A large promontory at the E end of the Corinthian Gulf N of the Isthmus
and opposite ancient Corinth. On the summit of Lutraki Mountain, which commands
the promontory, are remains of a small Classical building, perhaps a temple. Other
sites in the region include Therma (modern Lutraki) where a stone lion now in
Copenhagen was found; the Classical fort of Oinoi on the N side of Mt. Gerania;
a large ancient cemetery at the modern village of Perachora, the finding-place
of a stone lion now in Boston; a small Classical settlement with cemetery at Monasteri;
a larger one at Asprocampo with several archaic inscriptions. The most important
site in Perachora is Heraion, a fortified town with Sanctuaries of Hera. It has
been excavated. Finds are in the National Museum of Athens.
Originally in Megarian hands, the promontory and Heraion were taken over by Corinth ca. 750-725 B.C. Argive imports are prominent in the earliest deposits at Heraion. A flourishing center until the end of the Classical period, Heraion's shrines received vast quantities of rich dedications. In the Corinthian War, 391-390 B.C., Perachora served as grazing land and a supply center of sufficient importance to merit an attack by Agesilaus. Both 4th c. and Hellenistic buildings attest considerable activity at Heraion, but after the Roman sack of 146 B.C. the site almost died out. Only a few Roman houses occupied it.
Near the W end of the promontory is Lake Eschatiotis (modern Vouliagmene) along whose W shore there are remains of an ancient road that Swings W past a 4th c. B.C. fountain-house and through the town of Heraion. Below and N of the fortified acropolis are foundations of archaic and Classical houses. Beyond the town a valley falls off towards the sea, at the E end of which is the Temenos of Hera Limenia, a rectangular enclosure with a temple lacking porch and colonnade and built ca. 750 B.C. Inside the temple was a small altar with four low curbstones, three of which were reused stelai inscribed in the early Corinthian alphabet with dedications to Hera and originally carrying votive spits. This temenos, which produced the greatest deposits of votive objects until ca. 400 B.C., is one of the richest minor sanctuaries in Greece. West of the temenos is a circular pool in which 200 bronze phialai of the 6th c. B.C. were found, probably indicating the presence of an oracle (cf. Strab. 8.380). West of the pool is a large Hellenistic cistern with apsidal ends and a row of stone piers down the center. South of this lies a contemporary building with three large rooms, one of which contains couches.
Bordering the small harbor on the NE is an L-shaped stoa of the late 4th c. B.C. The building had two stories and is the earliest known stoa with an Ionic order standing above a normal Doric. A large, archaic triglyph altar at the Wend of the stoa served the Temple of Hera Akraia. Ionic columns built round the altar ca. 400 B.C. probably supported a canopy. North of the altar are the meager traces of a late 9th c. B.C. Temple of Hera Akraia, the earliest on the site, which survived until ca. 725 B.C. Among the finds in the Geometric deposit were clay models of buildings imported from Argos. To the W is the 6th c. B.C. Temple of Hera Akraia, a long, narrow structure consisting of a simple cella with a Doric porch at the E, and divided longitudinally by two low walls which supported two rows of Doric columns. A cross-wall runs in front of the base for the cult statue. The base is later, as shown by a foundation deposit of the early 4th c. B.C. The roof was of marble tiles decorated with lateral acroteria of flying Nikai. South of the temple is an enclosed court with an L-shaped portico of wooden and stone pillars, which remained in use ca. 540-146 B.C. Built diagonally across it was a Roman house of the 2d c. On the lighthouse rock are cisterns, a Classical house, and a long stretch of Classical fortification wall on the N.
R. Stroud, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
The ruins of the famous sanctuary of Hera are to be found near the
lighthouse on Cape Malagavi, to the north-west of Loutraki and beyond the village
of Perachora amid its dense greenery. The Heraion of Perachora consists of two
sections, that' s why, until recently, it was believed to be two separate sanctuaries:
those of Hera Acraea ('of the cape') and Hera Limenia ('of the harbour').
Recent research, however, has led archaeologists to the conclusion that there was only one sanctuary, dedicated to Hera Acraea-Limenia.
The cult seems to have established itself in the southern part of the sanctuary (that formerly held to be the sanctuary of Hera Acraea) during the Geometric period.
Around 800 BC, the first apsidal temple of Hera was built, but no trace of it has survived. In the sixth century BC, α new temple of Hera was constructed, further west. This was of a Doric order and had α rectangular layout measuring 10.30 meters on its short sides and 31 meters on the long sides. To the east was an altar, also oblong and ornamented with triglyphs. In the fourth century BC, eight Ionic columns were constructed around the altar; these supported a shelter, which protected the priests and the sacred flame from the strong winds that often blow in the area. A building which has come to light to the west of the Doric temple has been interpreted as an agora, whose functions would have been both commercial and religious.
At α distance of 200 m. from this section of the sanctuary is the other, originally identified as the sanctuary of Hera Limenia. This reading of the site, which originated with Professor Humfry Payne, was based on the discovery of a rectangular Archaic building which was believed to be the temple of Hera. Professor Tomlinson, who succeeded Payne, explored the site more systematically and interpreted the building as α dining room for pilgrims to the sanctuary. It would thus seem that the cult proper was practised in the south part of the site, by the harbour, while the area around the dining room contained the service facilities for visitors.
Between the two parts of the sanctuary was α sacred pool used as α rainwater tank. This had become silted up as early as the fourth century BC and during excavations some 200 glass bottles - connected with the sacred rites - were found in the landfill. Not far away was a water tank with apsidal short sides and a row of piers down the center on which the roof would have been supported. The building is tightly waterproof and is an interesting example of the way in which water was collected and stored in the fourth century BC.
This text is cited October 2004 from the Municipality of Loutrakion - Perachoras URL below, which contains images.
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