Passing through the Agora of Ancient Messene is like traversing a sacred place. The Agora lies between the Asclepieion and the Theatre; it is an exclusively political venue that co-exists with the holy temples. A recreational ground, suitable for strolls and people's transactions. Today the Ancient Agora is silent but in the past it was bustling and full of people and products. Here are the remains of the sanctuaries of Poseidon, Aphrodite and Zeus the Saviour; recent research claims that a temple of Messene was also here. Each temple fulfils a special function, like the temple of Poseidon with its relief metopes (marble panels); one of them portrays Andromeda on a rock and the dragon guarding her, while another, the seahorse with Triton and Nereid.
At the opposite side lies the Temple of Aphrodite and Cybele, the Mother of the Gods. Cybele was the goddess of the earth, of harvest, motherhood and fertility. She is similar to Gaia, Rhea and Hera. Myth has it that she is the nurturer of gods and humans; she holds humans in her embrace when they come to being and when they depart. A deity of the mountains, mother of the summits, of the wild beasts, of borders but also of cities and social institutions. Cybele is associated with Mother Earth, Demeter, Athena and Artemis. Ancient Messene has a plenitude of female deities with similar attributes. Maybe this is why there is a sanctuary dedicated to Demeter, the goddess of the underworld to the south of the Agora "the holy sanctuary of Demeter" as Pausanias refers to it.