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Temple of Zeus Ammon from the 4th c.BC – Kassandra’s main historical attraction
The sanctuary of Zeus Ammon in Kallithea is the primary archaeological site of interest on the Kassandra peninsula and well worth a stop over that will take an hour or so out of your day.
It is located just south of Afytos on the eastern shore of Kassandra behind the beautiful Kallithea beach that has become one of Halkidiki’s most visited and organized beaches.
The ruins of Zeus Ammon
You will find an excavated archeological park surrounded by a fence, entrance can be gained by the visitor booth on the beach side. The ruins were first discovered in 1968 when a hotel being built stumbled upon them. An excavation was organized in 1969-70 which revealed the temple of Zeus Ammon with an inscription that connected it with this god. To the south of the temple there was a cave shrine that was attributed to Dionysos and the Nymphs that preceeded the Sanctuary of Zeus Ammon by 400 years.
The sanctuary was one of several such temples in Greece dedicated to the Egyptian god Amun, the king of gods. The Greek’s equivelent to Amun was Zeus, hence the Greeks named it Zeus Ammom. The Greek colony of Cyrene in today’s Libya was where the cult was introduced into Greece from and many Greek city states had such a temple. The builder is unknown, but its construction is estimated to be from the second half of the 4th century BC. Three kings reigned at that time, Philip II, Alexander the Great and Cassander. One of these was no doubt responsible for its construction. Find out more about the history of the sanctuary of Zeus Ammon here.
What we can recommend
Since the archeological site is not so large, it will take a person with great interest no more than 2-3 hours to walk the tour, read the information boards and take photos. The beach in front of the site is a popular one and offers a beautiful view to Sithonia. The tour of the ruins can easily be combined with a trip to the Kallithea beach. Afytos is also very close by, here you can enjoy good restaurants and take a stroll through its old streets.