|Photos, Part 1
Aegina, with its close proximity to
Athens, and Corinth, is by far the most exploited of the
This is a result of being far enough away from
Athens to be out of the smog that coats the city, but
close enough that it only takes 30 minutes by boat to reach. Therefore, each summer tired Athenians converge on the island, invading the beaches and putting up ugly homes.
However, the island does have a rich history that has managed to leave some traces. First, like the other islands in the group, Aegina is the top of a sunken mountain. It is also the largest of the group. It is said that Aiakos, son of Zeus and grandfather of Achilles and a nymph named Aegina were the first to settle on the island. It is known that there have been people on the island since around 3000 B.C. The inhabitants of the island flourished with trade and had built them selves a fair amount of wealth. Unfortunately they sided on the wrong side of a conflict between their fellow Dorics and Athens. Athens took this as an excuse to invade and take over the island
The original inhabitants did not leave the island with out leaving their mark. In the 5th century they built the temple of Aphaia (which makes it older than the Parthanon) in the traditional Doric style. It is considered to be one of the best preserved Doric temples anywhere. It has survived the earthquakes of the region and is away from the smog of Athens. The temple is really a site to behold.
The Church of St. Nektarios is also a site to see. Located near an abandoned village (a refuge from pirates) this huge monolith contains beautiful murals. Near by is the Nunnery of St. Nekarios, which houses the saints relics.
Though this is my last choice of the Argo-Saronicislands to visit, it is still worth a visit to see the Church, Nunnery and temple. Just be warned that it is swamped with vacationing Athenians.
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