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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Sanctuary of Hippolytus at Troizena

The sanctuary of Hippolytus at Troizena, directly connected with the mythical love of Phaedra for Hippolytus, lies in an idyllic environment about 170 kilometers away from Athens and in a short distance from Epidaurus. In spite of its significance, it remains unknown to the broad public. The enclosure and buildings of the sanctuary were erected outside the walls of ancient Troizena in the late fourth or early third century BC around an earlier nucleus of worship, which is located in the area of the small shrine of the Geometric period. Although the existence and function of an Asclepieion in the sanctuary is ascertained by relevant inscriptions, it seems that the celebrated Asclepieion of Epidaurus outshone it, therefore it remained rather obscure. The earthquake caused by the eruption of the Methana volcano in the mid-third century BC obviously contributed to the decline of the Troizena Asclepieion: its buildings suffered serious damages and remained in ruins until the Roman age, when they were restored. After the prevalence of Christianity the ancient building material was removed from the original structures and was used for the erection of Christian churches such as Episkopi. It should be noted that the removal and reuse of ancient building material has been continued until the recent decades. Some of the ancient monuments face today certain solidity and static problems due to the inherited weakness of the building material (limestone) and the reactive thrusts of the ground. The archaeological site remains undefined by enclosure, it lacks informational plates in front of the buildings and does not provide the necessary facilities for the few, for the time being, visitors.