9 Greek Islands – Samos

I have written seven books about the history of places I have travelled to.

I travel because my own father always said he would travel after he’d retired, but he never got the chance because he died from cancer when he was 49. I travel for him when I go to places as well as for myself.

If you are interested in history and / or travel then you should check out these books. Please bear in mind the books are travelogues rather than travel guides and so cover the places I visited and the experiences I had. 

Greek Islands

This book keeps it simple and covers nine Greek Islands: Rhodes, Symi, Patmos, Samos, Syros, Paros, Tinos, Delos, and Mykonos. They are all different and all lovely.

This is an excerpt on Samos.

The most famous sight on Samos is the Heraion, on the far side of the airport coming from the Pythagorio direction. Visitors will walk along the narrow side road through groves of olive trees before reaching the entrance. After entering, a long processional way exposed to the elements can be used to gradually approach the main site. In ancient times, this processional or sacred way would have stretched right back to Pythagorio. As you walk along, there are circular sections of discarded columns and individual shaped stones, indicating there must have been small temples on both sides when the Heraion was a place of worship and pilgrimage. At one point, there are some beautifully carved figures called the Geneleos. Although headless, they have a sensuous grace and smoothness unique at this sight. All around are the foundations for a number of different buildings such as The Aphrodite Temple, The Large Altar of Hera, and The Exedra of Cicero. 

However,  the main feature of the sight is the single column standing in what would originally have been a temple dedicated to Hera. Tradition has it that Hera was born and raised here, and for this reason her temple at the Heraion was the largest in antiquity, measuring 109 m in length, 55 m in width, and 25 m in height. What complicates matters is that this vast temple, known as the Polycrates Temple, was the third temple dedicated to Hera at this sight having been built in the later half of the sixth century BCE.

The previous temple, built by the architects Rhoikos and Theodoros between 570-550 BC and known as the Rhoikos Temple, was located forty metres away and was smaller than the Polycrates Temple. The Rhoikos temple was destroyed by an earthquake, but it still wasn’t the oldest temple dedicated to Hera at this sight. That honour goes to the Hekatompedos, built about 200 years before the Rhoikos Temple. The Hekatompedos was roughly 100 feet long and very narrow; it consisted of three walls and an interior central line of columns to support a roof. 

Bio: I am a writer. I love writing creatively especially about subjects such as British traditions, where my made-up traditions are no less ridiculous than the real thing. A list of my books, both fictional and factual (about travel), can be found here.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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