Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

South East Europe / Western Trans-Balkan Road

Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos

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Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos

About the site

Corridor: Western Trans-Balkan Road, Via Anatolia
Country: Greece, Samos
Type: Ancient Site
Epoch: Antiquity
Theme: Antiquity
World Heritage: Cultural Heritage
AntiquityAntiquityAncient SiteCultural Heritage

Many civilizations have inhabited this small Aegean island, near Asia Minor, since the 3rd millennium BC. The remains of Pythagoreion, an ancient fortified port with Greek and Roman monuments and a spectacular tunnel-aqueduct, as well as the Heraion, temple of the Samian Hera, can still be seen.


This is the most important of the sanctuaries dedicated to Hera.
The first, small-scale excavation of the site was conducted by Joseph Pitton de Tournefort (doctor and botanist) in 1702. In the 18th and 19th centuries, travellers visited the sanctuary and made drawings of the remains of the temple.
In 1879, at the NE corner, Paul Girard discovered the statue of "Hera" of Cheramyes, now exhibited in the Louvre.
Systematic excavations were begun in 1925 by the German Archaeological Institute at Athens, under the direction of E. Buschor, were again interrupted in 1939 by World War II, resumed in 1951 and have been continued since then.
The most important monuments of the site are the Temple of Hera, the Great Altar, the Sacred Road, Hecatompedon I and II, the ‘’South Building’’.

Expert network

Read more about Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos at the Unesco World Heritage List.