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Asklepieion of Messene

a Pleiades location resource

Creators: April Kissinger, Eric Shea, Chelsea Lee, Sterling Wright Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Mar 11, 2019 11:02 PM History
The Asklepieion in Ancient Messene is a sanctuary of Asklepios, Greek god of healing, constructed in 214 BC; the complex includes civic as well as religious buildings

sanctuary (religious center)

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Google Earth and DigitalGlobe Imagery 2012


  • Hellenistic-Roman Early Empire (330 BC – AD 300) (confident)


The Asklepieion of Messene was a sanctuary of the Greek god of healing, Asklepios, and a pilgrimage site for those seeking to be healed. The Asklepieion is comprised of a square area of 71.91 by 66.67 meters in the center of the city, next to the agora. A Doric temple was built in this precinct in 214 BC. The stoas on the north and south ends of the enclosure have façades with Corinthian columns supporting an Ionic architrave and a frieze decorated with bulls’ heads alternating with floral scrolls and bowls. The complex is closely connected with civic buildings, including the city's bouleuterion, and it has been suggested that the sanctuary housed both civic and religious activities.

The complex continued to be restored and renovated during the Roman period through the 3rd c. AD, but by the second half of the 4th c. AD it had fallen out of use. It is mentioned by Pausanias, who states that it housed famous statues, including some of the god Asklepios himself. Anastasios Orlandos initiated the excavations of this complex during the 1960s.