In ancient times, Corinth was one of the most influential city-states in Greece and the known world. But times have really changed, for the original Corinth (actually, it should be Korinthos) now lies in ruins. Some ancient cities have managed to stand the test of time and transform into modern cities. However, some, like Corinth, have collapsed and left only ruins to tell their stories about the good old days. They used to be wealthy, the poets and singers wrote beautiful titles in their honor, but all that is now irrelevant. Time and forces of nature like earthquakes and fire have ensured that the Ancient City never live to see the modern man.
Some may even say that it’s not the forces of nature, but the gods, who ganged up against the ancient Corinth. In 1858, the old city was utterly destroyed by 6.5 magnitude earthquake. The sons of men, never to be deterred, rebuilt New Corinth to the north-east of the old one. Another earthquake came in 1928 and destroyed the New Corinth too. Whatever was left of it was finally destroyed by fire in 1933. But the sons of men rebuilt it again, and now nobody knows what the gods might do next.
Archaeologists, like earthworms, now rummage through the ruins of Corinth, hoping to discover one more thing about the ancient Corinthians. Many of the excavated artifacts date from the Roman period. Indeed, it was during the period it was colonized by the Romans that Corinth experienced its highest flourishing. It was the administrative capital of Achaea, which was a Roman capital. If you are a lover of history or ancient ruins, you should travel to Ancient Corinth to tour this fallen giant. It is only about 3 KM from the modern city.
You should be able to tour the following sites:
Anyone who goes to Corinth definitely wants to see the ancient Corinth, also known as Archaia Korinthos. The archaeologists working at the site have revealed many interesting findings. The city came under Roman rule in 146 BC. In AD 51-52, Apostle Paul of Tarshis, then already a Christian convert, preached the risen Christ to the residents of Corinth. He had a long interaction with the people of Corinth and managed to learn a lot from them on top of making many new friends. All these later inspired him to pen his masterpiece epistles, First and Second Corinthians, which are among the most influential books in the New Testament section of the bible.
The truth is, there is not much to see in what is left of the Ancient Corinth, but precious gems are remaining. A tour through the ruins will take you to what used to be the amphitheater, baths, a basilica, and a forum. You will also see the Judgment Seat, which is called Bema. It is upon this seat that Proconsul Gallio sat when he threw out the case against Apostle Paul. There is also a well-stocked museum inside the ruins. To enjoy this tour, you should remind yourself that you come to witness what was left of this mighty city, not what is being created.
Temple of Apollo
The most significant feature in Ancient Corinth is the dominant Doric Temple of Apollo, which imposingly stands on a low hill overlooking the sea. Built around 540 BC, you can only now imagine what a spectacular beauty the sailors, coming to the harbor, had to view on the horizon. Today, only seven limestone columns stand to tell the story after the devastating earthquakes. Whatever it is worth, the setting offers excellent picture opportunities and a romantic stroll in the evenings.
After touring the ruins, do not forget to cruise through the Corinth Canal in a yacht or boat. Although only about 6 KM long, it is impressive.