Visit Marathon & Ramnous

A trip to Marathon and a visit to the archaeological site and its museum is one of the things you must do when in Athens. Marathon is still one of Atticas loveliest spots, as you are bound to find out long before you reach your destination. The road passes through vegetable gardens, vineyards, olive groves and wild vegetation which are natures constribution to the uniqueness of this land. There are many lovely beaches where you can swim and sunbathe. The most renowned of them all is the beautiful Schinias beach, where the pine woods end almost where the sand begins. Your trip to Marathon can be combined with a visit to the archaeological site of Ramnous which is only 12kms away.

The main source of information about the battle of Marathon is the ancient historian Herodotus. According to him, the Persian fleet landed 100.000 troops in Marathon, in the year 490 B.C. Against this huge army there were only 11.000 Greek soldiers (10.000 Athenians and 1.000 from Plataiai). The Greeks were victorious, thanks to an ingenious plan of the Greek army commander, Miltiades. Following the heroic victory, an Athenian soldier was dispatched to bring the good news to the city. He ran all the way from the battlefield to the Athenian Agora. He collapsed and died immediately after he delivered his one word message:

Nenikikamen (We have won). This soldiers run is the event which todays Marathon race commemorates and which is symbolised by the opening ceremony at each Olympic Games.

Here it should be noted that Miltiades, foreseeing the next move of the Persians he forcemarched his already tired forces past Athens down to Phaleron a distance of about 50 kilometers where they camped waiting for the enemy. The enemy did arrive as predicted by Miltiades and seeing the Athenians ready and waiting turned tail and sailed away.

Near the ancient battleground, and at a distance of about 1km from the road to Marathon, you will find the single tomb of the 192 Athenian soldiers who died during that famous battle. On the other side of the road, about 5 kms away, stands the tomb where the dead Plataians, who helped the Athenians, were buried.

The museum is small but, apart from the finds from the nearby sites, it houses exhibits from other places and different periods as well. Important finds from the Neolithic Age, like those found in the Cave of Pan in Oenoe, coexist with a collection of stelae, believed to date from the 2nd century A.D.


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Kato Souli
The archaeological site of Ramnous includes the remains of two temples. The Great one was dedicated to Nemesis, the goddess of devine justice, while the Little one was dedicated to Themis, the goddess of human justice. Both temples were erected in the 5th century B.C. The name of the site is derived from the world ramnos, the name of the variety of bush covering the whole area. In ancient time, Ramnous was known for its port and its fortress. If you now feel that your visit to Marathon and Ramnous has sated your thirst for historical facts for a day, you can rest under the shade of the big pine tree by the temple and enjoy the view to Euboea and the Euboeic Gulf. It is one of these moments that only places as full of history and natural beauty as Greece, can offer their visitors.

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