Hidden Treasures of the Adriatic-Day 13-Corinth Canal

  
In ancient times, Corinth (Korinthos) was one of the largest and wealthiest city-states in Greece with two major ports, one on the Corinthian Gulf and one on the Saronic Gulf. The site where Ancient Corinth once stood has been excavated by archaeologists from the American School in Athens since 1896. 

  
The extensive remains, mostly dating from the Roman period, are dominated by the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. Behind the site rises the hill of Acrocorinth (Akrokorinthos), which was fortified during the Middle Ages. The modern town of Corinth lies seven kilometers northeast of the ancient city and 78 kilometers west of Athens. 
  
The Corinth Canal lies four kilometers east of modern Corinth. The idea of building a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth (which connects the Peloponnese to the rest of Greece) was conceived by the tyrant Periander in the sixth century BC. However, it was only completed during the period 1882-1893, after modern Greece gained independence. Involving an excavation up to 80 meters in depth, the canal is 6.3 kilometers long, 23 meters wide, and eight meters deep, and can take vessels of up to 10,000 tons. 

  
The best view of the canal is from the bridge, which carries the road over it. An interesting feature is the movable bridge at the northwest end, which can be sunk below the surface, allowing smaller ships and sailing boats to pass through (paying a hefty tariff). However, it is too narrow for larger ships.

  
Ancient Corinth is an important archaeological site, which has revealed many great finds. Once one of the most powerful cities of the Classical world, it came under Roman rule in 146 BC. It is here that St. Paul preached to the people of Corinth in AD 51-52, and his experience later inspired him to write the New Testament books of the First Corinthians and Second Corinthians, among the most quoted books of the Bible. Today, amid the archaeological excavations, you can see the ruins of various buildings including temples, a forum, baths, and a basilica.

  
  
  
  

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About Basia Zarzycka

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