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The Iconic Stone Lion of Kea

When your tour along the island brings you to Ioulis, Kea’s capital, take a few moments to visit the Lion of Kea. It is one of the most popular sights of the island, and is dated back to 600 BC. It is easily found, you have to just walk a little further to the street of the Spring of Kounderis, and you will find an old stone road that will lead you straight to the Lion of Kea, or else known as ‘’Liontas’’.

Carved from a natural stone slab, this lion amazes the visitors with its ancient existence as well as with its strange, wisely smile. Some say that it was curved by the same architect who built Parthenon’s temple, at Acropolis of Athens.
Row1 Text & Photo
Behind this peculiar artifact, lies a beautiful story of the ancient mythology. According to this legend, Kea was once inhabited by water nymphs, mythical creatures, whose beauty made the unforgiving gods jealous. In mythology one may find many stories that the gods’ jealousy lead to a terrible disaster. This one is not an exception, as once more the gods’ envy and jealous tried once more to destroy humans and nymphs’ beautiful island.

Gods, in an attempt to destroy nymphs’ happiness, they send a lion to destroy the whole island. Once their plan came to end, a temple was built in memory of gods’ cruelty. Though the anger was smoothed out, the lion statue remained to remind the island’s inhabitants of their gods’ strength.

This is truly a beautiful story, however no one can say for certain if this peculiar beast and its smile are a result of ancient weather conditions, or if it was actually carved by an artist of those days. Either way, it is a landmark worth visiting during your stay to Kea.
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