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(texte français: cliquez ici)   Ithaka, Ormos Polis


Ormos Polis, the « Harbour of the City », is a beautiful cove fringed with a golden sandy beach bordered with a cave-sanctuary and dominated by ruins of constructions dating back to the Troja War.
Odysseus' nautical world
A cosmological interpretation
Sea routes and the epic text
The routes home
Rounding Cape Malea
6 Toward a New World
7 Mythological figures for stopovers
From the next World to this world
9 In Odysseus'wake. Arrival at Ithaka
10 Ithaka, Ormos Polis
Ithaka, the islet of Daskalio
12 Ithaka, Port Saint Andrew
13 At the Arethuse source
14 The periplus to Ithaka
15 Our friend Odysseus
The catamaran of the expedition is moored at the fishers' pier of Ormos Polis. In the background the island of Cephalonia.
"According to Homer the palace was located on a quite high place "under the wooded Neion" (Od., III, 81), so that from his terrace one could see the sea and the harbour… Under the palace walls lies an esplanade sheltered from the wind and high enough to have a view of the harbour. We can see there ships loading or unloading goods. From these heights above Stavros one clearly distinguishes the harbour of Ormos Polis to the south. It is from the Harbour of the City that Telemachus went off in search of information about his father disappeared since the fall of Troja (Od. II, 382-434). It is from here again that the suitors sent a ship to intercept and kill Odysseus' son who was too dangerous to them (Od. IV, 768-786 ; cf. chap. XX). It is from the shore of this cove that we, too, shall reembark… Ormos Polis, a very small harbour according to present-day norms, has a deep harbour sheltered in general from both north and south winds. A sandy beach four or five hundred meters long, nicely curved, offered antique ships a grounding place able to receive several tens of them, much more than the whole fleet of Odysseus' kingdom could count. It is now the port of registry of a half dozen fishing boats. On land, the only building is a small coffee bar that opens in the afternoon when fishermen come back. A majestic tree provides its shadow over the coffee bar at the end of the way going down to the city. In the middle of the beach stands a shed housing the carpenter's tools and a winch. Two ships are lying dry nearby waiting for small repairs. "
A few hundred meters from there is the Tripods Cave where remains of liturgical furniture dedicated to the cult of the deified hero Odysseus were excavated and two or three kilometers higher on the mountainside, at Pilikata and Aghios Athanasios, remains of important Mycenaean buildings brought to light by British archaeologists : Odysseus' palace ? Nothing proves it. At least they are remains of a "palace" dating back to the Troja war time, a place that gives food for epic imagination. next
Jean Cuisenier, Le Périple d'Ulysse, pp. 52-56
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