gulf. You can see Evia at the other side
This is the beach of Kalamos. The clear waters are attractive enough so you can stop for swimming. You can also buy fresh fishes in the morning when the small boats came and many people gather around them. Of course you can go and eat them at one of the seaside taverns. Most of the visitors that want to rent a room they choose Ayioi Apostoloi because it has some hotels and it’s near the sea of course.
Kalamos is only 45’ away from Athens by car. You can take the national highway to Lamia and turn right 5km before Malakasa towards Markopulo. Before Markopulo you have to turn right to Kalamos. On your way you will see the monastery on your right, after some minutes you will see the Sanctuary of Amphiareos on your left and then the village.
You can also take the bus from Athens using KTEL ATTIKIS that depart from Pedion Areos at Alexandras Avenue. There are 12 buses Monday-Friday, the first bus departs at 05:45 and the last one at 21:15. On weekends there are 10 buses, the first bus departs at 06:00 and the last one at 21:15.
There are taxis that can take you to nearby villages and towns like Oropos but the best option is to have your own car.