Ancient Selinus or Selinous was one of the three ancient cities of Peparethos island, nowadays called Skopelos island. It is located in the north-west part of the island, opposite Skiathos island and Evia, where the settlement of Loutraki exists today. It was probably founded during the second Greek colonization in the 8th century B.C., by the Chalkidians. Its ancient name is known by a votive inscription of the Roman imperial era, while the nowadays settlement was probably named after the baths (loutra) that used to exist at the location in ancient times.
Ancient Selinus: A quiet, cosmopolite and rich Spa town
In ancient roman times, the region used to be a quiet, cosmopolite and rich Spa town. Its buildings were at least two-storey, built according to the Roman style. Likewise all Roman coastal provincial cities that combine commerce with the enjoyment of nature, it had public areas, probably temples as well as baths.
Other inscriptions, statues and reliefs that indicate a social life completely incorporated into the roman status-quo are dated to the same period. Luxurious imported products from ancient city of Asia Minor are the sarcophagi located in Selinus and ancient Peparethos which belong to rich people of the area. Finally, Ancient Selinus actively participated in the organized maritime commercial network of Roman Empire from the northern Aegean Sea to Lebanon, Egypt, the Adriatic and Sicily.
Roman Baths in Skopelos island: Their significance
The current name of the settlement of Loutraki denotes the high significance of baths for the social life of the region. Not only were they a place for personal hygiene but also a place for the exchange of views, contemplation, walking and sports. This monument is an example of the public architecture of the era. Chronologically, the Roman baths are dated to the end of the 3rd century A.D. while in the 1865, a marble statue of goddess Athena was found in the area. It was a real copy of Virgin Athena made by the sculptor Phidias, which is now exhibited in the National Archeological Museum of Athens. Many other findings can be found in the Archeological Museum of Volos.
Intense earthquakes since ancient times have transformed the whole area and large parts of the ancient coastline have slid into the sea. Nowadays, the visitor can see only some remains from the Roman Baths of Skopelos Island, in the south-east of Loutraki coast, in the region “Katakalou”. Only the mosaic floor is still preserved today, although half-sunk in the sea.
The captivating history of Skopelos Island will make you love it and get to know it. Read more.