Kiamil Bey’s palace monumental stairway, Ancient Corinth village

At the northern part of Ancient Corinth lies a natural plateau, where the Kiamil (Kâmil) Bey’s Ottoman saray once stood, constructed during the 19th c. A deep ravine was set beneath the promontory’s terrace, called according to the tradition as "Baths of Aphrodite” («Λουτρά της Αφροδίτης»), name that was attributed to a spring and a cave situated there. This was the once existing pleasure garden of the Ottoman Bey, to which a monumental staircase in two flights led. The well-built poros staircase survives till today, a work of excellent quality which presents architectural elements of Venetian influence.

The 30 cm thick stone balustrade’s handrail is formed in a half-round profile, while an exterior string-course marks the levels of the landings, a decorative architectural element of Venetian technique. The torus moulding of the stair’s outer wall indicates that it may have been constructed during the period of Venetian rule (1687-1715). 

According to the available literature, graffiti of sailboats (Corinth. volume ΙΙΙ, part ΙΙ, 1936, Fig. 221, p. 270) were scratched into the stairway walls. Unfortunately today, no traces of these graffiti were evidenced during the in situ study of the area.

The stairway was architecturally surveyed by architect J. Travlos in 1961.

Kiamil Bey’s palace (remains) Kiamil (Kâmil) Bey’s palace hammam




Sources


Results of Excavations conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. volume ΙΙΙ, part ΙΙ. The Defences of Acrocorinth and the Lower Town, by Rhys Carpenter and Antoine Bon with contributions by A. W. Parsons published for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts 1936.

FEYLER, Gabrielle. Le fonds de photographies anciennes de l'Institut d'Archéologie Classique de Strasbourg (fonds Michaelis), thèse de Doctorat, Institut d'Archéologie Classique de Strasbourg, 1993, 3 volumes ; HARLING, Rotraud. “Paul Baron des Granges, Materialen zur Biographie eines vergessenen Photographen”, dans Das Land der Griechen mit der Seele suchen. Photographien des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts : Agfa Foto-Historama, Ausstellung im Römisch-Germanischen Museum, Cologne, 1990, p. 31-37.

Eleni I. Kanetaki

Denkmaler der Architektur und Sculptur (memoirs from the Architecture and Sculpture), the area of the monumental stairway.Korinth Generalansicht, von Norden ausGranges, Paul Baron des, 1881 d'après nég. 1869, .Bibliothèque de la Maison Interuniversitaire des Sciences de l'Homme – Alsace.

Corinth Monument: Baths of Aphrodite

Collection: Corinth
Type: Drawing
Name: 223 001
Title: State Drawing of the Baths of Aphrodite
Artist: Travlos, J.
Drawing Information: Depicts the following, Site, State
Date: 1960
Dimensions: 62x90
Drawing Scale: 1:200
Storage: Hill House drawer 26
Area: Baths of Aphrodite
Site: Ancient Corinth
City: Corinth
Country: Greece

State Drawing of the Baths of Aphrodite, Hill House drawer 26from ASCSA.NET
Collection: Corinth
Type: Drawing
Name: 223 004
Title: State Section of the Baths of Aphrodite
Artist: Travlos, J.
Drawing Information: Depicts the following, Site, State
Date: 1960
Dimensions: 44x32
Drawing Scale: 1:100
Storage: Hill House drawer 26
Area: Baths of Aphrodite
Site: Ancient Corinth
City: Corinth
Country: Greece

State Section of the Baths of Aphrodite
Hill House drawer 26
, from ASCSA.NET
Collection: Corinth
Type: Drawing
Name: 223 007
Title: State Section of the Baths of Aphrodite
Artist: Travlos, J.
Drawing Information: Depicts the following, Site, State
Date: 1961
Dimensions: 74x45
Drawing Scale: 1:200
Storage: Hill House drawer 26
Area: Baths of Aphrodite
Site: Ancient Corinth
City: Corinth
Country: Greece

Drawing of the Baths of Aphrodite: Propertyfrom ASCSA.NETCorinth. Results of Excavations conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. volume ΙΙΙ, part ΙΙ. The Defences of Acrocorinth and the Lower Town,
by Rhys Carpenter and Antoine Bon with contributions by A. W. Parsons published for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts 1936.   
Figure 221. Grafitti on Stairway to Baths of Aphrodite.



Remains of the once monumental stairway leading to the ravine.
The monumental stairway as it still survives.

The monumental stairway during the '50's.The surrounding area of the stairway during the '50's. 

The monumental stairway in the first decades of the 20th c. Corinth. Results of Excavations conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. volume ΙΙΙ, part ΙΙ. The Defences of Acrocorinth and the Lower Town, by Rhys Carpenter and Antoine Bon with contributions by A. W. Parsons published for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Harvard University Press Cambridge, Massachusetts 1936, figure 220, p. 269.

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