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My Favourite Planet > English > Europe > Greece > Northern Aegean > Samos > gallery
Samos, Greece Samos gallery 2 of 55

Marble lion statue on Pythagoras Square, Lower Vathy, the main town of Samos island, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Marble lion statue (1930), Pythagoras Square, on the waterfont of Lower Vathy (Samos town).

Pythagoras Square (η Πλατεία Πυθαγόρα), at the centre of Vathy's harbour promenade, is locally known as Lion Square after the statue which was erected here in 1930 to commemorate the Greek War of Independence (see gallery page 13).

Behind the lion is an unusual dark-pink painted house with a turret and a touch of Art Deco, probably influenced by the Italian presence in the Aegean. Around the square are restaurants, bars and a pharmacy.

The Lion of Amphipolis statue, Macedonia, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Amphipolis Lion, late 4th century BC.

The lion monument to commemorate the Greek War of Independence on Pythagoras Square, Lower Vathy, Samos, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Vathy lion, 1930.

The monumental statue of a lion in Vathy follows the long tradition of of lion statues in Greece. Images of the king of the beasts have been used as symbols of power, military might and defiance in many cultures in Europe, Asia and Africa since prehistoric times, and were very popular in ancient Greek cities.

Two of the most famous extant lion statues in Greece are the Lion of Chaironea, near Livadia, Central Greece, which marks the tomb of members of the Theban Sacred Band who were killed by Philip II of Macedonia's army at the Battle of Chaironeia in 338 BC, and the similar Lion of Amphipolis, near Nea Kerdillia, Macedonia, thought to be the tomb of Laomedon of Lesbos, one of Alexander the Great's admirals.

Lions were also symbolicically important to the Ottoman Turks (the Turkish word for lion is aslan) and the Italian states Genoa and Venice which ruled territories and islands around the eastern Mediterranean.

See a photo of quite a different lion in the Vathy Archaeological Museum on gallery page 6.

Other lion images on My Favourite Planet:

The Lion Hunt mosaic, 325-300 BC, Pella Archaeological Museum, in the Pella photo gallery.

Colossal lion statue at the Temple of Apollo, Didyma, Turkey,
in Ionian Spring part 3 at The Cheshire Cat Blog.

A lion's head on a coin from Leontinoi, Sicily, circa 475 BC, in Big money at The Cheshire Cat Blog,
and Alexander the Great wearing a lion-skin headdress on the same page.

Nonchalant cat in Samos, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Nonchalant Samos tiger, early 21st century.
Photos, maps and articles: © David John 2003-2019,
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Some of the information and photos in this guide to Samos
originally appeared in 2003-2004 on

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See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays and articles
about Greece:

Athens 1

Athens 2






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