The most important archaeological site on the island of Aegina, and in fact one of the most important in all of Greece, is the Temple of Aphaea which sits on top of a mountain above the resort town of Agia Marina, with a view of the Aegean Sea and all of Athens and Attika. It was originally thought to have been dedicated to the Goddess
Athena but German excavations in 1901 found an inscription that the Temple was actually dedicated to Aphaea, a local Goddess from
Aegina. In Greek mythology Aphaea was the daughter of Zeus and Karme who escaped to the island because she was hiding from King Minos of Crete, who was in love with her. The cave where she hid is in the north-east corner of the site. The temple is in the Doric style and is actually the last of three temples that were built on this site. It dates from around 500 BC though the site has been a sanctuary associated with a female fertility goddess from prehistoric times. The pediment, which showed the battles
at Troy being watched over by Athena, was destroyed during the Persian Wars, recreated soon after, and purchased in 1813 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Since then they have been in the Glyptotek, Munich's oldest public museum and the only museum in the world that is solely dedicated to ancient sculpture. There remain a handful of sculptures and artifacts on display in the museum and also as very interesting furniture in the small cafe at the site. If you like these photos please share them with your friends
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