The Temple of Apollo Zoster in Astir Beach
A less well-known ancient Greek monument is found on the famous Astir Beach, in Vouliagmeni, dating back to the 6th century BC. This is its story.
- Author: Nou-Pou.gr
The Temple of Apollo Zoster is an ancient Greek temple found on Astir Beach, in Vouliagmeni. The temple was discovered in 1924, while children from the Orphanage of Vouliagmeni were playing on the shore, known to us today as Astir Beach.
The temple is almost at sea level, which means that in the past it often used to get flooded with rain or sea water.
The temple was founded in the 6th century BC, during the Archaic Age. The inscriptions found in the ruins confirm that it is the Temple of Apollo Zoster. The first excavations made between 1926 to 1927 confirmed the reports from ancient literary sources: Pausanias mentions that this was the location of the most important sanctuary of the demos Halai Aixonides (which included the districts we now call Voula and Vouliagmeni).
Pausanias believed that this was also the place where Leto, who had been impregnated by Zeus, untied her gilded belt (zoster) while being persecuted by the furious goddess Hera. Leto was ready to give birth to her twins, Apollo and Artemis, who were eventually born in Delos according to the prevailing myth.
The annual celebration of Halai Aixonides, called “Zostiria”, was held at this temple.
During the Christian-Byzantine period, repairs were made to the ancient temple of Zoster and it was converted into a Christian church.