Culture and history info
The ancient polis of Kalaureia was home to an asylum dedicated to Poseidon, the ruins of which are still accessible on a hilltop close to the town. This asylum may have been linked to the sanctuaries at Geraistos and Tainaros. Ancient historians claimed that Poros was home to an Amphictyony in the Archaic period, a league of the poleis Poros, Athens, Prassiai, Aegina, Epidaurus, Hermione, Troizen, Nauplion and Orchomenus. However, there is no evidence for this, and modern scholars believe the Amphictyony may have been a Hellenistic invention. An enormous feast was found dating to the Hellenistic period in the ruins of the Kalaureia asylum, along with a plaque celebrating the "revival" of the Kalaureian League.
Poros was divided in two islands during the antiquity: the one was called Sfairia and is the part of the island where today is located the island’s capital; the other was called Kalavria and is the bigger part of Poros at the north of Poros Town. During the Mycenaean dominance (1400-1100 BC) Kalavria was quite powerful as the most important naval base of the wider region was located on islet Monti or Liontari in the eastern coast of Poros. In the 7th century BC, it is believed that Kalavria was part of an “amphictyonia”; that is an alliance between multiple City-states. The amphictyonia was named “Amphictionia of Kalavria” and its members were Athens, Poros, Aegina, Epidaurus, Hermione, Trizina, Nafplio, Orchomenos and Prasies. During the 5th century, the Persians started attacking the Greek territories along with the Aegean islands. With the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, which also affected the islands of the Argosaronic Gulf, Trizina and Kalavria offered asylum to the anti-Macedonian politician who eventually became the tyrant of the region. After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, the Ptolemies of Egypt occupied Kalavria. Around that time, the famous orator Demosthenes came to the island and some say that this is the place where he committed suicide. In 273 BC, the last explosion of the Methana volcano dramatically changed the morphology of Poros and the wider region. The Sanctuary of Poseidon has been excavated by Swedish archaeologists, one field season in 1894 considered to be the first Swedish archaeological campaign in Greece, and continued excavations from 1997 and onwards in collaboration with the Greek National Heritage Board.