Tour Athens Greece and Be Amazed!
To tour Athens, Greece is to journey back in time to the ancient soul of this timeless city. Athens may be a huge metropolis, but many of its neighborhoods have a peaceful, village feel. There are many oases to which to escape and ponder the wisdom of the philosophers. Aristotle wrote, “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” This quote beautifully illustrates Athens. She has a single soul inhabiting both the ancient and the modern bodies. Her spirit of curiosity and innovative thinking are timeless.
The iconic Parthenon is the symbol of Athens. Also known as the “Temple of Athena,” it stands proudly atop the Acropolis Hill. At this towering height it overlooks the entire city. It’s a constant remembrance of Athens’ illustrious past. The Greeks finished the Parthenon in 437 BC. It was a tribute to Athens’ patron goddess Athena. Unfortunately, the Parthenon was heavily damaged in 1687. At that time the Venetians besieged the Ottoman ammunition storage post here. But its beauty continues, scars and all. You can visit the Parthenon today, if you’re willing to brave the lines and make the trek up Acropolis Hill. Visiting Athens without a stop at the Parthenon is unthinkable!
The Erechtheion and Caryatids
While you’re up on Acropolis Hill, don’t miss the Erechtheion and Caryatids. The Erechtheion, constructed in the early 400s BC, may have been a tribute to King Erechtheus. It was used as a temple to the goddess Athena. The structure housed a statue of her. She was Athens’ patron goddess, and the namesake of the city. The Caryatids inhabit the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. These six women serve as pillars. But they are distinctly different from the doric, ionic, and corinthian orders of pillars more commonly found in the ancient world. Caryatids were notably used within structures serving treasury purposes. Here they stand, timelessly guarding this ancient sanctuary, in all their stunning beauty.
The Parliament Building, Syntagma Square
Syntagma Square, also known as Constitution Square, is the central square in Athens. It was unveiled in the early nineteenth century. Syntagma Square has been a core meeting place and transportation headquarters ever since. Wide open spaces cancel claustrophobia, and Athenians conduct their business and pleasure with the beautiful backdrop of the Parliament building. Also known as the Hellenic Parliament, 300 elected members meet here to administer, in a democratic republic governing system that has stood the test of time from Athens’ ancient roots. Not to mention a system which has influenced government functioning all over the world up to the modern day.
The Acropolis Theatre
The Acropolis Theatre, also known as the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, was finished in 161 AD. This impressive structure could hold up to 5,000 spectators in its heyday. The Germanic tribe of “barbarian” Heruli demolished it in 267 AD. At that time they were ravaging the ancient Roman Empire across the European continent. Greece was part of the Roman Empire from 146 BC to 330 AD, beginning with the Battle of Corinth. Magnificent views of the city can be had from this high perch. Whether there’s a show going on upon the stage or not, enjoy the show of Athens’ fascinating daily life down below from these elevated stands.
Quaint Plaka Neighborhood
The “old town” in Athens exists in what is called the “Plaka” neighborhood. This quaint labyrinth of a village provides a peaceful respite from the boisterous downtown of the city. Here you’ll climb steep, narrow steps that weave their way through cute little houses. Pots of brilliantly colored flowers decorate and perfume the whitewashed path. So to really enjoy this neighborhood, let yourself get lost, and have fun navigating your way out! Consequently, by the end you’ll have a hearty appetite, and will have the perfect excuse to indulge in a delicious Greek lunch!
Delicious Grilled Meat Treat
Athens is well-known for their street food, particularly their succulent grilled meat kabobs. Thus, you’ll want to stop for Souvlaki or a Gyro for a quick treat. Or relax and enjoy some people-watching while you alfresco dine on delicious Greek specialties like Moussaka and Pastisio under the radiant Greek sun. Want something lighter? Go for some fresh Greek yogurt with honey. And wash it all down with an Ouzo, a local licorice-flavored alcoholic beverage. Then you’ll have the stamina to tackle Athens’ impressive museums.
National Archaeological Museum
Given Greece’s esteemed history, it’s no surprise that her museums pack a punch. The National Archaeological Museum is Greece’s largest museum. Housed here are some of the most archetypal artifacts from the ancient Roman, Egyptian, and, above all Greek, worlds. See sculpture, metalwork, ceramics and more in this sizable museum. This is one of the world’s finest museums. It’s assuredly worth a stop on your tour of Athens, Greece.
The Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum is located next to Acropolis Hill. Hence, you can enjoy views of the Parthenon through gigantic glass walls here. The Greeks built this new structure in 2019. It was an attempt to persuade the British to return the “Elgin Marbles.” The Elgin Marbles are sculptures taken by British archaeologist Lord Elgin from the Parthenon in the early 1800s. Significantly, he carted about half of them back to Britain. Subsequently, he sold them to the British Museum, where they remain now. After that, the British argued that the Greeks didn’t have a suitable location to display the marbles. So the Greeks built this beautiful museum for that purpose. It’s a brilliant location within sight of the Parthenon, notably the original structure that housed it. And it’s within view from inside the museum where the sculptures would be displayed. But did the British return them after that? No…
Character is Destiny
Heraclitus wrote that “Character is destiny.” Undoubtedly, Athens’ character has been her destiny as one of the most alluring cities in the world. As a result, I hope you enjoyed my article on this captivating city. Finally, what do you think? Should Britain return the Elgin Marbles to Greece? Next, do you think Britain should be compensated in any way? On the other hand, should the marbles stay in the British Museum? Leave a comment with your thoughts, below. If you have an opinion, I’d love to hear it!
Tour More of Athens
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