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Piraeus Page 3

click to see larger - where to embarkThe modern port consists of Piraeus harbor, Herakles harbor, the Eleusinian Gulf (Kolpos Elefinas) and the two small harbors of Zea ( known during Ottoman times as Pashalimani) and Mikrolimano (Tourkolimano) which are used by fishing boats and yachts. The main Piraeus harbor (also called the Kendriki (Central) Harbor is used for domestic ferries as well as international passenger ships (the latter having their own martime station). The northern section of this central harbor is called Alon, and is used by coastal vessels. The outer port deals in wood and containers. Herakles harbor (to the west) is for freighters that unload their cargoes out of lower hatches directly onto the quay. Eleusinian Gulf is for ship repair and ship building.

Zea was the ancient port for triremes, where ship sheds, which lined the circular harbor, were used to store these ships to protect them from weather, some traces of these still surviving. During the 4th century BC there were as many as 372 of these sheds, spread between Zea, Munychia and Kantharos (the latter two names being ancient names for the other two harbors). In present times, Zea harbor can accommodate up to 400 recreational boats, its waterfront is a lively place with many tavernas and restaurants.

The Naval/Maritime Museum (open Tues-Fri 9am to 2pm, Sat 9am-1:30 pm; 1.50 euros admission) is behind the reclaimed shoreline here below Akti Themistokleous. It faces a formal garden in which military ware are displayed (guns, torpedo tubes, and the like). Part of the old Long Wall is incorporated in the building. There are 12 rooms with exhibits that illustrate the history of navigation in Greece from ancient times through World War II. Ship models include one from Santorini which was based on a fresco in the National Museum, a trireme from the Peloponnisian Wars, a Hellenistic merchant ship and a Byzantine war ship. There are maps that trace the travels of Ulysses, the Trojan War, Greek expeditions to the North Sea and Orient and reconstructions of naval battles including those at Salamis, Navarino, and the Dardanelles. There are also portraits of heroes from the War of Independence. A beacon from a lighthouse from Constantinople stands in the hallway of the museum. There is a landing stage near the museum for boats from visiting fleets and also the remains of a 4th century BC theater.

The Mikrolimani/Tourkolimano harbor is, like Kea/Pashalimani, lined with restaurants that look out on the yachts anchored there. Buses connect these small harbors with each other and with the central harbor.

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