Discover the Cradle of Olympics Athens, Greece

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For those who love the iconic shoe brand, the word Nike in Greek means victory. Athena was the icon of victory in wisdom and war. The temple on the Acropolis was where the citizens offered worship before the long war with the Spartans and also marked the ambition to become the most important Greek state. Built between 427-424 BC, the ruins of this temple stand as a survivor of antiquity along with the Parthenon and Erechtheion

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Discover the Cradle of Olympics Athens, Greece

  1. 1. 22 Discover the Cradle of Olympics- Athens, Greece Part 2 Posted by Elizabeth D’Costa on 22nd, August 2012 Welcome back to my part 2 on this article series on Discover the Cradle of Olympics- Athens Greece. In part 1 my tours in Greece started at Acropolis today I will continue to the Parthenon,sit back and enjoy: Parthenon The finest and most enduring symbol of Ancient Greece and Classical Greek Architecture, the Parthenon is a temple dedicated to the patron Goddess of the city, Athena. It was completed in 432 BC. Many famous men and women have visited this temple that was converted into a Church in 5 AD, then a mosque during the Ottoman rule, was partially destroyed in 1687 and then restored to what it stands as today, one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. The temple friezes and pediments depict ancient scenes and legends related to the city’s protector, Athena. Some of the statues that were restored after the destruction are now kept in the London Museum while the rest can be seen in the New Acropolis Museum. Temple of Athena Nike For those who love the iconic shoe brand, the word Nike in Greek means victory. Athena was the icon of victory in wisdom and war. The temple on the Acropolis was where the citizens offered worship before the long war with the Spartans and also marked the ambition to become the most important Greek state. Built between 427-424 BC, the ruins of this temple stand as a survivor of antiquity along with the Parthenon and Erechtheion. Travel To Greece | Travel To Athens Discover Venice 2. New Acropolis Museum Built nearby and over the old museum and archeological site, the museum has glass flooring and open spaces where one can view the excavations. It houses every artifact found on and at the foot of the Acropolis that represents the Greek Bronze Age, Greco- Roman and Byzantine Greece. Fifty percent of the statues from Parthenon have been restored and kept here. The modernity of the museum with it contemporary and dramatic design against the backdrop of an ancient city feels a bit queer at first but once you enter the museum, those feelings are laid to rest. Entry into the museum is the best bargain you can get into a glimpse of Ancient history!
  2. 2. 3. Plaka and Anafiotika As you descend down the slope of the Acropolis, visit the towns of Plaka and Anafiotika, the city’s oldest neighborhoods and the past home of the Ottomans. Ambling down Plaka’s narrow paved streets flanked with beautiful architecture, attractive boutiques and souvenir shops, a 19th century Greek House and interacting with the friendly Greeks at the quaint cafes, restaurants and bars, lets you take in the flavor of Athens and the Greek lifestyle. If you travel a bit further, you would come across the village of Anafiotika created by migrant workers. Its lazy cobbled streets are lined with whitewashed cube houses and bougainvillea lacing the walls lend them color and shade. Plaka is a maze you can afford to lose yourself in, for an hour or two. 4. Temple of the Olympian Zeus Dedicated to Zeus, the greatest and mightiest of all Greek Gods, this temple was meant to be the greatest temple in the ancient world. Unfortunately wars, invasions and change of empires thwarted the building of this great structure. What began in 6 BC finally ended in 131 AD. It was further damaged and what remains now is but a shadow of the original magnificent structure that consisted of 104 Corinthian columns measuring 17 meters in height and a giant gold and ivory statue of Zeus and Hadrian (who got a place there only because he managed to complete the temple!) Greek Tours | Travel To Athens Vacation To Greece 5. Theatre of Dionysos During the golden age of Athens, the theatre held some of the best Greek dramas and productions of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripedes. The 6th century timber theatre was reconstructed in stone and marble between 342- 326BC and could seat more than 17000 spectators. 6. Odeon of Herodes Atticus This is the venue for the Athens festival between May-Oct featuring some of the world class performances in dance, theatre and orchestra. The amphitheatre was built by Herodes in 161 AD in memory of his wife. Today, backlit by the Acropolis, the Odeon is a surreal setting for summertime performances. 7. Ancient Agora This is the place where democracy was born. Socrates and Plato walked these paths engaging the Athenians in their philosophical discourses. The Agora is identified with every Greek town because it simply meant a central gathering
  3. 3. place. The Ancient Agora at Athens consists of many buildings and structures that are important from a historic perspective. 8. Temple of Hephaestus This is the most complete surviving structure of the Greek Classical Architecture of the Doric order present near the Agora. Hephaestus was the Greek God of fire and forge and legend has it that in relieving Zeus of a headache, he was instrumental in the birth of the Goddess Athena! In 700 BC it was converted to a church of St George and remained that way until the mid 1800’s. Although they are both of the same architectural style, the Parthenon is still considered the finest example of Doric architecture today.

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