WORTH SEEING

The tomb of Staphylos, 4 km from the capital. Its rich treasure led archeologists to deduce the tomb was that of an ancient king. Today the treasure can be seen in the museum of the nearby city of Volos, on the opposite coast of Greece.
The few remains of the temple of Asclipio (4th Century BC), on the beach, near the capital.
The Venetian Castle of the city of Skopelos (13th Century), high above the capital, at the site of the ancient acropolis. Today very few ruins remain in place.
The Ancient Tombs excavated in the rocks, at Sentoukia, in Mount Delphi. Due to their location, they can be reached only by foot.

RUINS OF ANCIENT SITES

StafIlos – the legent

Stafilos was probably a Cretan prince, sent by the Cretan king Minos in the 16th century BC.He is believed to have been the son of Dionysos and Ariadni and brother to Oinopion, Thoas and Peparethos. Only Peparethos joined him in the colonization of Skopelos and gave the island his name. The Minoans had colonized most of the Aegean islands and it is natural that they would not have ignored the fertile Skopelos, especially as Minoans are known to have worshiped beside springs. They brought with them the vines and olive trees.

Contents of a rich 15th century BC shaft grave, were found in 1936 by chance in the neck of the headland which separates the beach Stafylos from Velanio. They included a gold sword handle with hammered decoration – the biggest found in Greece- tools, weapons, jewellery, utensils, idols in copper and artefacts that connected Skopelos with Crete. They are now on display in The National Museum in Athens.

It isn’t certain that the grave was that of Stafylos himself but it was undoubtedly that of a king or prince, as only a hero would have had such as precious a sword, as the one found.

Remains of a Mycenean (1600-1100BC) wall can be found at the end of Stafilos beach.

Skopelos’ Kastro wall – 5th century BC

The most important city of Skopelos was built in the same place as the present day location. Today, only the foundation stones exist. The city had a triangular shape.

Panormos’ Kastro wall – 5th century BC

Two round towers on the top of a small hill plus part of the citadel wall are all that remain from the ancient town, which probably extended along the whole valley. The western tower is dated 5th century and the eastern 4th century BC. Many sculptured stones and pieces of pottery are littered around the site. They may also have been a temple devoted to the god Pan.

St.  Sophia, old Christian church at Blo 6th  century BC

If you are genuinely interested in ancient remains, the ruins of this church can be found, in dense bushes, behind the house where the electricity poles are located. This house incidentally, features in the popular local story book Gates of the Wind.

Selinus’ Kastro wall (Loutraki) -5th century BC

This citadel was 350m above sea level and built on a small hill. The remains of its wall can still be seen. A temple of Athena (Minerva) was also here, as an inscription was found – Kleaeneti Diodorou Priestess of Minerva. A statue of Venus was also discovered plus a good reproduction of a statue of the Virgin Minerva by Phidias, pottery, coins and a marble burial vault from the Roman era. Also, parts of two ancient walls can be seen on the street that runs behind the cafes at Loutraki. This street is on the left as you approach the sea.

Asklepeion, Ampeliki, Skopelos – 4th century BC

Who was Asklepeos? Well, he was a demi-god in ancient times and the leader of a cult. In a world of slavery, in which human life was worthless, this cult raised the level of humanity for the benefit of the individual.So, Asklepeos, the healer of all sickness, was an exception in the Greek pantheon, whose representatives were usually regarded with fear. Over a period of 1000 years, the cult of Asklepeos  developed on an international scale in the ancient world , with Epodauros as the center and over 300 sanctuaries in the Mediterranean region. It is said that the name Asklepeos originated either from the ancient Greek word “Asklepas” (a name for a snake) or from the surname of his mother , Aigia.According to the myth, Asklepeos had several children, including a daughter “Hygieia” from whose name the English word “hygiene” derives.

Asklepeos was killed on orders from the underworld because not enough individuals were dying. Later he was brought back to life and transformed into a god. Zeus placed the image of Asklepeos, with his staff and snake, among the stars. This temple site of Asklepeion was first excavated in 1965 when a treasure of ancient coins from classic to the end of Roman period were found plus as statue of Diana (3rd century BC) and a marble torso of a child holding a stick; further excavations were made in 1995 which brought to light walls and pottery.

Ancient ruins of Roman Baths – Katakaloo, Loutraki

In the cliff face, directly beside the sea, are the remains of Roman Baths. Locals say there are also remains under  the sea in the area.

Eefastos (Vulcan) Temple wall remains, Ag. Constantinos – 3rd century BC

Eefastos, one of the 12 gods of Olympus was the god of Fire and Metal.He was the son of Zeus and Ira. Out of the two myths about him, were is the one. Both say he was born disabled and ugly! So, not a lot going for him really. However, against these odds he managed to marry Afroditi, even though she never loved him; but not before his mother tried to do away with  him by throwing him off the top of Olympus! Luckily 2 demi-gods found him and brought him up in cave near the sea where he learned to work with copper. There he planned his revenge. He made and sent  his mother a throne containing a pair of secret manacles. When she sat down, they automatically trapped her. The gods called upon Eefastos to help release her but he refused. So Dionysos volunteered to render him drunk and bring him. And so he did, on a donkey! After Ira’s release , Eefastos stayed on and worked his forge were he made several interesting things , including Achilles’suit of armour, Hercules’s breastplate and Apollo’s arrows. The roman word “Vulcan” hasgiven English word “volcano” as the word “Eafastos” given Greek the word “efaisteo”.

Temple (probably Minerva) wall remains behind Polemistra church, the church is built beside a square which is supported by two walls from 6/5th century BC.

Towers – Glossa area-4th century BC

Selinus faced south so most of the northern area was not visible from the citadel and this put them in a vulnerable position. Therefore, several observation towers were built. Agricultural workers could gather there and signal the town.

Sarcophagus’ can be found:

• Sticking out of an interior wall in the first shop, out of hill behind the Ambrosia cake shop in Skopelos town.
• Walled into St. Michael Sinadon church and Panagia Eleftherotria church.
• Aloupi- late Hellenistic
• Sendoukia- 4 ancient tombs dug into the rock – Stoneage
• Alikias- similar in style to the Sendoukia graves; this lidless sarcophagus is in an olive grove, not on a walk route and rather difficult to find.

Many temples, usually dedicated to Minerva, existed but very little has survived. Any remains have been walled into the Christian churches that have taken their place.