Thermopylae Hot Springs

Thermopylae is a narrow area between the southeastern slopes of Mount Kallidromon & Maliakos Gulf. The area took its name because of the hot springs that exist until nowdays. Since in antiquity was the only passage between the north & south Greece, the area of Thermopylae was timeless place & strategic warfare. The area is dominated by the coastal floodplain of the Spercheios River, surrounded by steeply sloping forested limestone mountains. The continuous deposition of sediment from the river & travertine deposits from the hot springs has substantially altered the landscape during the past few thousand years. The land surface on which the famous Battle of Thermopylae was fought in 480 BC is now buried under 20m (60ft) of soil.

The archaeological site of Thermopylae is one of the most important historic sites because of the battle of 480 B.C., where the few Greek forces, consisting of 300 Spartans & 700 Thespians led by the Spartan king Leonidas, faced numerous Persian forces under the command of King Xerxes I.

The importance of the battle of Thermopylae in continuation of Greek culture which became the foundation of European culture, was noted by many historians. Some of them say that Greece saved European civilization that particular historical moment. The historical events of Thermopylae gave space & symbolic connotations beyond the historical event itself. The impact of the battle until the current era is marked by modern monument of Leonidas & the monument of 700 deceased Thespian, opposite the site of the historic battle.

Besides the battle area & the hot springs, the visitor will admire the Statue of King Leonidas and the well known epigram of Simonides which was engraved as an epitaph on a commemorative stone placed on top of the burial mound of the Spartans at Thermopylae. This epigram says : Ὦ ξεῖν’, ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι, which means "Stranger, announce to the Spartans that here we lie, having fulfilled their orders".

Very recently an Innovative Centre of Historical Information of Thermopylae has been constructed in the area.

King Leonidas Statue

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