Aegina (Egina) Island, Greece
In the sixth century BC Aegina had a large merchant fleet and became a major maritime power, at the same time, local potters produced the famous Aegina's Vase. The arts, especially sculpture, had a remarkable development on the island. Its fleet played an important role in the Persian wars. In 1718, it was occupied by the Turks. After the liberation in 1828, the first modern greek government established here in Aegina.
The town of Aegina, the capital and the port of the island, is an attractive town with neoclassical houses of different colors. Interesting to visit is the picturesque church of Agios Nikolaos at the harbor, the Cathedral of Agios Demetrios (which lent the oath first greek government), the Government House (Kyvernion) of Kapodistrias, today home of a major library. Near the port, the picturesque hill of Kolona, is a Doric column, the only relic from the temple of Apollo that stood in this place (VI cent. BC)
The Archaeological Museum of Aegina houses important relics of the area. At a distance of 4 km from Agia Marina, on a hill, is the most important archaeological site of Aegina: Temple of the Afea, an ancient deity, protector of the island. It is a peripteral temple in Doric style, in the foundations, are distinct traces of an earlier temple. There are 24 of the 34 columns of the peristyle, the frieze, restored, two columns of pronaos and Propylaia remains of an altar and housing for priests. Afea, a little known god from the Greeks, was replaced by Athena to encourage them in the war of Troy. For this reason, the temple is today known as the Temple of Athena Afea. Close to the capital, there is the monastery of Panagia Faneromeni. At the north of island there are the coastal resorts of Plakakia, Leonte, Souvala, Vaia with various accommodations, restaurants, taverns, bars, etc.. There is also a Souvala springs. The road that runs along the north coast of the island, ending a Tourlos.
A 6 km north-east of Aegina, is Paleohora, the capital since the ninth to the nineteenth century with a medieval castle on the top of the hill with large churches. Very close to the castle, is the female monastery of Agios Nektarios.
The interesting architecture of the Monastery of Our Lady Hryssoleontissa, in the heart of the island, built in 1600, recalls the fortified monasteries of Mount Athos.
Messagros, medieval village in the hinterland to 9 km northeast of the capital, with an important tradition in ceramics, has an enchanting view on the temple of Afea. Towards the south, is Agia Marina (13 km from Aegina), a coastal holiday resort surrounded by pine trees. The road that runs along the south side of Aegina, passes through the coastal village of Faros, Paliopyrgos, Marathonas, Aiginitissa, Profitis llias. The road ends at Perdika, a beautiful little village of fishermen, with the lush island of Moni.
Among the traditional products of Aegina, in addition to the pistachios, one can note the beautiful pottery made by local potters.
Port: Tel. 22970 22328
Female monastery of Agios Nektarios. Information: 22970 53.800, 22970 53806
Archaeological Museum of Aegina: Tel. 22970 22.637