Lavrio

A guided tour to the Road of Silver
Lavrion took its name after the Greek word “lavra” which means narrow passage or tunnel describing the characteristics of mining galleries.
The first underground excavations began around 3000 BC establishing Lavrion mines as the oldest in Europe. However, the production of silver was limited until 483 BC (the period of Greco-Persian wars), when the rich deposits of Maronia (present day Agios Konstantinos in the northern part of Greece) were discovered and the greatest mining period began.

The silver production was so high that the historians of the Classical Period wrote: “the silver is flowing like spring water”. The Lavrion silver mines soon became the principal source of wealth for the Athenian State.