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One of the most delightful Doric temples of Greece, the temple of Aphaia is located atop the pine-clad Mesagro hill on the northeast end of the island, and it is encircled by excellent views of the Saronic Gulf and the surrounding area.
Excavations on the site denote the use of the hill as a place of worship since the Bronze Age while the first architectural elements were erected on site in the 7th century BCE.
During the initial excavations it was believed that the temple was dedicated to Zeus or to Athena. In 1901, after more extensive research Furtwangler revealed that the temple was dedicated to Aphaia a local Agenetan goddess that was similar to the Minoan deity Britomartis that was later passed to the Mycenaeans.
According to Pausanias, “In Aigina as you approach the mountain of the mountain of the Panhellenic Zeus, there is a SANCTUARY OF APHAIA to whom Pindar composed a song for the Aiginetans. Her story is a local matter in Crete, where they say Euboulos was the son of Karmanor, who purified Apollo from the murder of Python, and his daughter Karme bore a child to Zeus whose name was Britomartis. Her pleasure was running and hunting and she was a particular friend of Artemis. Running away from Minos, who fell in love with her, she flung herself inot a net let down for fishing. Artemis made her into a goddess and not only the Cretans worship her, but also the Aiginetans, who say Britomartis appears to them on their island. Her title in Aigina is Aphaia and in Crete Diktynna.”
(Pausanias, Guide to Greece 1: Central Greece, Translated by Peter Levi, Penguin Classics, London, 1979)
for more informations about the Temple: http://www.greeklandscapes.com/greece/aegina/aphaia.html

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Additional Photos by Vasilis Protopapas (vasilpro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2742 W: 87 N: 5139] (41801)
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