Lavrio Favorites

  • Lavrio-The Port
    Lavrio-The Port
    by Christianne
  • The Townhall
    The Townhall
    by MITNIC
  • Lavrio by MITNIC
    Lavrio by MITNIC
    by MITNIC

Best Rated Favorites in Lavrio

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    LAYRIO at Classical age. II

    by MITNIC Updated Apr 1, 2003

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    Lavrio by MITNIC

    Favorite thing: Exploitation of this mineral wealth may have begun as early as the Middle Helladic period, but the evidence admits of no assessment of the extent, or continuity, of the industry in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages.
    By the archaic period, however, from the time of Peisistratos' tyranny (Hdt. 1.64) and with the issuance of Athens' silver coinage, the mines of Laurion had assumed political as well as economic significance. And in the 5th c. B.C. this importance increased with deeper mining and the discovery of the ore bodies of the "third contact" (Arist. Ath.Pol. 22.7). But progress was halted by the placing of the Spartan fort at Dekeleia in 413 B.C. (Thuc. 6.91 & 7.27), and recovery may have been slow, for Xenophon (Vect. 4) makes clear that even in the middle of the 4th c. the industry still needed encouragement.

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    LAYRIO at Classical age. III

    by MITNIC Written Apr 1, 2003

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    Lavrio by MITNIC

    Favorite thing: Despite this setback, the Classical period marks the heyday of the Laurion mines. Thereafter the story is one of decline, accompanied by a slave revolt (Ath. 6.272), and by Strabo's time men had ceased to go underground but were now reworking the slag-heaps (9.1.23). Even this activity is missing from Pausanias' description of the place as one where "the Athenians once had silver mines" (1.1.1).
    Of this ancient and extensive industry, particularly from the Classical period, the remains that survive throughout Laurion are almost beyond count, many still to be properly cleared and studied. A fair sample of them may be seen alongside any of the roads that serve the mining area: the mines themselves, some nothing more than a rudely hacked horizontal passage, others a complex system of deep galleries linked to the surface by well-cut shafts as much as 100 m deep; milling and washing establishments, the latter with nearby cisterns for the storage of water; furnaces (the excavation of a heavy-walled building containing a bank of them was begun in 1971 near Megala Peuka); slag and other waste; living quarters and cemeteries; roads and culverts.

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    LAYRIO at Classical age. IV

    by MITNIC Written Apr 1, 2003

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    Lavrio by MITNIC

    Favorite thing: But to some Laurion did not mean only mining: there are also, in some less accessible places, instructive examples of farmhouses and marble quarries, in one of which one can see where column drums were removed. Finally, at the top of Vigla Rimbari there is a rubble enclosure wall, perhaps a direct answer to Xenophon's suggestion (Vect. 4.43-44) that the area needed a third stronghold, in addition to those at Anaphlystos and Thorikos, to protect in war one of the city-state's most valuable assets.

    This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976.

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    LAYRIO at Classical age. I

    by MITNIC Updated Apr 1, 2003

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    The Townhall

    Favorite thing: Laurion
    In antiquity, even as now, Laurion was understood as Attica's SE corner, the place of the silver mines, a clearly identified system of low hills stretching N from Cape Sounion for a distance of ca. 17 km. For most of this length, Laurion has a single backbone marked by a succession of peaks, the highest of which, Vigla Rimbari, located near the chain's midpoint, has a height of 372 m; but to the S, where it reaches a maximum width of 10 km, the system is divided by the Legraina valley.Along the E coast, other cultivatable valleys penetrate the hills, especially at Thorikos, where the low, flat land is large enough to constitute a small plain and, for millennia, to have helped support a settled community. Otherwise, most of Laurion's 200 sq. km is rugged and waterless, and would have given little to Athenian economy had it not been for the early discovery, particularly in the hills on its E side, of rich deposits of ore--mixed sulphides of lead, zinc, and iron--from the first of which silver could be profitably extracted.

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    THORIKOS at Classical age.

    by MITNIC Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Thorikos is situated on the E coast about 10 km N of Sounion, it was one of the 12 independent cities of this area said to have been unified by Theseus under Athenian hegemony (Strab. 9.1.20). In the later years of the Peloponnesian War it was fortified (Xen. Hell. 1.2.1) in order to protect the sea route to Athens and to help protect the silver mines at Laurion. Under the Romans it fell into decay, but its earliest habitation remains, dating from the Neolithic period, and numerous tomb groups indicate that it had a long and continuous history up to this time.
    The site consists of three areas: the plain of Thorikos where the Society of the Dilettanti in 1812 uncovered part of an ancient building, now no longer visible, the hill of Velatouri where the majority of ancient remains have been found, and the peninsula of Haghios Nikalaos, now the site of a modern chemical plant.
    The ancient theater, located on the S slope of Velatouri and excavated in 1886, is notable for the irregular shape of its orchestra. It was originally thought that the roughly rectangular orchestra reflected the early date of the theater. Further study, however, suggests that the theater was primarily constructed in the 5th c. B.C., and that its irregular orchestra reflects the gradual enlargement of the theater's seating capacity. It would appear that the original stone seats, made of local bluish stone, consisted of 19 straight rows. These were later expanded by the addition of curved sections to E and W, and still later in the 4th c. a curved section of 12 new rows was added to the N. Scanty remains of a temple can be seen to the W of the orchestra; an altar lies to the E. Along the S side lies a terrace wall built to support the orchestra; this wall appears to be the oldest surviving architectural feature of the theater

    Fondest memory: On the hill above the theater, excavations have uncovered remains of the city's industrial quarter. Here traces of houses, stairs, and roads can be seen. A series of basins connected by channels formed part of a metal-working establishment. Nearby a Mycenaean tholos tomb, graves from various periods, and parts of a prehistoric settlement, including a Mycenaean metal-working establishment, have been uncovered.
    Fortifications consisting of over 600 m of walls can be traced on the peninsula; at least six towers, four stairways, and seven gateways were included in this fortification system.
    I. M. Shear, ed.

    This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976.

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  • AndyRG's Profile Photo

    Its rich land...

    by AndyRG Written Nov 13, 2002

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    Where is the train?

    Favorite thing: The land of Lavrio was blessed to be so rich in ore deposits (argent), already since the ancient times. The coins and the ships of Athens in antiquity were made because of this richness. It is said that the golden century of Athens of Pericles -5th BC- was based on the silver one of Lavrio...
    Until 1971, there were still mines, their bigger acme happened in the 19th century (french companies were tapping them). Tram-cars were transferring the minerals directly to the ships.

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    History is alive...

    by AndyRG Updated Dec 24, 2002

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    So true and sad...

    Favorite thing: It is written: "It is the mother, the sister, the wife, the betrothed of the prisoner in Makronisos, who looks towards the island". Makronisos is an uninhabitable island near Lavrio, where thousands communists -the greek communist party was illegal till 1974- had been exiled there during the civil war (1945-1949).

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    The new port

    by AndyRG Updated Jun 2, 2003

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    Favorite thing: The port of Lavrio becomes more important year by year. It has been enlarged during the last years, the aim is to be less jam at the big port of Piraeus.
    The geographical position of the port makes it ideal to be new shipping routes, basicly to the islands in Cyclades. What's more, the new airport is near to the town.

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    Thoriko

    by AndyRG Updated Dec 24, 2002

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    Performing ancient greek drama...

    Favorite thing: It is the ancient theater in Thoriko, a village next to Lavrio (on the direction to Athens, you turn on the right). It was the ancient natural port in antiquity.
    Today, there are a few houses and this nice theater, where -together with these lovable young girls and their mother- we had performed (for a while!) an ancient greek drama...

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    • Archeology
    • Theater Travel

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    "Chaos"

    by AndyRG Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Favorite thing: This big hole in the land (like a caldera!), a strange landscape, is a few kilometres north of Lavrio. Be careful not to fall down, although there is a wire fence around it - but you can easily go through it. Isn't it ideal for a barbecue?

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  • Irine_29's Profile Photo

    cape Sounio

    by Irine_29 Written Apr 8, 2003

    Favorite thing: the southest part of Attica prefecture, where the temple of Poseidon is set and where King Aigaias suicided...
    the day I was there, the temple was closed, so could not take any photo of it. Soon though, I will, soon...

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  • Irine_29's Profile Photo

    Blue skies and black lands

    by Irine_29 Written Mar 28, 2003

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    Favorite thing: The city, like most of the Greek harbours, offers nice tavernas and caffes. Also, it is very famous for the big number of its Palm trees!

    This photo, shows the "dark side" of Lavrio.

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    up on the

    by Irine_29 Updated Mar 28, 2003

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    Favorite thing: top of the mine, you get the best view of the city. Try to make it for the sunset. The contradictions of the colors give some beautiful results!

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  • AndyRG's Profile Photo

    A small church

    by AndyRG Updated Jun 2, 2003

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    Favorite thing: In front of the modern marine, Agia (Saint) Paraskevi stands silent and proud. It is a miniature church, similar to the thousand ones at the islands (like in Cyclades, of course in a bigger size).

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    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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    The Town Hall

    by AndyRG Written Nov 13, 2002

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    Favorite thing: Lavrio is a historical town, with many old buildings. Most of them are renovated, the past is united with the future... The Town Hall is next to the sea.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

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