The ancient city of Epidaurus - Limira is located on the eastern coast of Laconia, north of Monemvasia. The remains of the city's acropolis in the area of Agios Ioannou Monemvasia, is one of the most important and impressive archaeological sites of Laconia.
According to the tradition mentioned by Pausanias, its inhabitants came from Epidaurus in Argolis and settled there after dreams and omens, during their journey to the sanctuary of Asclepius in Kos. After settling in the area, they also built a temple of Asclepius. The city must have experienced a special prosperity during the imperial period.
The site of Epidaurus Limira has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the area of the acropolis of Epidaurus Limira, indications (shells) have been found that indicate the use of the area since the Neolithic era.
During the Mycenaean period, at the site of the acropolis there must have been an important and prosperous settlement with a long lifespan, the existence of which we infer from the findings of the chambered tombs that were discovered in the neighboring sites of Agia Triad of Bamvakia and Paleokastro and which date from the 15th to the 11th century p.X.
Epidaurus Limira during classical times seems to have been the most important city on the east coast of the Malea peninsula. It was destroyed twice during the Peloponnesian war by the Athenians, as a show of strength against Sparta, in the years 424 and 414 BC, while it was probably walled in the 4th century. x or even later.
During Roman times, it belonged to the Community of the Eleftherolakons, while its inscriptions, such as the one that speaks of its territorial dispute with the neighboring Zarakas, were erected in the temple of Apollo Yperteleatos, in Phoiniki, Laconia. In several bronze bands from the same sanctuary, names of Epidaurian priests are also mentioned.
The flourishing of the city during the imperial period is indicated by the findings of the acropolis area, such as a building with a mosaic floor and an inscribed pedestal from the end of the 2nd century. m.X. which brought statues of Empress Iulia Domna and members of her family.
Remains of buildings from late antiquity are preserved mainly on the southern side of the acropolis. The area must have been inhabited at least until the end of the 6th century AD. so the residential center of the area was moved to the area of neighboring Monemvasia.
In the district of Agios Ioannou Monemvasia is the acropolis of Epidaurus Limira, which preserves ruins from all periods of its habitation, such as chambered tombs, parts of the walls of its acropolis and remains of buildings that have not yet been identified.
The acropolis of Epidaurus Limira occupies a rocky hill near the coast. The impressive walls were probably built in the 4th century. BC, while their line can be distinguished in a long way and their surviving height today reaches about 2 m.
Repairs can be seen on the walls, at regular intervals the wall was reinforced with small, square in plan, towers, while circular towers were built in north-east and at the south-east corner of the city walls, towards the coast. Two gates can be recognized today in the walls. One is located on the eastern side of the acropolis which is connected to the ancient road to Boies. The second gate is located on the southwest side of the acropolis and is connected to the ancient road that probably led to Sparta.
The traveler Pausanias mentions the temples of Aphrodite, Asclepius and Athena inside the acropolis. Unfortunately, although ruins of the temples are preserved, these buildings have not yet been identified.
Source: MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND SPORTS