Archaelogical Areas

Acropolis & The Surrounding Area

The most important archaeological area in Greece, the spiritual center of ancient Athens. The Rock of the Acropolis was inhabited since the Neolithic Age. In Mycenaean times were build fortified walls which protected the palace (the site of the Erechtheum) and their homes. The Parthenon the temple of Athena, dedicated for the salvation of the city and Athenian victories over the Persians. Built in the period 447-438 BC by Iktinos and Kallikrates and it is the largest temple of classical antiquity, with 8 x 17 columns, the culmination of the Doric order. Inside the temple stood the gold and ivory statue of Athena sculpture by Phidias, which unfortunately has been lost. The metopes depict the east side of Giants in southern Centaurs, Amazons in the western and north the fall of Troy. The east pediment, is the oldest and presents the birth of Athena. The central figures were lost in the early Christian period. In the western pediment of the Parthenon present the myth of Athena and Poseidon discord. The Parthenon burned probably by the Heruli (267 AD). In the 6th century converted into a Christian church. During the Frankish occupation (1205-1456) operates as a Catholic church and then as a mosque. The bombing of the Morosini (1687) attempt to distract from the Parthenon and to transfer them to Venice. In the early 19th denuded by the British diplomat Lord Elgin. The best preserved parts of pediments are in the British Museum today. The restoration of the Parthenon begun by the 1980 made under the highest standards.

The Erechtheion dominates the northern side of the Acropolis from the mythical king Erechtheus who gave his name of this Ionic temple (421 BC). In the Erechtheum was the ancient statue of Athena. The north arcade of the magnificent gate and generally in the Ionic unrevealed decor, from the base of the columns to the roof. On the east side there is a compelling series of six Ionic columns and pediment. On the south side is the porch of the Maidens (the originals are in the Acropolis Museum). The six daughters of the Erechtheion, symbol of female perfection and beauty, were later called "caryatids" in Honor of Artemis Caryatids. On the west side of the Erechtheion was dedicated to daughter of Cecrops, Pandrosos. n front of the porch of the Maidens and between the Parthenon and Erechtheum are the ruins of an ancient temple in the 6th century BC, dedicated to Athena.

On the southern slope of the Acropolis lies the "Odeon of Herodes Atticus", a Roman theater capacity of 5,000 spectators, built in 160 AD by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife Rigillis. Today hosts musical and theatrical performances. The Theater of Dionysus is located next to the "Odeon of Herodes Atticus" and almost all ancient tragedies and comedies were played in this theater which has a capacity of 17,000 spectators and with the around area filled could hold up to 30,000 spectators. The ancient theater divided into two parts ("Theater" and "Epitheater").

In the east side the Theater of Dionysus was the famous Conservatory of Pericles, (in ruins today). Built in the 5th century BC with the tissues of the Persian ships (from the battle of Salamis in 480 BC and was used for musical auditions. According to Vitruvius, the Conservatory was burned in the war against Mithridates (the invasion of the Roman general Sulla, 86 BC and then rebuilt by the king of Cappadocia, Ariovarzani.

Above the theater stands the Monument of Thrasyllos 319 BC and in Christian times transformed into a church of Panagia Chrysospiliotissa. Higher up the monument there are two Corinthian columns, tripods foundations of Roman times. West of the theater are the remains of the sanctuary of the god of medicine, Asklepios, in 420 BC. It operated as a sanctuary, office, hospital and medical school. Between Asklepios and Herodion there were other, ruined monuments like the tomb of Hippolytus, the archaic fountain, the sacred of Earth Kourotrophos, the Demeter Chloe and the pandemic of Venus. Just below the Asklepieion remains the Stoa of Eumenes, who worked for the convenience of spectators at the Theater of Dionysos, and later the Conservatory. The large two-storey building built along with a donation of the king of Pergamon Eumenes II (197-160 BC).

Propylaea: The imposing entrance, built between 437-432 BC designed by architect Mnesikles, is one of the masterpieces of classical architecture. The Mnesikles gave grandeur to the entrance similar to the temples that were on the Sacred Rock. The north wing was named because it was used as a gallery for the exhibition of paintings. The Doric columns outside the prevailing east and west. Inside the entrance are two tall Ionic columns.

Temple of Athena Nike: Small, elegant Ionic monument was build by the architect Kallikrates around 426-421 BC, on a tower of the Mycenaean wall. It is dedicated to the goddess Athena, now the prehistoric goddess Nike, protector of the entrance. Was demolished in 1686 by the Ottomans. The best view of the temple is one of the Propylaea.

Temple of Artemis: Located southeast of the Propylaea, arcade formed in shape with 10 Doric columns. Here worshipped the goddess Artemis. It is listed by the cult Vravrona, birthplace of Peisistratus in the mid-sixth century BC.

Chalkotheke: East of the Temple of Artemis are the foundations of an oblong building 5th century BC, believed to be the Chalkotheke and was used mainly for storing precious metals offerings.

Hourglass: On the western edge of the Acropolis is the source Hourglass in a cave which formerly called Empedo. It changed name because its waters were once obvious and sometimes lost. In 10th century AD, rocks fell into the fountain. In Christian times, onto the grassy ruins built the small church of the Apostles "the marbles". Later, the source was buried under the rocks and forgotten. In 1822, when Athens was released temporarily from the Turks, discovered from the Greek archaeologist Kyriakos Pittakis and make it known to the Greek chieftains.

Sanctuary of Apollo: Near Hourglass is the cave-temple of Apollo. The nine leaders "archons" of Athens, after the election and after having sworn came here to give oath. When ending their service, they offered a marble slab with carvings of laurel and wreaths in memory of a successful tenure in the community.

Zeus Cave lightnings: Next to the cave of Apollo is a second cave dedicated to Zeus. The father of gods also named as "Olympian", "Astrapaios" and "Keravnos". From literary sources we know that the cave of Zeus gathered the lightnings of "Pythaistes" every spring & waited for the lightning, (a sign of Zeus), from the top "Chariot" Parnitha to begin their journey to Delphi. The "Pythaistes" were the elite Athenian citizens representing the city & returning from the Delphi brought new fire "neon light" to clean the temples of Athens.

Cave of Pan: East of the cave of Zeus lightnings, found another small cave, dedicated to the god of forests and shepherds, "Pan". The worship of Pan in Athens came after the victory against the Persians at Marathon in 490 BC, according to the testimony of Herodotus. The Athenians honoured "Pan" here every year. Carved on the rock niches where small touching tributes, such as figurines, flutes, and even treats. The cave of Pan is known from the work of Aristophanes' Lysistrata. In Christian times, the sacred cave of goat-footed god is the church of St. Athanasius.

Agraflos & Ersis: From the latest research and studies assumed that this is sacred Ersis while Aglafros daughter of Cecrops was the most beloved princess of the Athenians. The cave is a fountain that was formed when the Mycenaeans immure the Acropolis (second half of the 13th century BC). The opening was on the Acropolis near the Erechtheum. A landslide of rocks covered up the source, but not the top which used as a secret exit from the Acropolis. In modern Greek history during the Nazi occupation, the evening of 30 May 1941 two new students, Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas, passed through the opening, fooling the guards and quietly approached the Nazi flag and took it down. After the release identified as the first in Europe resistance.

Sanctuary of Aphrodite Kipois: The worship of Venus was worshipped as a goddess of love and fertility. The ceremony "arriforon" revived an ancient agriculture custom that was designed to enhance fertility of the earth. On the same place are inscriptions of Venus. Going for a walk on the North side of the Acropolis, we can see outside the fence, Anafiotika district. White small houses with narrow streets and similar of the villages in Cyclades islands. This picturesque neighbourhood built in the mid-19th century.

Kerameikos cemetery of ancient Athens: The official cemetery of ancient Athens from the 11th century until the 2nd century AD Includes part of the ruins of ancient city walls with the Sacred Gate and the Dipylon. The most important part is the Street of Tombs, the right and left of which were the graves of rich Athenians. The area of ​​Kerameikos was named because of the existence of many pottery workshops.

The walls of ancient Athens: The distinguished "lithologimata", the three successive rows of stones dating back to classical times.

Ceramic Gates - Sacred Gate - Dipylon: The official entrance to the city. These gates divided the region into inner and outer Kerameikos, where there were the tombs. From the Sacred Gate began the Sacred Street leading to the Sanctuary of Demetra to Elefsina. From the Dipylon began the procession that went to the Acropolis during the Great Panathenaic festival. The Dipylon was the largest gate of the ancient world. Outside the Dipylon began the grand street Kerameikos the "Road to Akadimeian", 39 meters wide and 1.5 km. Left at Kerameikos ancient street, is the "State Signal" or "Polyandreion" which bury the ashes of Athenians who fell in war. Here, Pericles delivered his famous "Epitaph" speech to honor the first dead of the Peloponnesian War. In the inner Kerameikos, within the walls, there was the "Pompeion" building in preparation for the transmitters, which had three different phases of construction (400 BC 2nd century AD., 4th century AD). At the entrance of Pompeo, rises an impressive entrance and in front of him stretched a spacious square. Here, every four years formed the Panathenaic procession.

Kerameikos Museum: Includes a wide variety of funerary vessels from the 11th century BC-2nd century AD.

Address: 148 Ermou Str. Tel.: +30 210 3463552. Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 08:00-20:00 Sun 08:30-15:00. Free entrance for students.

The Ancient Market (Agora) is located east of Thisio. Here was the government and the authorities, the heart of economic and political center of Athens in ancient times. In 480 BC the Persians destroyed all the buildings but there were rebuilt in a more glamorous way.

Royal Stoa: It was built in the 5th century BC and is now buried beneath the train tracks.

Stoa of Hermes: On the north side of the Agora included wonderful paintings of “Polygnotus”.

Tholos: A circular building was the headquarters of the social democratic administration of 50 rectors who ruled the tenth time (36 days).

Altar of Zeus Agoraios: Located on the south side of Market. On the west side of Market, under the Thissio was the “Stoa of Zeus Elefthereos”, the temple of “Apollo Patroos” small Ionic temple 4th century BC, the parliament, the temple of the Mother of the gods, which were kept the public files, the canopy where they ate every day, monument of the Eponymous Heroes. The other side of the market are shopping arcades.

Stoa of Attalos: Located on the north side built by King Attalos II. The columns of the ground floor is Doric columns and the floor is Ionic.

Prison of Socrates: 100 meters from the southwest edge of the market. In the south was the court of “Heliaia”, the famous Fountain “Enneakrounos”, & the “Argyrokopeio” minted coins of Athens. The market crossed the path of the “Panathenaic” festival. In the Roman period build in the middle of the Agora, “the temple of Mars” (fifth century BC) & also the “Odeon of Agrippa”. In the SE of the Stoa of Attalos is a small public library “Pantainos”. In Byzantine times build the “Stoa of the Giants” for educational purposes.

The Temple of “Hephaestus (or Thissio)” built before the Parthenon on the low hill Agoraios Cologne, dedicated to the god of fire and metalworking, by the same architect, (his name remains unknown), who built the temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion and the Temple of Nemesis at Rhamnuda.

Roman Market (Agora): This is the natural extension of the ancient Greek Agora. Formed in Roman times, the second half of the first century BC, of Julius Caesar and Augustus. The building of Market (111 x 98 m) had a large rectangular patio surrounded by galleries, shops and warehouses. The surviving Ionic colonnade dating to the 2nd century AD. Best preserved columns are those of the south and east. In very good condition also retained the western entrance to the Gate of Athena Archegetis. South detected fountain and staircase. A second entrance - Ionic this time - range of shops and naming the eastern side, while the north remains prominent ruins of Vespasian, public toilets (first century AD). The Roman Forum became more important after the terrible destruction of Athens by the Heruli (267 AD) when many activities of the ancient Agora transferred to it.

Timetable Andronicus Kyrristou or Tower of the Winds: Situated west of the Roman Market (Agora). This octagonal tower built in the 1st BC century by the astronomer Andronicus Kyrro from Syria. An interesting building with a hydraulic clock mechanism, a combination vane and solar. Impressive are the reliefs of the winds with their symbols. In each of the eight sides of the embodiment shown a wind-Hence the name "Winds".

Address: Pelopida & Aiolou. Tel.: +30 210 3245220. Opening Hours: Everyday 08:00-20:00. Free entrance for students.

Olympeion: The stadium was built in 329 BC by the Governor Lycurgus to host the athletic competitions of the Panathenaic, the biggest festival of Athenians honoured the patron goddess Athena. In 1896 began the first modern Olympic Games.

Hadrian's Gate: The Athenians built the gate to Honor the emperor Hadrian filathinaio. Under this gate spent glorifying when Hadrian came to attend the opening of the monumental temple of Olympian Zeus. The gate was the landmark separation of the old city of Athens and the new settlement founded by Hadrian. On the east frieze above the arch, there is still the legend "here is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus". On the west side of the gate, the inscription "Theseus before the city", that from now is Athens, the former city of Theseus. Behind her there are the remains of the Temple of Olympian Zeus which is the largest temple in Greece

Temple Olympiou Zeus (Dios): The most monumental and majestic temple dedicated to the father of gods, Zeus. It had 104 columns, but today are only the 15 and 16th is on the ground (there are three rows of eight columns on the east and west side and two double rows on the long sides). North of Olympic, in a small grove, stand the remains part of Themistocles wall and Roman baths.

Address: 1 Olgas Str. Tel.: +30 210 9226330. Opening Hours: Everyday 08:00-20:00. Free entrance for students

Library of Adrianos: It was built and donated to the city of Athens by the Emperor Adrianos in 132 AD in a rectangular shape (122 x 82 m). Archaeological site is fenced, but are visible from the outside. This impressive building partially destroyed by the “Heruli” in 267 AD but renovated in the first half of the fifth century AD. At the same time in the atrium space rises a central plan building, known as “tetraconch”, probably the first temple of Athena, luxurious, with beautiful mosaics.

Between 11th and 12th century is built on the current road “Ares” the church “Holy Asomati” (now demolished) and “Atrium” in the center of the Christian Byzantine church. On the southwest side of the area was the “Voevodaliki”, residence and headquarters of the Turkish Governor of Athens, the “voivode”. Until the liberation (1833) the site of the Library functioned (as the ancient Greek Agora) as administrative commercial center. The bazaar in the eastern part of the Library was burned in 1884. After the destruction began the excavation and opened to the public first time in the summer of 2004.

Address: Monastiraki. Inputs: a) Adrianou 24, (St. Philip), b) St. Paul, Thiseio, c) end of Polygnotu Str. Tel.: +30 210 3210185, +30 210 3210219

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 08:00-16:30. Free entrance on Sunday and for students

Ticket € 12, people over 65 years € 6. (Applies to Agora, Kerameikos, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Dionysus Holy, Roman Agora, Hadrian's Library)

Supreme Court: A hill of 115m, dedicated to the god Mars, center of the Court of Athens in the period of aristocratic oligarchy ruled the city. Here according to "Acts of the Apostles" the Apostle Paul spoke of the Unknown God 50 AD.

Hill of the Nymphs - Pnyx (Pnika): A hill of 105 meters opposite the Supreme Court, next to Philopappos. It looks like an extension of the hill of the Muses. A landmark of the fifth century BC, "Dense Mountain", dedicated to the ethereal creatures, Nymphs. According to legend the nymphs conquer nature, and sometimes the souls of mortal minds. The Pnyx amphitheatrical area was oriented towards the acropolis. The hill of the Nymphs associated with the nearby hill of the Muses to arm the city's defensive wall, known as partitions.

Observatory: Built on the hill of the Nymphs by George Sina on projects of Theophile Hansen. In the same area is now the Seismological Institute. Northwest of the Observatory, where the great temple of Agia Marina, ruins of the old chapel 8th-9th. Very close to the point panorama, discovered traces of the Temple of Zeus and a little lower, the "kylistra" or "tsouliastra" in which came the Athenian women with difficulties to conceive.

Ancient Fortifications: During the last quarter of the fourth century BC, between the hill of the Nymphs and Filopappos, built new walls, northwest of the partitions Melitides Gates, leading to Meliti, and the "Dipylon Gate" on the road, next to the church of St. Demetrius Loumpardiari.

Hill of the Muses Philopappos: Southwest of the Acropolis stands the hill of the Muses of 147m. He was a holy shrine dedicated to the Muses built by Demetrius Poliorketes. Here, during the Roman Empire in 115 AD, with permission of the municipality, the funerary manument built Filopappos.

Ancient City of Meliti: He was among Agoraios Kolonos Areopagus and Pnyx which became part of the municipality. Together with the neighboring municipality of Hollow were the major cities of the classical era.

Ancient City of Hollow: Starting from the hills of Pnyx, outside the later partitions and extended south of the hill was one of the most populated areas of ancient Athens. The last quarter of 4th century BC transformed into a vast graveyard.

Ancient City Kolyttou: At the junction of footpaths Apostle Paul and Dionysius Areopagite with cobblestone paths we can admire the Acropolis. On top is a monument of the Roman Gaius Julius Antiochus Philopappos-2nd century and also to the sanctuary of Dionysus, "Vakcheion" and "Amyneion".

Lysicrates Monument or the Light of Diogenis: The unique monument kept intact until today and has established itself as an emblem of Plaka area. It is a circular marble building built by Lysicrates in 334 BC in memory of an artistic victory.

Holy Bride: Beside and in front of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus was a Holy Bride. Inside were wedding vases. The virgin women of Athens wanted the support of the Bride to be happy in their marriage.

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