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Ancient Pheia (the submerged city) and Pontikokastro

In the bay of Agios Andreas are the remains of Ancient Pheia, which was an important harbor for ancient Olympia. Pheia was partially sucked into the sea by the earthquake that overthrew the Temple of Zeus at Olympia in the 6th century AD. Remains from the wall of Pheia can be traced under water, which were explored by several archaeologists in the 1970’s. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to dive here since there are so many antiquities. (Pheia is not the only submerged ancient city in Greece. In the southern part of the Peloponnese, there are at least 2 more prehistoric settlements (Pavlopetri and one near Methoni) that were sunk into the sea. There are actual plans to turn these submerged cities into underwater archaeological parks. Greece’s underwater wealth was first shown in the 1957 movie “Boy on a Dolphin” with Sophia Loren.)

Pheia’s low acropolis had a byzantine castle (Pontikokastro or “mouse” castle), which became the Beauvoir of the VIllehardouins. The steep site is considerably overgrown, with low remains, one or two towers, and a plethora of potentially dangerous cisterns.

The main thing here is the view, still beautiful!

 

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