A trip to Athens has to be filled with great food, culture and of course, visiting all of the famous sights. Athens is known throughout the world as the cradle of Western Civilisation. This city is a mixture of incredible architecture and breathtaking history. This historical location creates a setting that really will etch itself into your memory for the rest of your life.
The “Sacred Rock” as it is known, rises up from the ground, crowned by three temples. The monument dates back to the 5th century BC and attracts over three million visitors each year. The most obvious place to start is the Parthenon. It is the largest temple and also the most impressive. It is supported by 46 Doric Columns. Due to the design it is considered to be the most influential building in classical architecture. Visit it at night and you will not be disappointed by the dramatic lighting that brings it to life.
Designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, this building is a mixture of glass and concrete. Within the museum, you will find archaic and classical finds from the Acropolis site. Once on the top floor, you will find the marble frieze. This was once seen around the top of the Parthenon with half of the pieces being plaster copies but still worth a view. Many of the pieces were taken by Lord Elgin and can now be viewed in the British Museum of London.
The Benaki Museum is located in a neo-classical building that comes with a stunning cafe located on the roof terrace. It enables you to take a look at Greek art, taking you all the way up to the 20th century. Here you will find ceramics, paintings, jewellery and furniture amongst other things. Notably, the Thessaly Treasure is worth a look, especially the gold filigree jewellery that dates back to the 2nd century.
You will need to take more of an excursion to see the Delphi, but it is definitely worth the trip. Here you will find the fabled Oracle which spoke its prophecies through priestesses and a site that dates back to the 8th Century BC. Built into a hillside, you will find many temples that look over a gaping void. The museum will give you access to the bronze and marble sculptures and on the return journey why not stop at the village of Arahova. There you will be able to purchase locally produced delicacies and many other goods.
Below the Acropolis, carved into the hillside is the Plaka. This is the oldest residential quarter in Athens and with it comes a serene atmosphere that gives this quaint village a real personality. The cobbled streets are adorned with mansions, boutique hotels and bustling tavernas. Here you will find the Museum of Traditional Greek Instruments and the Byzantine Little Mitropolis Church, both of which are definitely worth a visit.
Map of Athens
History and Culture of Athens
Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its history that stretches back 3,400 years. The city was named after the Greek Goddess Athena after winning a competition with Poseidon. Under the rule of Pericles, the 5th Century BC was one of the most fruitful periods in the history of the city. This was where the Western civilisation laid down its foundations.
The Fourth Crusade of 1204 conquered Athens and the Latins ruled until 1458 when the Ottoman Empire took over. When the Greek Revolution took place shortly after in 1821, Greece was named a modern independent Greek state. It was then when Athens was named the capital.
During the World War II, the Nazis occupied Greece and Athens was heavily involved. Since then, despite the recent economical tumbles that the country has experienced, Athens is still a city revered around the world.
Pictures of Athens
Hotels In Athens
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