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The temple of Aphrodite (Venus) in Antigonidon



There are cities that are loved mostly by their visitors...
There are cities that are loved only by their citizens...
There are some other cities that are loved by no one...
There are some other cities that are loved by no one...
Cities you pass by,like dots on the map.Their buildings are impersonal,the inhabitants` faces have no colour,people walk,meet people,live in them like hypnotized and they have colour only late at night when the lights go off and they dream...
In Antigonidon Square,at the centre of Thessaloniki,a square full of traffic,hustle and bustle,a lot of stores and even more tall old buildings, that look like approaching each other,soaring to the sky...arcaeologist George Karaderos told me a story.Ever since I`ve learnt about it,I can`t find peace of mind.I walk again and again in front of the unbuilt-for how long-plot of land which ended up a dump,because in this queen of granting,whatever can`t be built is useless,and I search with my eyes the signs of a strange story.
''Here",arcaeologist George Karaderos told me"are still buried the remains of one of the most beautiful ancient Greek(yes!)temples dating back to the 6th century,a temple of Aphrodite(Venus),which Aineias built when he returned from Troy to honour his goddess mother."

In any other corner of the planet this piece of news alone for such possible legacy would have put in motion authorities and citizens,but here,on this dot of the map we live in,we are already happy because the plot that hides the treasure remains,thanks to some arcaeologists` attempts and a happy coincidence in ΥΠΠΟ(ΔΕΝ ΞΕΡΩ ΤΙ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΑΥΤΟ),unmodified.
And,some of the findings of the six-column temple are already one over the other in Arcaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
And I say one over the other because the height of each column of the six-column temple of Aphrodite is seven metres,while the width,according to assessments,is more than thirteen.
History,as far as it is known,goes like this:Aineias returns from Troy and founds his city,Aineia, outside the current Mihaniona,at the east side of the current prefecture of Thessaloniki.He dedicates the temple to his goddess mother.
Thessalonians, in the roman years,while they had allied with Antonios,they wanted to placate Julius Ceasar,who had become Emperor of Rome. So,in order to be liked by Caesar,they transferred parts of the ancient temple,which erected at the area of the Altars of their city.They chose Aineia`s temple,founder of the Julos and Julius Ceasar`s ancestors,for obnious reasons.
In its interior they put roman statues,such as the one of Rome,some of which are today at the arcaeological museum of the city.
Arcaeologists,such as George Karaderos,want not only to continue the excavation to the wider area of Antigonidon Square but also(watch their courage at such times)to re-erect the temple of Aphrodite there,in its natural place,for everyone to see as we walk by,as we go to the bank to pay overdue loans,as we wait for the astiko(that`s how we call the bus here).
The more people learning this story,the easier would be to act so as the models and plans to come to life and to have a happy end to the journey of transported Aphrodite.





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