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MARATHON

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Well worth your visit is Marathon, with an archaeological area and museum. Marathon is one of the most beautiful locations in Attica. The journey to Marathon is a very pleasant one. On your way you will pass by fields, vineyards, olive groves, wild vegetation, as well as man-made Lake Marathon with its impressive dam with marble coating, built in 1929. In the vicinity you will find many beautiful beaches where you can swim and sunbathe. The most famous beach is Schinias (an exceptionally beautiful location which has been declared a National Park), which has a pine forest bordering on the sandy shore. You can combine a visit to Marathon with a visit to the archaeological area of Ramnounda (12 kilometres from Marathon).

The battle of Marathon

The main source of information regarding the battle of Marathon is the ancient historian Herodotus. According to Herodotus, the Persian fleet disembarked 1000.000 troops in Marathon in 490 B.C.. Facing this immense army were just 11.000 Greek troops (10.000 were from Athens and 1.000 from Plataiai). The Greeks, thanks to the military genius of Miltiades, won the battle. Following the victory, Feidippidis, an Athenian soldier, was sent to bring the good news to the city. He ran all the way from the fiend of battle to the Market of Athens. He said one word: Nenikikamen (we have won), collapsed and passed away. In memory of the event the modern Marathon covers the distance Feidippidis ran, and is symbolised in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

THE SIGHTS

The Monument (Tomb) of Marathon

Adjacent to the ancient battle field, at a distance of one kilometre from Marathon’s beach, you will find a unique monument (Tomb), 9m. tall and 50m. in diameter, of the 192 Athenian soldiers who were killed in this famous battle. Nearby (at Mesosporitissa), the replica of the tropaion (trophy) erected by the Athenians following the victorious battle is found (fragments of the original are displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Marathon).

The Archaeological Museum of Marathon

The museum is small. It houses exhibits from nearby towns, as well as other periods and locations. Important finds of the Neolithic Age, such as the finds discovered at the cave of Pan in Oinoi, and a collection of columns, thought to have been built in the 2nd century BC, bas-relief portraits and inscriptions coming from the Epavlis (mansion) of Herodes Atticus (2nd century A.D.) found close by, are also on display. Also exhibited are finds from the Early Helladic (3000-2300 B.C.) ceretery found at Tsepi location, the Egyptian sanctuary of Isis (2nd century A.D.) and the Roman valaneion (circular bath,2nd -4th Century A.D.) found at Brexiza location. Next to the museum, in a sheltered area there is a Mid-Hellenic cemetery (2000-1300 BC) and in proximity there is Tymbos ton Plataieon (tomb of Plataiai locals) which includes 11 graves of warriors from Plataiai who fall in the battlefield.

The Marathon Run Museum

The Marathon Run Museum in Marathonas town. Exhibited items were donated to Marathonas town by the Olympic Museum of Lauzanne and are on dispay in two buildings. Building A shows the history of the Olympic Marathons through texts, photographs and other exhibits; building B contains exhibits regarding Olympic Medal Winners, Marathon Cities, female participations in the Marathon etc.

Ramnous (Kato Souli)

The name of the area is derived from the word ‘ramnos’, the name of a variety of bushes which cover the area. In antiquity, Ramnous was known for its port and fort. In the archaeological area are the ruins of two temples. The Great temple was dedicated to Nemesis, the goddess of Divine Justice (it was the most important sanctuary of the goddess in ancient Greece). The small temple was dedicated to Themis, the goddess of Justice. Both temples were built in the 5th century BC. The remains of a fort, theatre, funerary monuments, among others, are preserved. This archaeological site commands a unique view of Euboea and the Euboean Gulf( Gulf of Evoikos).

Getting there. You can take the bus to Paralia Marathona, from Mavromataion Str (Aigyptou Square) near Paidio tou Areos.

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