Brauron (Vravrona in modern Greek) is situated on the south east coast of Attiki peninsula and in antiquity it was a major sanctuary of the goddess Artemis, twin sister of Apollo. At the archaeological site the visitors can see the ramains of the temple dedicated to the goddess and in the museum are housed archaeological finds from Brauron and the surrounding area.
(model of the sanctuary of Brauron)
Artemis is a goddess of hunting, but in Brauron she was worshipped as the protectress of child birth, children - especially female-, and family life.
The trace of cult activities in Brauron dates back to 8th century B.C. and there was a temple already in 7th-6th century. In 6th century BC, Brauron came under the supremacy of Athens and its cult was also brought to Acropolis of Athens.
The festival dedicated to the goddess (Brauronia) was celebrated every for years in Athens and there was a procession from Athens to Brauron.
The archaeolocal remains extant today belong mostly to the 5th-4th century B.C. An inscription of the 3rd century BC mentions gymnasium, palestra and stable of the sanctuary. However, by the first century BC., it seems to be largely abandonned.
CULT OF IPHIGENEIA
The cult of Phigeneia, daughter of Agamemnon, was introducted to Brauron in the 5th ceutury B.C. In contrast to the general belief that she was sacrificed by her father in Auris, in Brauron it was believed that she was saved by Artemis and ended her life as a priestress of the goddess in Brauron.
Iphigeneia was worshipped as the protectress of child birth. The clothes of women who died during the child birth were dedicated to the tomb of Iphygeneia in Brauron.
Unfortunately the site was closed on 30 January 2011 when we visited. The photos of the temples were taken from outside of the fence. It was written that it was to be closed from 11 January without saying when it should reopen.
- Robin Barbar, Greece (Blue Guide), London- N.Y. 2001 (Revised reprint of the 6th edition of 1995), p. 146-148.
- Christopher Mee & Antony Spawforth, Greece. An Oxford Archaeological Guide. Oxford/ OUP, 2001, p. 110-111.
- Information boards in situ
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