Inhabited since the Neolithic age, Brauron, as it was then known, was one of the first settlements to unite under King Theseus, thus becoming part of Athens.
Located off the Attica coast on the Gulf of Euboea, this was a sacred site among ancient Athenians. Here stood the Temple of Artemis Brauronia, the time of its founding long lost to mythology. Uncovered during 20th-century excavations, Vravrona is an important site, with an excellent museum and impressive natural environment, crossed by the stream of Erassinos.
Vravrona is about 30km away from central Athens.
Vravrona – Sanctuary of a Greek goddess
An ancient Greek myth lies behind the building of the Temple of Artemis at the archaeological site of Brauron (Vravrona), a beautiful area in Attica in the Markopoulos region of Athens, just east of Athens International airport. According to Greek mythology, Artemis, the virgin goddess of hunting, angered by the killing of two small female bears, caused a great plague in Athens.
To appease the goddess, the Athenians built a temple in her honour in pristine Vravrona. In addition, according to the myth, every year, young Athenian girls aged 5 to 10, known as “arkti” (bear cubs), served the goddess as attendants.
Today, a trip to Vravrona combines a visit to this significant archaeological site as well as a pleasant trip to the agriculturally-rich surrounding area: an area of green fields, vineyards and olive trees that seem to roll out like a carpet to the blue waters of the coastline a few hundred meters away. Not to miss: The small but noteworthy Archaeological Museum of Vravrona that houses exhibits from the area and from other parts of the Attica region, as well.
In addition, to delve deeper into the history of the area, a visit to the Cave of Peania (Koutouki cave) is recommended. Located just a few kilometres west of Vravrona, it is one of Greece’s oldest and most interesting stalagmite-studded caves.