Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Daphne, Municipality of Chaidari

Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Daphne, Municipality of Chaidari

In the middle of the way to Eleusis, the Iera Odos met the Sanctuary of Aphrodite (today in the area of Chaidari, shortly after the Monastery of Daphni). The sanctuary is well known from a reference by the Greek traveler Pausanias who identified it during his course to Eleusina. The Sanctuary was in use from the classical to the Roman period.  It is an open-air sanctuary, with a small temple, a courtyard, an altar and a four-sided building, probably the house of the priests. 

A characteristic element of the Sanctuary is the natural rock where niches (cupboards) were carved for the placement of the offerings of the faithful. The offerings were small sculptures depicting the goddess Aphrodite, doves or pomegranates (symbols of worship), or female genitals. The inscriptions both on the offerings and into the niches of the rock, inform us that they were offered mainly by women, however, there are also male names.

Part of the Iera Odos is preserved south of the precinct of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite. It is exactly the point where the street branched off. The northern part was intended only for pedestrians and followed an upward course to the top of the hill of Echos (Kapsalona) and then headed to the small Reito (Lake Koumoundourou).
The southern part, in which traces of grooves can be seen from the passage of chariots and carriages, passed around the hill of Echo and almost parallel to the coast. After the passage of Reita (area of Lake Koumoundourou), the two branches of the road were joined again.



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