Ancient Thouria

Ancient Thouria was the most important city in western Messinia. The sea from Avia and Fares to the mouth of the river Pamisos was called “Thouriatis bay”. The ruins of ancient Thouria are located on a hillside about 10 km to the northwest of Kalamata, to the north of the present town of Thouria.

At the northern end where the citadel of ancient Thouria is placed, there is part of the ancient wall with rectangular towers of 4th century BC and parts of the walls are still on the south side of the slope. On the southern plateau we still see the foundations of a large building, perhaps a temple having a column.

Ancient Thouria probably had a theater and a large rectangular water on the west side, below the citadel. Many ceramics and stone architectural parts have been found and reveal the size of ancient Thouria.

Since classical times until the Roman era ancient Thouria was once on the side of the Messinians and once on the Spartans. Coins of ancient Thouria however, bear the initials of the Spartans, presenting people from Thouria as Lacedaemons.

In ancient Thouria there were many sanctuaries, but it seems that Athena was specially honored  and its figure adorns the coins of the Roman era. A famous temple of the city was dedicated to the goddess Atagartis of Syria considered a form of Venus. Her worship took place in sanctuaries where there were tanks with fish, the symbol of the goddess as she was originally depicted as a fish.

The citadel of the classical period of ancient Thouria was not completely abandoned and continued to be inhabited during the imperial times, the Middle Ages and the Ottoman rule.

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