The Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios

Sights of Interest / Antiquity & Byzantium

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In Amykles, on the hill of Agia Kyriaki, lies the Sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios. It served as the political and religious center of ancient Sparta from early historical times until the Mycenaean Age. It was at this site that perhaps the most important Spartan feast, the Hyacinth, was held annually in honor of Hyakinthos, a friend of Apollo. Hyacinth was a pre-Hellenic god of vegetation. According to the testimonies of various sources, upon Hyacinth’s tomb, a 13 meter statue of Apollo was erected. Around the mid- second century AD, Pausanias described his awe with this structure and the impressive number of mythological representations that decorated it. For the construction of this brilliant, enigmatic monument in the late 6th century BC, the Spartans called upon the famous architect, Vathykli from Magnesia in Asia Minor.

Source: ‘Idiomorfi’ Publications