Mount Pelion, which ranks among Grecian mountains of the first magnitude, towers to a great height from the Pagasaean Gulf.
In mythology, Mount Pelion was called the home of the Centaurs. Cheiron, whose cave was located on the main peak Pliassidi, raised Achilles here. During the storming of Mount Olympus, the Aloids pushed Mount Pelion onto Mount Ossa. From the harbour town of Iolkos (either Dimini or corresponding to today’s Vólos), Jason and the Argonauts set out in search of the Golden Fleece.
VILLAGE OF PORTARIA ON MOUNT PELION
by Edward Dodwell.
MOUNT Pelion is adorned with about twenty-four large and opulent villages, or rather towns most of which are inhabited by Greeks of hardy habits and athletic forms. Portaria, which is one of the most considerable, is an hour from Bolo, and is situated high up the southern activity of the mountain, in the midst of a varied profusion of trees, which form cooling arbours and embowering shades, while the streets are irrigated by numerous streams that ripple under the luxuriant canopy of wide-spreading platani, and amid the chequered decorations of the clustering vine.
The scenery is rich in distant prospect, and in every variety of immediate embellishment. Nature here seems to assume her most captivating attire, and to revel in her most fantastic forms. Here is delight for the voluptuous, incitement for the romantic, and repose for the weary. No locality can well interest the imagination or gratify the sight by a greater profusion of charms. The associations of old times are diffused around; and plenty, with a sort of spontaneous promptitude, seems to start up from the bosom of the teeming soil without the aid of elaborate cultivation.
Mount Pelion, which ranks among Grecian mountains of the first magnitude, towers to a great height from the Pagasaean Gulf, where it terminates in Cape Sepias towards the south-cast, while in an opposite direction it forms a junction with Ossa.
The poetical fancy of the ancient Greeks has left the majestic elevation of Pelion surrounded with a never-fading glory of mythological wonders and classic charms.
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The mighty forms of giants and centaurs still flit over the sacred soil wherever it is beheld by a mind that has been touched by the transport of the classic page. He who has once experienced the potent illusion, which this fascinating scenery is calculated to excite, will not readily disengage his mind from the magic of the view. It will long glow in his fancy and enchant his recollection.
Source: Views in Greece. Drawings by Edward Dodwell. Rod Well and Martin, London, 1821.