Archaeological Site of Kolona

Archaeological Site of Kolona

Archaeological Site of Kolona
4

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles134 reviews
Excellent
55
Very good
51
Average
21
Poor
4
Terrible
3

saronic
Zurich, Switzerland28,626 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
The Archaeological Site of Kolonna is located on a small peninsula between Aegina and the town's closest, although not very good beach. In the same precinct is also the island's Archaeological Museum where the entrance ticket of 4€ has to be bought, being valid for both attractions. Unlike other sites it doesn't make much difference here, if one visits first the one or the other of the two places.

There are detailed information boards, also with maps and an orthophoto, in Greek, German and English, made by the university of Salzburg und financed by the Austrian government. It is Austrian archaeologists, who are working here. The single monuments of the excavation only have a caption in Greek and German.

To the untrained eye the whole attraction here doesn't compare with the well preserved Aphaia temple on the island. This has a lot to do with the fact that the often intermingled remains here date from different periods, from the Archaic to the Byzantine. The best known ruin of the site is the single column of the Doric Apollo temple, which has given the site its name: Kolonna (column in Greek).
Written 4 April 2020
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Robyn S
35 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Solo
Was the only person in the ruins upon arrival and really enjoyed walking around what you could clearly see was the layout of the place. The shrine to Apollo was amazing as you could get incredibly close to the structure due to the nature of the guidance ropes. There was also a beautiful view of Aegina and the surrounding islands. The museum was okay though the information provided was regarding the dig and the timings of the discoveries opposed to their significance and any information about how the building would have been inhabited. However for the €2 it cost to enter, it’s worth a look around
Written 17 November 2021
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Athens27
Athens, Greece53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Family
Took day trip out of Athens where I live, to Aegina. What a pleasure to have this historic site a 10 minute walk from the boat piers. It's all mostly foundations but it's an amazing site when you think that people had lived here for over 3000 years on this little peninsula. I'm amazed at the reviews that say it's not worth it, there's nothing there! Go to DisneyLand if you need to be dazzled. The history of this place is overwhelming. Not wanting to take a17 euro taxi each way to the big temple inland, this was fine. Lunch along the harbor at a seaside restaurant and it was back to Athens on the 4p boat. Next time, I'll rent a car for the day at probably a lower fare than a round trip taxi ride to the large temple, and explore the entire island. Hydra is more beautiful, no archeological sites and boats less frequent. So this was perfect for a quick day trip. 40 minutes boat. What could be better. And yes, I bought pistachios!
Written 7 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ⓜ️ MrMoreLight
Montreal, Canada1,726 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Solo
There is a small museum at the entrance with explanations about the site in its historical context. Several pieces of artefacts were quite interesting. After walking the interiors rooms, you are taken outside were you can walk the premises of the house and installations.

Then it hits you how this is the best spot on the island : large harbour, beautiful beach, commanding view of the ocean, hilly backside, it was the place to set up shop and they did.

A few nice pictures with the Kolona and you are out of here. Average visit, great location.
Written 29 September 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gail B
Helensburgh, UK74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2018 • Solo
Loved this lovely site , a fantastic wander around the site with lovely views of surrounding beaches and Aegina
Written 29 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

skarletini
Thessaloniki, Greece63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017
A beautifull archaelogical site , able to walk and see the view .The museum is at the end of the port and if you look from the satellite you can see the remains of the old port in the sea.
Written 14 September 2017
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SacredTouchstone
South Pacific82 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015
Just north of Aegina town is the hill with one single column (kolona in Greek), last remnant of a Doric Temple of Apollo, which was torn down with others - because they were deemed idolatrous - in the 4th century AD. Built in 520 BC of the porous Aegina sandstone, it stood on the site of previous temples on the prehistoric acropolis. It had 11 columns on the longer sides and 6 on the shorter ones. The upper portion of the one that remains is gone, fallen (along with the architrave) some time after 1765. A second column lasted till 1802, when it toppled during a storm. The frontispieces of the temple were made of Parian marble and depicted Amazonian battles.

Excavations
English architect Charles Robert Cockerell was the first to excavate the Hill of Kolona (1811). In 1903 a second excavation was carried out by Estonian O.M. von Stackelberg and German archaeologist A. Furtwangler, followed by still others in 1924 and 1966 - German archaeologist Gabriel Welter and German professor, Hans Walter, respectively. The latter was director of the Bavarian Academy. These last excavations brought to light the remains of 11 successive settlements on the same site which reflected the ongoing development of fortification systems in prehistoric times, as well as increasing sophistication of dwellings.

History
The area was inhabited from around 3000 BC, from which time it was occupied continuously for two millennia, during which it withstood many attacks. Fortification consisted of walls enclosing the eight oldest towns; the other three shared a wall with the city below. Most houses were built of sun-dried bricks with stone foundations, others of woven grass, rushes and clay, with flat roofs made of the same materials. The towns manifest successive development, each more sophisticated than the one that preceded it. When the temple of Apollo was pulled down, a large structure with a water tank replaced it. Foundations of other, smaller temples, have been found to its west, temples dedicated to Dionysos and Artemis. There was also a very impressive theatre, a parliament building (the Voulefterium), as well as a stadium, whose stone seats were re-used later, in the 3rd century AD, in the construction of fortifications. Another temple was dedicated to Delphinian Apollo, who protected sailors. Contests were held in his honor in which men raced one another with clay jugs full of water on their shoulders, this during the month called "Delphinium". According to Velter, Apollo was also named Delphinius and the Aegenetians honored him so intensely that they replaced their old coin, with its image of the turtle, with one depicting the dolphin.

There were other temples dedicated to Athena, Demeter, Heracles and Hecate, the moon goddess, who was honored in festivals lasting 16 days. A healing center (Asklipeio - named for the god of healing, Asklepius) was mentioned by Aristophanes. A synagogue with a mosaic floor is found in the Karantina area which was settled by Jews (near the military port). Rock tombs, dating to the 6th century BC, are also found near the ancient town. There was a commercial port as well as a military port (also called "the hidden port") where warships were concealed. During the 8th century BC, Aegina was a large nautical power. Guard towers studded the city walls by the sea. The city was destroyed by Saracen pirates during the 10th century, along with a good portion of the island, and the inhabitants took refuge in the inland fortified hill village of Paleachora, which became the island capital for about 1000 years.

Port complex
The port complex, which took advantage of the many tiny coves lining the coast in this area, was one of the most important technical projects of the era. It began at the cape of St Apostoloi, at Plakakia (northwest of the city), and ended up at the cove of Marathonas, with rows of constructed sea walls and breakwaters, the central portion consisting of the commercial and military/ Karantina ports below the Hill of Kolona. Fragments of the sea walls remain below the surface of the sea. The passages that led between the towers guarding the ports were closed off with chains.

The Museum
The Archaeological Museum of Aegina, now located on the site of Kolona, was established in 1828 by the first Governor of Greece - Ioannis Kapodistrias as The National Archeological Museum. A fine collection of artifacts was established here, including, by the end of 1830 (amongst other items) over 1,000 coloured vases, 108 lamps, 137 weapons, and 359 coins. Originally the museum was housed in the Orphanage (Filakes) and was moved a few times before it found its current site in 1981.

On visiting the museum you will find 3 main halls where you can while away an interesting hour or more viewing the surprising number of artifacts. In the entrance area you will be greeted by a marble Sphinx. This is a votive monument of the early classical period (460 BC) which was dedicated to the Temple of Apollo. It is an exceptional sculpture which has the head of a woman with a body that is half eagle and half lion. The Sphinx was excavated from the Kolona site in 1903. This will surely be one of the highlights of your visit to the museum, but there are many other interesting items to explore.

Written 30 November 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Superkatt
Sweden6,727 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
Remains of a Doric Temple of Apollo can be found on the Kolona hill right next left to the main harbor of Aigina, some 10 minutes walk from Ferry terminal. It was built ca 6 c BC, was destroyed and rebuild about 10 times, but now is just one column remains. This is a large archeological area, with lots of ruined structures, there can be found an Altar of Apollo Temple, remains of Sanctuary walls, of Apollo´s Theatre, etc. . The entrance leads also to the Archeological Museum of Aigina, which holds finding from the sites of Afaia and Apollo Temples, among them a Sfinx statue, models of city of Kolona of bronze age etc. Right in front of museum entrance, there is also ruins of Synagogue with wonderful mosaic floor in situ.
Written 11 December 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lesliekaplan
Jacksonville, FL52 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Family
There is only one little column left of the temple, but it is in a gorgeous location on a point of land between two beaches. You can get to it directly from one of the clean beaches in the port. It has mosaics from the Jewish Synagogue, which is an unusual sight to see in Greece, right at the entrance to the site. The museum is surprisingly large for such a little site, including pottery and statuary from a variety of periods.
Written 21 July 2014
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tom138
Athens, Greece92 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Family
The first museum of modern greece is situated just bellow the ancient city (kolona).
A walk among the ruins in a mediterranean aura just completes the visit.
Don't miss the sphinx in the museum.
Written 11 May 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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