THE LION OF PIRAEUS
The lion that stands today at the end of Xaveriou coast looking at the main port of Piraeus, is a true copy of an older marble statue. The original which was stolen stood for centuries in a prominent position at the port and it was the reason why Piraeus was called Porto Leone by the Latins and Aslan Port by the Ottomans. Bear in mind that Aslan port means in Turkish port of lions. Archaeologists have not come to the construction date of the original lion, but it is very similar to the trophy set up by Macedonians, in Chaeronea. Into the shoulders and flanks of the lion there are runic inscriptions for which there is no specific information. It is said that they were carved by the Varangians, ie Scandinavian soldiers, who found themselves in Piraeus in 1018 by following the Byzantine emperor Vasilios B’ Voulgaroktonos. The statue was looted by the Venetian naval commander Francisco Morozini, in 1687.