Greece

Necromanteion Aheron

At the legendary entrance to Hades, shades would reveal the future to the living.

Necromanteion AheronThe Oracle of the Dead

Sitting on a hilltop near the confluence to the Acheron (“River of woe”), Pyriphlegethon (“Flaming with fire”) and Cocytus (“River of wailing”), three of the five rivers associated with Hades, the ancient Greeks believed this place marked the entrance to the underworld. Around the 4th century BC, the erected a temple, believing that under the right circumstances it was possible to communicate with the dead. The only Oracle of the underworld in all of Greece, Odysseus stopped here hoping to learn his future, and it appeared in a particularly seamy chapter of Herodotus’ Histories. In the 18th century, a monastery was built on the site. Today, visitors can walk through the ruins before diving into the ancient underground chambers, which were used to commune with the dead - or store grain, depending on which archaeologist you ask.

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