Historic places you do not want to miss
History is resulting from Greek word ἱστορία – historia. It’s meaning is “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation”. It is the study of the past as it is described in written documents, as it is stated in Wikipedia. Everybody knows that we can ‘learn’ about our past from history books or from lots of historian’s biographies. Buuut…..why not surprise our brain seeing history unfolding in front of our eyes with a walking tour at the city center? Let me help you with few condensed -and not rambling- points of history about these archaeologically historic places that you have to see in Athens.
Acropolis & Parthenon
One of the most important historic places in Greece. The temple of Parthenon. Parthenon belongs to Classical ‘Pericles’ golden times* in Greece. Furthermore, our antecedents built the Parthenon from 447BC to 438BC. Furthermore, the temple has Doric’s order building structure. Moreover, the fine decorations finally entered at 432BC from Ictinus and Kallikratis. They built the current Parthenon on the top of the remains of the old one. Greeks showed -in this way- their appreciation to gods for their help over the Persians in 480BC. The Parthenon had many uses. During the 6th century AD, it is served as a Christian church dedicated to Virgin Mary. After that, in 1460 was a Muslim mosque. And finally, on 1687 the Venetians bombed it and ruined most of the sculptures.
The temple is 70m length, 31m width and 13m high. The total number of pillars inside and outside was 108. Between those pillars, we can see figures on battles, Trojan war, Centaurs war, Giants war and Amazons wars.
It is a huge experience to come and explore all the above. It will definitely stimulate your brain. Place yourself on the Acropolis’s hill and look at it. Look the Parthenon and watch the Hyades sculptures and find your calmness by starring at the Aegean Sea.
*Pericles was a statesman, orator and general of Athens.
Agora was one of the gathering historic places of the city for socialization. After lots of excavations, at the place you can now see many sculptures. In the meanwhile, you can also admire the collections of its museum inside the Stoa of Attalos. The visitor has a lot of things to explore there. Either by following a trial to the Peristyle Court. Or by exploring a military meeting at Strategeion. In addition to that, you could see the place where the officials meet at Tholos (their dining-sleeping quarters). Most importantly, you will see the marbles that representing the tribes of Athens and at the temples of Apollo Patroos, Ares-war god, Hephaestus, Aphrodite Urania. Finally, you can end up shopping and walking through the Stoa of Hermes/Poikile/South Stoa I or II/Stoa of Zeus.
Greeks built the Hellenic Parliament around 1843. At this point, it constituted as a Royal Palace for Bavarian Otto. Otto was the first king of Greece. Since 1934 it operates as the Hellenic Parliament in front of Syntagma square. (The translation of Syntagma square is Constitution square). King Otto announced that he will move the capital of Greece from Nafplio to Athens. Subsequently, they built Syntagma square around 1834. In front of the House of Parliament you will have the opportunity to see Evzones. Evzones are the Presidential Guard of the Palace. Every hour the Guards change performing a ceremony in front of the Tomb Memorial of the Unknowing Soldier. If you will visit the square, we propose you to see also the National Gardens near the parliament.
Panathenaic Olympic Stadium / Kallimarmaro
Panathenaic Olympic Stadium is another significant historic place in the center of Athens. This monument is the one where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896. The stadium is located at the center of Athens. This area is calling Kallimarmaro. Kallimarmaro means beautiful marble. In other words, the stadium consists entirely of marble. Its capacity is 50.000 seats. Our ancestors built Kallimarmaro at 330BC.
Uses of Kallimarmaro
After its abandoning it reopened for the first modern Olympics in 1896. Above all, this stadium is also the finishing point for the annual Athens Classic Marathon. The Marathon normally takes place in the middle of November. Kallimarmaro is also the last point where the Olympic Flame passes before delivering it to the host nation of Olympics. This happens every 4 years. Moreover, National Gardens and Zappeion exhibition hall are close to it, so you could easily reach them by feet. Additionally, the stadium hosted numerous of events like racecourses, basketball matches, concerts, archery and quite a few ceremonies. In antiquity, Athenians were celebrating Panathenaea at Kallimarmaro. The celebration of Panathenaea was taking place to honor Goddess Athena.
*Travel tip: Marathon became known by the homonymous battle fought in September of 490 B.C. between the Athenians and the Persians and nowadays many hotels organize special activities and hosting packages for you, if you want to attend the Marathon. They lead you to the gathering point to receive your participation package of the Marathon race. Also, they can pick you up from the finishing point. Or they are planning tours to the Marathon Tomb. 192 Athenians died at the historic battle. And of course after that the tour goes on at the Museum of Marathon Race. Over there you will see all the racers medals such as the award to Spyros Louis. S.Louis is the winner of the Marathon race in the Athens Olympic Games in 1896.
PS: If you liked this one, I am sure that you’re gonna love-love-looove the article about the main hils in Athens. Learn where you should go for a picnic. Either see the view or in which one you can just having a refreshing lemonade.