Ancient Orchomenos – Arcadia

Orchomenus was a city in ancient Arcadia, its ruins today situated approximately 30 kilometres from Tripoli, a small distance outside the village of Levidi.

Orchomenus was one of the oldest cities in the region, with evidence of prehistoric inhabitation. It had a large population, as well as a significant presence in the events of the time, and there are testimonies that it was a particularly rich city, since it struck its own coin. Orchomenus was one of the three “large powers” of eastern Arcadia, together with Tegea and Mantineia, with both of which, in fact, it was in constant opposition. Its greatest peak was during the Archaic period, circa the 7th and 6th centuries BC. The city was abandoned during the Roman and Byzantine years, and its inhabitants relocated to the surrounding regions.

The main city is situated on a hill dominating the valley of Levidi and Kandila, an impressive – as well as strategic – position, as it allowed control of the region over a fairly large distance. This ancient city has been excavated and is now open to visitors. The first systematic excavations took place in 1913 by G. Blum and A. Plassart, while during the years 1973-1976 new excavations were carried out by the Supervisory Service of the Prefecture of Arcadia, the 5th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, under the direction of its former Head, G. Stainhower. Further works were carried out in 1980 under the direction of former Head, Th. Spyropoulos.

orhomenosAmong the monuments brought to light are a bridge dating to the Archaic period, a prehistoric tomb, the ancient agora, the bouleuterion, a temple to Artemis Mesopolitis, its walls, and most importantly the ancient theatre, one of the largest theatres of the ancient times, with a capacity for 4,000 people, built during the Hellenistic period, in the 3rd century BC. This theatre, built at an altitude of 800 metres, offered a unique view. It was used both for plays and for games in honour of the god Dionysus. An interesting fact is that, as this theatre was built on a steep slope, it had a system for draining rainwater, which consisted of separate stone drainage pipes.


Posts for Arcadia

Mt. Parnonas

  • Aug 31,2016

Parnonas also known as “Malevos” is the mountain range which divides two large counties of Peloponnese, Arcadia and Laconia. The highest peak of Parnonas is called “Megali Tourla” also known as “Kronio” and has 1936 meters altitude. The mountain ends in Laconia at the Cape Maleas, south of Peloponnese. The natural beauty of the mountain and the traditional villages attract many travelers... read more


  • Jan 21,2016

Peloponnese’s longest river (111km long) has its source in Arcadia and its mouth in the Prefecture of Elis. According to mythology, Apheus was one of the river-gods of antiquity, worshiped mainly in the regions of Arcadia, Elis and Messinia. Son of Oceanus and Tethys, he killed his brother Cercaphus and haunted by the Erinyes, he leapt into the river which was later named after him. Source: [vc_row][vc_column][ivi_nbcaj... read more

The Gorge of Lepida

  • Jan 20,2016

The gorge of Lepida is one of the numerous, impressive natural formations of Mount Parnon, which stands between the prefectures of Arcadia and Laconia. Its length is 500 metres and it is relatively flat. Two hours are required to cross it, during which visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the unique natural beauty of the landscape, which is filled with rich flora and fauna and boasts two gorgeous... read more

Mountain biking

  • Jan 20,2016

A great way to discover a new place is actually on two wheels. Arcadia, with its stunning nature, does offer visitors this unique opportunity. The changes in the landscape, the lush vegetation, the dense forests and the hidden traditional settlements are only few of the natural attractions a visitor can enjoy with just a bike and the desire for exploration. Around the city of Tripolis, as well as in the Arcadian... read more

The Ski Center in Mainalo

  • Jan 20,2016

The Mainalo ski center is situated in the location Ostrakina of the homonymous mountain, approximately 30 kilometres from Tripolis and 162 kilometres from Athens. The roads and consequently the access to the ski centre are easy, making it a very popular destination. It isn’t one of the biggest ski centres; however, it is ideal for families with children, since the mountain is not steep and is perfect... read more

The Monastery of Eloni and the Gorge of Leonidio

  • Jan 20,2016

The Monastery of Eloni is a pretty old convent in the prefecture of Arcadia, built in the steep slope of Mount Parnon, at an altitude of 650 metres and about 17 kilometres from the town of Leonidio. Due to its exceptional natural beauty, the area around the monastery has been declared as a protected zone and it’s included in the European Network Natura 2000 under the code GR2520005. It has a long... read more

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