Acrocorinth is the acropolis (the upper or higher town) of ancient Corinth. It is the huge rock with fortress above the Ancient Corinth
, a few kilometers from the modern Corinth village. The sight is easily reachable by car, there is an asphalt road that terminates with parking lot near the fortress main entrance. The working hours are from 8:00 to 15:00. The fortress spreads on a huge area and visits usually last few hours.
Acrocorinth was constantly occupied from ancient time to nineteenth century. It is a huge rock with natural defenses that had been exploited by Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Venetians and Ottoman Turks. The big fortress controlled the mainland access to Peloponnese
, provided safety and flourished as major administrative and trade center.
The fortress occupies the entire plateau. It is enclosed by almost 3000 meters long stone walls. The west and easier accessible part is protected by a moat and 3 lines of defenses - a mixture of walls, gates and towers. During the centuries the fortifications had been changed, rebuilt and repaired multiple times.
The castle entry passes trough a moat and 3 gates. The moat and the first gate were built around 14th century. The Venetians built the second gate and placed a large tower next to it. The third gate is flanked by two towers, with few more towers along the big stone walls. Most of the last gate and walls date back to Byzantine times. Once behind the walls there is flatter area where settlement developed with houses, barracks, churches, mosques, water cisterns, fountains and baths. On the rocky high south-west side there is Frankish castle with a keep. On the highest hill point there was the Aphrodite temple, succeed by church and later by mosque. The Upper Peirene spring is in the south-east plateau part. There are many more ruins and areas for people to explore.
The Frankish inner castle was built by William Villehardouin after the Fourth Crusade. It is built on one of the highest points and offers spectacular views to the gulf of Corinth.
A walkway near the southern ramparts leads from the Frankish castle to the Upper Peirene Spring, which is next to the ruins of old Turkish barracks.
The Upper Peirene Spring is featured in many legends. One tale says that Zeus gave it as a gift. Other legend says that the mythical winged horse Pegasus touched the ground and created the spring. The spring is underground chamber, protected by arches. It has crystal blue water and never dries up.
The location of the Temple of Aphrodite is now marked only with a lone column. It is on the highest point and boasts magnificent views to Mount Parnassus, Attica
and Peloponnese mountains. Ancient authors say that there were more than 1000 sacred prostitutes associated with the temple. Saint Paul stayed there for 18th months preaching to the citizens of Acrocorinth.