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December 14, 2018

Lavrio

The town of Lavrion on the tip of the Attiki Peninsula is not featured prominently in very many guidebooks about Greece even though it has the oldest and biggest ancient amphitheater in the country and a mysterious giant hole that would be an attraction to Fortians and seekers of unexplained phenomena if they knew about it.

The area is known for its industry and mining operations from ancient times. This is where the giant columns from the temple of Posideon at nearby Sounion were dug out. The Silver mines date back to prehistoric times. The washeries where the silver was extracted are still visible and currently in a state of being restored. These mining facilities are believed to be the oldest in the world! The Lavrion Silver mines financed the fleet with which the ancient Athenians defeated the Persians, and financed the building of the Acropolis and other monuments of the Golden Age of Athens.

Later the mines got much more industrialized, and covered the entire region with melting pots and tunnels as well as some of the bi-products of mining and extracting. One effect of this industrialization was that Lavrion had the first railroad tracks in Greece, and the first proper harbour facility to load ore via a bridge to barges and ships. Another side effect of this mining activity was that many different and unique minerals were discovered. These minerals bring a lot of geological tourism into the mountains and very interesting samples are displayed in the Mineralogical Museum.

The Archaeological Museum gives a good picture of the development of the ancient civilization, which was hugely effected by the early industrialization.

Category: Destinations
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