The Cyclopean Walls of Ancient Krani

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The Cyclopean Walls of Ancient Krani

Three km east of Argostoli, on the road to Sami, are the ruins of the walls and citadel of ancient Krani. Ancient Krani was one of the four city-states that constituted the “Kefallinian tetrapolis” (500-200 BC). The mountains were the natural boundaries between the four cities of the island, which maintained their political and economic independence. The cities had their own coins and were in rivalry with each other.

The Cyclopean walls, dating from the 7th-6th century BC, are made of enormous boulders. In earlier times, the Greeks gave the name “Cyclopean” to these kinds of walls, because they believed that they must have been made by the mythical creature Cyclops. They seem to be an impossible achievement.

On the southern and western slopes of the hills, the city of Krani develops amphitheatrically with a distinct road plan. At the northern foot of the hill Kastelli there is a sanctuary dedicated to Demeter, the goddess of cereals and agricultural production, and her daughter Persephone.

It is worth seeing how the ancient Greeks built large fortification walls out of these huge, trimmed stones. Even today, when we have advanced technology at our disposal, it would be a remarkable feat.

The way into the archaeological site is signposted (just before Razata village) and is an easy walk.

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