It's hard to fully grasp the former magnificence of this ancient sanctuary of the goddess Hera, 4km west of Pythagorio, from these scattered ruins. The ‘Sacred Way’, once flanked by thousands of marble statues, led from the city to this World Heritage–listed site, built at Hera's legendary birthplace. However, enough survives to provide a glimpse of a sanctuary that was four times larger than the Parthenon.
Built in the 6th century BC, the Heraion was constructed over an earlier Mycenaean temple. Plundering and earthquakes have left only one column standing, though extensive foundations remain. Other remains include a stoa (long colonnaded building), a 5th-century Christian basilica, and the headless, and unsettling, statues of a family, the Geneleos Group. Archaeologists continue to unearth treasures.