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The Ancient Cyclopean Walls of Kefalonia, in the Ionian: In Kefalonia, there is a great site for the visitors of the island. It is the Cyclopean Walls, located near the former Doric temple of Demeter and some compare it to the Great Wall of China. They are called Cyclopean Walls because people indeed thought they were built by the one-eyed giants, the Cyclops.
These Cyclopean walls are unfortunately in poor shape. Some of the walls have been destroyed and some others have been damaged by the elements. Acid rain had a detrimental effect on this wall over the years but many of them are still standing in good condition. Many people wonder how this wall can be so perfectly aligned. They were most likely built in 7th century BC. and claimed to be some of the best examples of engineering of walls coming from that time.
The way to go to the walls is pretty simple. They are near the main road that goes from Argostoli to Sami. When you get close to a town called Razata, you will see a sign that says Cyclopean Walls. This sign points you to an asphalt road that eventually becomes a dirt road. There it happens to be a large open area to park your vehicle. You will have to walk the last remaining meters to these walls. When you visit, you'd better wear walking boots, strong sneakers or trainers as well as long pants or trousers to protect your legs from the prickly shrubs.
These walls were meant to protect the ancient town of Krani. You can find remains of buildings from this town near the walls. The town used to be at the end of the Koutavos Bay and overlooked the whole region. The Krania plain was the main location of this city.
Krani was one of the cities of Kefalonia that constituted a kingdom called Ancient Sami that dominated Kelafonia for over three thousand years. The famous archeologist N. Kyparissis believes that the history of Kefalonia is depicted in these walls. You can glimpse the ancient times right up to the years when the Roman Empire ruled this island. This time of period would be about three thousand years. The golden age of this island was during the Mycenean period.
People were able to communicate with the islands of Ithaca, Lefkada and the Cycladic group of islands. All this communication ended when the island was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Santorini. On a hill called Riza near these walls, there are many chamber tombs that existed before the Mycenaean period. Unfortunately, these tombs have been plundered and damaged. This hill was used as a necropolis for the ancient city of Krani. These cyclopean walls bear testimony to the fact that there was indeed ancient inhabitation on this island.
These walls are over 2 kilometers long and can be found just outside Argostoli. While walking along these walls, you can see examples of the wildlife of the island. Despite their ruined state, the Cyclopean Walls of Kefalonia is a good example of ancient Greek engineering.