Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Lion of Piraeus

Today, the Lion of Piraeus is a copy of the original lion, which Morosini extracted in 1688 and still adorns the port of Venice.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1945 Since then, there has been a demand for the return of the original lion from Venice.

    1997 The copy was placed.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The marble sculpture on a pedestal is a copy of the ancient lion, which may have been at this point, according to historians’ estimates. The original lion is in the naval station of Venice, together with two others from Athens, which were removed by Morosini on his departure in 1688, after his campaign to besiege the Turks on the Acropolis. At the base of the copy, there is an inscription, which summarizes the story of the lion in a dramatic and poetic tone. Another copy is in the Stockholm museum.

What I can't see

We do not know when or by whom the original lion was created. It bears traces of runic writing, probably from Morosini’s Viking mercenaries. Another hypothesis is that they were Vikings followers of the Byzantine emperor Basil II. Piraeus was the port of the Venetian-Turkish conflicts of the 14th and 15th centuries, but also a point of pirate attacks. From the time of Morosini’s disembarkation, the port of Piraeus was called “Porto Leone”, the Ottomans called it “Aslan Limani” and the inhabitants “Porto Draco”. The locals believed that dragons were huge people who could transform into lions. They also believed that the lion was the guardian of the harbour and they felt safe. According to a Turkish legend, a pregnant woman looked at the lion and gave birth to a hideous monster, which the Turks immediately killed.


  • Address: Miaouli coast


Mpelavilas N., (2021), Ιστορία της πόλης του Πειραιά, 19ος και 20ος αιώνας, [The History of the City of Piraeus, 19th and 20th centuries], Alexandria Publication


Setton K., (1975), Athens in the Middle Ages, London: Variorum Reprints