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Isthmia, Archaeological Museum

The shrine of Poseidon at the Isthmus of Corinth, called Isthmia, must have been one of the most important sanctuaries in ancient Greece. Yet, no one knew where it was until it was discovered by Oscar Broneer in 1952. The reason why it had been lost for so many centuries, was that the temple had been dismantled during the reign of Justinian, who built a long wall, the “hexamilion” across the Isthmus and needed building materials.

On two earlier occasions, I tried to visit the place, but both times, I found it closed. Today, I was more successful. On the excavation site, you will see the foundations of the temple, a theater, a Roman bath house, a part of the hexamilion wall, a sanctuary (the “palaimonion”) and the remains of the starting gate of the old stadium. There’s another stadium, outside the archaeological park, a bit to the southeast.

The museum consists of just one, large room. There are several spectacular finds, like a large part of the cult statue of Poseidon and Amphitrite, splendid glass mosaics found in Cenchreae, catapult projectiles from the Roman attack in 198 BCE, and remains from the archaic and classical temples. The light is terrible and it is sometimes difficult to see what’s in the displays; on the other hand, the explanatory signs are perfect. All in all, this museum was worth waiting for.

This museum was visited in 2010.

This page was last modified on 27 March 2014.