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25/10/2007

Sparta

Prefectural Administration of Lakonia


Sparta

Today’s Sparta has 14,000 residents and is built in the upper valley of the River Eurotas, in the position of ancient Dorian Sparta, on the town plan of 1834. In other words, it was built at the beginning of the modern Greek state. Sparta is the capital of the Prefecture of Laconia, and lies 220 km from Athens. Ancient monuments survive around Sparta: the Leonidaion, in which the bones of Leonidas were buried; the acropolis of ancient Sparta; the sanctuary of Athena Chalkioikos; the ancient theatre; the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia; the Menelaion at a short distance from today’s city, where Menelaus and Helen of Troy were worshipped; and many other historical sights. The Sparta Archaeological Museum is housed in a neo-classical building in the centre of Sparta, in which archaeological finds from all eras and from all over Laconia are stored and exhibited. Also worth a visit are the Central Public Library, the Koumantareios Art Gallery of Sparta, as well as the Olive and Oil Museum.

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