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25/10/2007

The Leonidaion

Prefectural Administration of Lakonia


The Leonidaion

This limestone monument, with dimensions of 12.50 m x 8.30 m, dates to the 5th century BC. It is located in the north section of todays Sparta, and tradition holds that this was the tomb of Leonidas. There is however, no real evidence to link this structure with the hero of Thermopylae. The tomb is divided into two chambers, which communicate through two doors. The Leonidaion was excavated by Waldstein in 1892, who believed that it was not a tomb but a small temple. Pausanias mentions that the tomb was located to the west of the agora, opposite the theatre, i.e. southwest of the acropolis, and that games were held here each year.

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