The Greek Ministry of Culture has announced that the ancient Asclepieion in Thessaly, an important healing temple of the Greek empire, will be restored.
Greece’s Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, stated that “in the city of Trikala, in Ancient Trikki, there was one of the oldest and most famous (temples) in the entire ancient world, Asclepieion.”
The earliest confirmed excavation of the city dates back to the Bronze Age and is located in the area of the present archaeological site of Trikala.
Excavations have uncovered ceramics indicating that the western slopes of the ancient acropolis had been inhabited since the Early Bronze Age (3300 BC) until the Mycenaean era.
Ancient Trikki was first referred to in the Homeric List of Ships, which states that Trikki participated with great force in the Trojan War, with 30 ships led by Asclepius’ sons, Mahaonas and Podalerios, who were taught medicine by their father.
Asclepius was the Greek god of healing, truth, and prophecy, and is also known as the god of medicine. In later times, he was honoured as a hero and eventually worshipped as a god. Healing temples in his honour began in Thessaly but spread to many parts of Greece.
The practice of sleeping in these healing temples became common in many parts of Greece, as it was believed that Asclepius cured illnesses in dreams. Zeus (the king of the gods), afraid that Asclepius might render all men immortal, slew him with a thunderbolt.