At the beaches of Saronicos bay, 24 km south of the city of Athens and from the preclassical years till today, the ancient Demos of Aexonidon Alon - the today's Vouliagmeni keeps thriving and developing.
The legend binds with an unbroken historical link the beautiful city of Vouliagmeni to the Kyklades Islands, the sacred Delos and the birth of the Olympian Gods.
According to the historian Pausanias, the young Titan Leto, pregnant with the children of Zeus, father of Gods, and hunted by the jealous Hera was desperately searching for a place where she could give birth to them. During the pursuit and uncomfortable from the pains, Leto throws her belt over the sandy and full of pine trees thin strip of land with the beautiful beaches on both its sides, the region known today as Lemos of Vouliagmeni.
The area will be named "Zostir" (Belt) after Leto's garment, with a second explanation offered again by Pausanias and referring to the weapons that Apollo put in his belt in order to protect his mother.
A brief history of Vouliagmeni
The exquisite beaches of the city had long attracted human activity since the early historical years. The 'Makra Akra' (Long Edge), as the peninsula of Lemos was characteristically known, was one of the areas of Attica where the archaeological excavations brought into the light many remains of human settlements during the end of the Neolithic Period (3.000 bC.)
Human presence becomes even more prominent during the next centuries, as the archeological findings at Mikro Kavouri reveal several Proto-Hellenic settlements and some quantities of obsidian, a hard volcanic stone that can be found only in the islands of Milos and Nissyros. These findings reveal a maritime communication with these islands, at least 4.500 years ago.
During the pre-classical years and around the second half of the 8th century, a temple is built in Vouliagmeni, with three altars that are dedicated to Leto, goddess of the night and patron of the women who are going to give birth, and to her twins, Artemis and Apollo.
During the later years new additions were built to the temple, one in the 6th century and a second during the last half of the 4th century. History shows that the temple was active till the end of the 2nd century AD. There is another temple in the area which is dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, whose exact location has not yet been found.
In 1938, another archaeological excavation at Lemos of Vouliagmeni revealed a small settlement which was believed to belong to priests, dated somewhere between the end of 5th and the beginning of the 6th century. At the time of the excavation, its central building was regarded as a unique example of an ancient house of this period. Also, during the same years the excavations revealed a fortification tower built by the Athenians around 429 bC, according to the ancient historian Thucydides.
Many of these findings are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Athens.
This text is cited June 2005 from the Municipality of Vouliagmeni URL below
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