Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos (1992)

Back to index

United Nations (Geneva) 2004. World Heritage Series. Samos.

Many civilizations have inhabited this small Aegean island, near Asia Minor, since the 3rd millennium B.C. 

The remains of Pythagoreion, an ancient fortified port with Greek and Roman monuments and a spectacular tunnel-aqueduct, as well as the Heraion, temple of the Samian Hera, can still be seen.

  • United Nations (Geneva) 2004. World Heritage Series. Samos. 

The island is mountainous, and the highest peak, Mount Kerketéus (ancient Cercetus), reaches 1,440 m (4,725 ft). Sámos is 43 km (27 mi) long and 19 km (12 mi) wide. Products include wine, tobacco, olive oil, and citrus fruit. The capital of the island is Limen Vatheos.

In ancient times Sámos was famous as a commercial and shipping center of the Aegean Sea. The island was celebrated also for its red, glossy pottery, which was imitated by the Romans in their so-called Samian ware. Subjected to Persian domination, Sámos joined (499 bc) the Ionian revolt against Persia and, following the battle of Mycale in 479 bc, was once again independent. In the same year it joined the federation of city-states that became the Delian League in 477 bc. When Sámos revolted in 440 bc, it was defeated and reduced to the position of a vassal of Athens. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 bc) between Athens and Sparta, the island proved a faithful ally of the Athenian democracy, serving as the headquarters of the Athenian fleet; in the later years of the struggle its privileges were restored. Sámos passed (387 bc) into the possession of Persia but was eventually reconquered by the Athenians in 366 bc.

For approximately 20 centuries the history of Sámos is obscure. It is believed to have become part of the Roman Empire and subsequently a Byzantine possession. It was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in ad 1550. In 1832 it became semi-independent; the administration was locally controlled but subject to the payment of a tribute to Turkey. Sámos passed entirely to Greece as a result of the Balkan Wars (1912-13). 

Source:  Microsoft Encarta 2002. 

Other World Heritage Sites in Greece (on this website). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Greece-section, for further information about the individual properties.

Back to index

Revised 21 jul 2006  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus 
All Rights Reserved