The ancient city of Chaleion stood in the beautiful landscape of the west coast of the Krissaion gulf in western Lokris, where the modern city of Galaxidi stands today. The area has been continuously inhabited from antiquity to modern times, and several archaeological sites with remains of all periods have been identified. Archaeologists place Chaleion's prime in the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods.
The earliest traces of habitation, from the Early Helladic period, were identified at Anemokambi, Pelekaris, and Kefalari, and on the little island of Apsifia. The settlement developed at Villa during the Mycenaean period and another fortified settlement was created on the Agios Athanasios hill in the Geometric era (around 700 BC). The settlement at Villa was still occupied when a new religious and administrative centre developed at Agios Vlasis in the Archaic and Classical periods (seventh-third centuries BC). Chaleion's current location was first inhabited in approximately 300 BC. Its fortified wall, possibly built with the initiative of the Aetolian League, dates to the same period. The city thrived until the second century BC.
Little historical evidence on Galaxidi is known from before the tenth century AD. The city was devastated by the Bulgarians in 981, and subsequently passed on to the French, the Duke of Patras, and the Hospitalier Knights. The city was fortified by Ioannis Kantakouzinos again in 1448, but could not resist the Turkish invasion. It regained its former splendour in the nineteenth century, particularly in the 1830's and 1840's, when sailboats from Galaxidi travelled around the world.
The archaeological site of ancient Chaleion at Galaxidi is most interesting for the preserved sections of the late fourth century fortification wall. Built of large rectangular blocks in isodomic masonry, on the rocky peninsula between the two ports, the wall controled the sea routes of the Corinthian gulf and the important road connecting the Peloponnese and central Greece, thus making Chaleion the safest port in the Corinthian gulf. Part of the wall of the south port was demolished in 1830, during the construction of the dock; the ancient blocks used for the dock are still visible today. Chaleion's cemeteries and the grave gifts that they contained provide a wealth of information on the life of the city's inhabitants. Two natural caverns with rock-hewn sarcophagi used as burial chambers during the Roman and Early Christian periods are also noteworthy.Wikidata ID: Q16540305
(Odysseus, Greek Ministry of Culture)