Acrocorinth

ACROCORINTH - Distance from Ermioni: 116 kms/2 hours

Acrocorinth has always been the fortress acropolis of Ancient and Medieval Corinth, being on a steep, rocky hill 575 meters high at its highest peak, with uninterupted views across the Corinthian and Saronic Gulfs.  It has been an important fortified citadel throughout history for the Mycenaeans, Archaic Greeks, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Frankish Crusaders, Venetians, Ottomans and eventualy back to the Hellenes following the Greek War of Independence, 1821-1832.  More recently, there was a German garrison stationed there during the Second World War.

The Acrocorinth is only accessible on its Western side, where there is a triple wall with three successive fortified gates.  Most of the defensive towers and walls we see today are medieval, but built on ancient foundations.  There is a moat before the first outer gate, with cannon enplacements on the first and second middle gates.  Once past the giant third gate, one sees a multitude of buildings, sancturies, mosques and a Christian church, which has three wall frescoes showing through the Ottoman clay plaster.

The West peak has a high Frankish Crusader tower protecting the whole Triple wall access and the lower town.  At the centre of the Acrocorinth fortifications, at the highest peak, are the foundations of the famous Temple of Aphrodite, where during the ancient period, up to a thousand of her 'priestesses' practiced the oldest profession.  Not much is left of this temple, only the foundation stones and a single column base, because other structures were built on this site during the Roman, Medieval and Ottoman Turkish periods, but the long climb is worth the trouble, as the panoramic views from this point are just amazing.

From Ancient Corinth, take the winding mountainside road which leads up to Acrocorinth.  The distance to the Acrocorinth car park is approximately 4 kms.  From the small car parking area, you will see the narrow access pathway which leads up to the first outer gate. This pathway continues through the first, second and third gates, and is made up of irregular cobblestones, so sensible footwear is advisable. Once through the third gate, the various pathways are beaten earth tracks, so take care if the ground is wet.

It is best to visit Acrocorinth in the late morning, as the site closes at 15:00.    Admission to Acrocorinth: Free 

Location

Acrocorinth
Greece
37° 53' 26.9664" N, 22° 52' 22.0224" E
Picture Gallery
Ottoman fountain - the road to the left leads to Acrocorinth The moat and fortified first gate leading up to Acrocorinth The western defence walls of the Acrocorinth The approach to the second gate fortifications The front approach of the second gate The rear view of the second gate Cannon enplacements guarded the second gate access Battlements looking out to the fortified peak to the west Panoramic view from the Acrocorinth second gate Impressive defence fortifications of the third gate The front approach to the third gate of Acrocorinth The third gate is flanked by high defence towers and walls A medieval building behind the third gate An Ottoman building (right) leading up to a Christian church A small Christian church overlooking the bay of Corinth Church interior - with Byzantine frescos under Ottoman clay Ancient columns used in medieval construction An Ottoman tower in front of the Frankish Western tower A large Ottoman mosque near the postern gate Looking west towards the fortified outpost The hillside fortifications of the high West peak The highest peak of Acrocorinth - the temple of Aphrodite Large corner stone of Aphrodite's temple Looking down from the peak towards the North-East gate