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Archaeological Site of Lepreo

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Visiting cost
Free admission
Description

On yet another balcony of nature with an unobstructed view of the Ionian sea flourished the ancient city of Lepreo, capital of Triphylia. According to Strabo, Lepreo was a "land of bliss". Its impressive remains await the visitor to explore on the verdant western slopes of Mount Minthi, above the current community of the same name.

The founding of the city is attributed to the descendants of the Argonauts Minyas, who, when they were expelled from the island of Lemnos, ended up in Triphylia, establishing the Minyan hexapolis, with Lepreo being the most important of them. Although for a long period of its history it was autonomous, after the Persian wars Lepreo found itself together with other cities of Triphylia in the territory of the state of Ilians as a suburb city. With the end of the Peloponnesian war, in 400 BC. it regains its autonomy with the help of the Spartans and quite later joins the federation of Arcadian cities founded by Epaminondas.

Lepreo is mentioned by several ancient authors, such as Herodotus, Xenophon, Aristophanes and Pausanias, who when he visited the city around 170 AD. he found in decline.  Lepreo survives until the Byzantine period and seems to have been abandoned around 800-1000 AD. after pirate and barbarian raids. While the prehistoric acropolis has been identified and researched on the current hill of Agios Dimitrios of Lepreo with the remains of a settlement from the Proto-Hellenic period (2500-2000 BC), however, the one of greatest tourist interest is the acropolis of the classical and Hellenistic era on the hill to the north of today's village.

As a testimony of the prosperity and power that the city experienced, the highly elaborate fortification that protected it from invaders, with walls and towers built according to the mixed, isodome, still stands today at a height that reaches in some places up to 4 meters and polygonal system. Among the buildings preserved in ruins, the classic Doric pavilion temple on the plateau within the acropolis dedicated to the goddess Demeter, according to the testimony of Pausanias, stands out.

After admiring the imposing landscape, the visitor can see the church's platform where the occasion and the walls of the nave were located, while several column vertebrae, capitals and parts of the thrigos have been stored after the excavation of the monument around the church. A short distance to the east, a rectangular foundation made of conch shell stone has been uncovered which was the altar of the temple - sanctuary of Demeter.

Access

Lepreo can be reached by bus or private car. Access to the archaeological site via the country road.

Free admission. Outdoor spaces. Always open.

Health protection measures

For everyone’s safety, the Museum operates with a controlled number of visitors, observing all health protection measures. In accordance with Government Gazette 430/B’/5-2-2022, admission to the Museum is permitted to visitors who have been vaccinated or have recovered from a previous infection during the last three months, in accordance with paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 9 of the above Joint Ministerial Decision. To enter the Museum, you are required to present, alongside your police identity card or driver’s license or passport or other identification, in order to verify your identity, one of the following documents: vaccination certificate, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 9, certificate of recovery valid for up to 3 months from the date of diagnosis, in accordance with paragraph 3 of Article 9, Minors between 4 and 17 years of age may alternatively present a 24-hour self-diagnostic test declaration (self-test). When visiting the Museum, please note the following: The use of a protective mask is mandatory for all visitors. Visitors must keep the required distance of 2 meters from each other. Visitors must take care of their hand hygiene. Liquid hand antiseptic is available on the museum premises. Visitors are advised to use a credit card when making transactions. Ephorate of Antiquities Website.

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Information
  • Lepreo, Elis, Postal Code 27056
  • 26240 22742 - 2624023753 (Ephorate of Antiquities of Elis)
  • Police Department of Elis - P.D. of Zacharo, Ephorate of Antiquities of Elis
Opening hours

Winter hours:
From 01.12.2021 and onwards: 08:30 - 15:30

Summer hours:
(May - October): 08:00 a.m.- 08:00 p.m.

Last admission (all days): 15 minutes before closing time.

 

 

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