Travel not to escape life but for life not to escape you
The great acceptance of our article “Revealing secrets sights in Athenian suburbs“, gave us the inspiration to search even more and find new unknown (to most) sights in the suburbs of Athens. As we have mentioned and in our previous post although we sometimes know the existence of these places, we are not always aware of their real significance and historical importance. In this article we present (in chronological order) 6 new unique places in the Athenian suburbs.
Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Daphne / Haidari (Ιερό της Αφροδίτης στο Δαφνί / Χαϊδάρι): Along the route of the ancient Holy Road (Iera Odos/ Ιερά Οδός), Pausanias mentions the existence of a temple of Aphrodite. On the right side of Athinon – Korinthou National Road as you are approaching Skaramangas it is not hard to notice the ancient sanctuary. You can see multiple quadrangular niches thatwere carved on the rock of the hill on which the ancient temple was built. The purpose of the four-sided recesses was to place votive offerings (tamata / τάματα in Greek) by the pilgrims. Due to the recesses, the area was named by the modern inhabitants “ntoulapakia / ντουλαπάκια” (which means lockers) or parathyrakia / παραθυράκια (which means small windows). The main temple in front of the rock was a small square nave with pronaos. It was probably in Doric rhythm and had a marble housing. The date of the building cannot be determined with certainty but the duration of the worship could be traced from the second half of the 5th century BC until Roman times. Outside the main temple and on a slightly deviating axis, a small house with various spaces was built, which has been supposed to have served as a house for priests. This open-air place of worship was used during the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries (Ελευσίνια Μυστήρια) and was one of the stops of the faithful who participated in the procession of Panathenaea (Παναθήναια). Interestingly, in the documentary Mourning Rock (Αγέλαστος Πέτρα) by Filippos Koutsaftis in 2000, it is documented that until recently, before the temple was fenced off, young girls from the neighbouring area came here to place offerings in the recesses and wish for a good husband.