Αρχαίος Ορχομενός – Ancient Orchomenos

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Orchomenos is no more than 30 km from Tripoli and 8 km from Levidi. It was a stronghold. It is one of the oldest cities of Arcadia and the most populated. References to Orchomenos have been made by Homer who called it ‘Polimilo”. The presence of people from prehistoric times has been confirmed. Certainly in “Soil of Kafiaton”(As mentioned by Pausanias), on the plain they have found ancient land reclamation works and early settlements in the river beds. Orchomenos, is a mythical settler of the city, son of Likaona. It was the seat of the Kings of Arcadia, that’s why it enjoyed great glory, evident from the surviving archaeological site. Very important buildings have been found: the ancient agora (marketplace), the parliament, a bridge from ancient times, walls, a prehistoric tomb. The Orchomenos Theatre is one of the largest built in Hellenistic times. Besides theatrical performances they also put on games in honour of Dionysus. The austere goddess, Artemida who became synonymous with Arcadia. had a resplendent temple in Orchomenos. Here she has two names, Imnia and Kedriatis. There were idols of goddesses made from dark cedar wood which highlights how ancient the temple is.From the spring that supplies the city with water, the sanctuaries of Poseidon and Aphrodite are kept cool. At Kalpaki, behind the hillock of Orchomenos, ruins of a medieval castle have survived incorporating parts of the ancient fortification of the city. It is an exquisite position looking out towards Achaia, Corinthos and Argolida, without the castle being visible to would-be attacks.