Return to Home Page Harrys Greece Guide

Ancient Site Orchomenos (Boeotia) Page 1

the road map - you arent on the national road but the road is still goodOrchomenos is about 10km /6.2 miles northeast of Livadia. The town was inhabited (seemingly) continuously from Neolithic times to those of Alexander the Great.

octopus amphoraThe latter rebuilt the town after its destruction by Thebes in 349. It was the capital of the Minyans in prehistoric times and one of the richest and most important centers during the Mycenaean era, rivaling Thebes (Thiva in Greek) in ancient times.

Homer compared its treasures with those of Egyptian Thebes. Schliemann discovered the famous Minyan ware here and described it as a 'fine wheel-make ware of well refined grey clay with a very smooth polished surface which is curiously soapy to the touch'. The ware comes in yellow and other the site of orchomenos from the aircolors as well, and belongs to the Middle Helladic period. Little is known about its origins, however. Orchomenos is now a small village on the edge of the same marsh that hems the citadel of Gla (once Lake Kopais drained in the late 19th century - see Gla). There are traces of channels dug by the Minyans, but earthquakes in later times blocked natural outlets and flooding increased.

At the entrance to the present town on the Kastro road are the ruins of ancient Orchomenos and the Church of Panyia tis Skripous (also known as Dormition of the Virgin), which face one another.

The church was built of blocks taken from the theater and the columns taken from a classical temple, and has a large triple apse, some good reliefs, and an sundial. Remains of a monastery are to the south.

More Orchomenos (Boeotia) Page 1 | 2