Sanctuary of Heracles

Thasos, Greece

Sanctuary of Heracles was a large paved court surrounded by buildings on three sides and with the principal altar in the centre. It wouldn’t have been as separate from the rest of the town as many sanctuaries, and would have been part of the town’s landscape, immediately apparent to the citizens. The 5th century re-buildings were on a much larger scale than the original 6th century rooms.

As you stand at the gate of Silenus, at the entrance to the sanctuary, the temple of Heracles is at the opposite end, at the very North -it would have been on a raised platform. Originally, it was just a single chambered naos, but was later embellished with a wide colonnade on all sides, giving it a square form, slightly different from the traditional rectangular temples, but the colonnade on all sides is very traditionally Greek.

To the west and at the front of this temple was the stepped and porched entrance to the temenos – this was the last addition to the sanctuary, in the 2nd century BC. It opened onto a paved court with the stepped altar in its centre, and a long gallery hall forming the opposite border (along to the right from the entrance at the gate of Silenus).

The South side was occupied by a porticoed building containing official administrative offices for the sanctuary and the banqueting rooms – where the important early summer feast the Heracleia was celebrated.

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Details

Founded: 6th century BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Greece

More Information

warwick.ac.uk

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4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Cookie Chan (8 months ago)
As with every ancient landmark that I was able visit in Thasos, this is a small place, not well maintained and with little to no explanatory signs. Visit if you have the time, since it is in town, but it isn't a must-see. I hope the amazing work done in the archaeological museum will eventually be done in these small landmarks as well.
Marcin Jedynak (3 years ago)
Looks ok but no whiteboard with more info what it is, when it was build etc
Dimitris Papastergiou (3 years ago)
Sanctuary of Heracles that looks like a temple from the rocks all around and based on the statues of athletes and Heraclesn and/or horses and Pegasus we saw in the museum they were all taken from over here. Unfortunately it's barricaded all around and you can't get in or take a good look of the place. P.S. Along with the photo of the site I'm adding also picture from the statues that were taken from this area to the archaeological museum of Thassos.
Octav V (3 years ago)
Archeological site enclosed. Just to watch through the fence.
Marina Shumkova (3 years ago)
This was the sanctuary of Heracles, who was the most significant god on Thassos. The Scale and the Propylea were the monumental entrances to the sanctuary that had a paved path leading to the altar at its centre. Only one quadrangle foundation is currently preserved.
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