The ancient city of Corinth was well known as a place of trade as its location, in the center of the Greek Islands, was surrounded by rich soils, natural water sources and harbored two major ports (Lechaeum to the north and Cenchreae to the east); dominating trade in the Corinthian and Saronic Gulf. When Paul came to Corinth, what he discovered was just over 100 years old and roughly five times the size of Athens. Here Paul shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and ministered to the people of Corinth. Today, the ancient city sits just outside of modern day Corinth where you can find historical remains like the ruins of the Temple of Apollo.
Here are some of the most popular attractions of Corinth today.
The Corinth Canal
The Corinth Canal is what separates the Peloponnese from the mainland in Greece which some argue makes the peninsula an island. It connects the Corinth Gulf with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea, giving ships a route through the Isthmus of Corinth. It is a man made waterway built with the purpose of eliminating an extensive route around the Peloponnese peninsula. Prior to 1893, when the canal was completed, almost ten attempts were made to fulfill a vision that first started with Periander, a tyrant of Corinth in 602 B.C.
More than 2000 years later, this canal is the city’s main attraction. In order to get the best view you’ll want to see it from the land bridge, the Isthmus of Corinth . One of its most intriguing features, however, is the submersible bridge at the north-west end. This bridge can be lowered below the surface, allowing smaller ships and sailing boats to pass through, though it is too narrow for large ships.
Ancient Corinth Itself
Today, the ancient city of Corinth, sits about five kilometers northeast of it’s modern day sister city. A significant archaeological site revealing many wonderful treasures, it was once one of the most powerful cities as it monopolized two major sea ports, Lechaeum and Cenchreae, which eventually led to Corinth becoming a city-state. Something that ancient Corinth is commonly known for is being where Paul preached to the Corinthians and was inspired to write letters that we know as the first and second Corinthians of the New Testament; affirming the reality of Christ’s resurrection as the foundation of Christianity. With a history that stretches over 8000 years, Corinth is one of Greeces oldest cities where you will discover ruins of temples, baths, a forum and basilica and of course, one of its most common attractions, the Temple of Apollo.
Temple of Apollo
The Temple of Apollo today is only a remnant of what it used to be. Built over an existing temple in the seventh century B.C., the Temple of Apollo was originally constructed with a total of 38 columns; 6 columns at either end and 15 columns lengthwise. Now, only 7 of its limestone columns remain; sitting atop Temple Hill where it is seen across the way from ancient Corinth. Named after the deity Apollo, the Greeks viewed him as the most beautiful and influential of all gods making this site an important monument in Greek mythology and it is one of the few Archaic Greek temples in the world left standing.
The Corinth Archeological Museum
The Corinth Archeological Museum is a small museum that houses finds from ancient Corinth’s archeological site. It was built in 1932 with additional add ons built in the 1950’s. The museum consists of four display rooms and a large courtyard. It’s main attractions are Corinthian pottery and ceramics, headless marble statues, mosaic floors and Neolithic finds that date back to the beginning of Corinth’s foundation. Everything that has been discovered in archeological digs of ancient Corinth and even neighboring areas have been collected and displayed at this museum.
Nestled on a steep rock you will find Acrocorinth, a castle rising above the southwestern side of Ancient Corinth. In medieval times it was a fortified acropolis, ensured through a system of three enclosures and separated by walls which were reinforced by towers and bastions. A prime example of fortified architecture, it bears construction details and decorative elements from centuries long ago. Inside its walls, the interior of the castle has preserved remains of a Venetian basilica, mosques, fountains and an underground Byzantine cistern; just to name a few.
Pauls beloved city of Corinth is just one of the gems that will inspire you among the Greek Islands. It’s historical roots are vastly rich and you’ll notice that even modern day culture is inspired and influenced by its ancient timeline. Follow the journeys of Paul through Greece on a Christian guided tour.