Lives in Tucson
Since Dec 2009
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Ancient Ruins, Monuments & Statues
Art Museums, History Museums
Ancient Ruins, Architectural Buildings, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Historic Sites, Theatres
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Government Buildings, Historic Sites
Ancient Ruins, Sacred & Religious Sites
Arenas & Stadiums
The Evzone Guards are (for me) the main attraction. Every hour, the formal "changing of the guard" presentation takes place. These soldiers are the elite of the military, perfect physical specimens wardrobed in the period-piece skirted outfits (with pom poms on their toes!) and, oh my, my ... how they can twirl those legs (at the knee) in physically impossible rotations! The footwork incorporates a fantastic foot-dragging accent beat. You can easily see why these guys are heart throbs for the young women. But the real seriousness of the event really has everything to do with the tragic situation they honor ... the brave soldier who lies, unkown, and who historically has given his all for his people (a story told the world over).
Pre-dating the Parthenon, the Mycenaean civilization (from almost 1,000 years ago) flourished and this palace once stood, intact. Today, the remains are evidence that a 2-story edifice once graced this landscape. The caryatids (maidens which are the support pieces) form a part of the Erechtheion.
This is a high-in-the-sky small piece of real estate with views of a sea of humanity but still it is a really pleasant little vista on top of an incredibly small "hill" . This is where one finds oneself up on top of the "Hill" (aka Mt. Lycabettus). Do plan on eating there at the cafe. The sandwiches and beer are super!
This is a must-see and must-do for everyone who comes to Athens. Travel in time via the sculptures which represented the people as far back as 7,000 B.C. The museum has many spectacular exhibits but don't overlook visiting the "fighting Gaul" which serves as a reminder of the fighting spirit of these (considered to be) savage peoples. In one's free time, do an internet search for the "Dying Gaul" for a sensitive portrayal of these primitive peoples. This is an excellent introduction to historical Greece through ceramics and sculpture. Most rooms are on the first floor and are numbered.
This treasure is what people come to Athens to see. Although in ruins, it still dominates the city of Athens like nothing else can. Sitting high on a hill (but not so high as one other "Hill" aka Lykavittos), much of Athens looks up at this monument ... now and as it always has. This "treasure" for us, was visually a feast of exquisite frieze panels which, fortunately, the visitor can see up close in the mueum which is home to the originals (copies are outside where the elements cannot damage them further). War scenes are depicted and if a visitor does not take time to appreciate the realism in those scenes, then another return trip is required! Facial expressions, arms raised in battle, horses falling, the whole of the war scene unfolds right there in front of the spectator. The muses, holding up the roof (so to speak), are finely crafted and most memorable.
When we were there on our trip, an orchestra was rehearing for an upcoming performance. What a setting! The accoustics were amazing and how memorable it would be to experience a concert in this setting, just a short distance from the Parthenon.
"Plaka" means shopping (and eating), for anyone who visits Athens. Great fun little restaurants, many shopping opportunities, and such an inviting and welcoming environment. It is pretty close to the flea market (which you may want to pass on visiting unless you really want someone's old trash) and a real destination unto itself.
Home to the Parthenon, this is a highly elevated hill in the city of Athens. This is an all-day event, if one does it right. Wear very good walking shoes and pack binoculars.
Three floors high, this modern building (built in about 2009) showcases pieces from the Acropolis. The 6 female figurines (caryatids) which seem to hold up the Erechtheion Temple's roof are located here; a bit worse for the effects of 50 years of air pollution. A portion of the Parthenon Fireze is here; it depicts a celebration procession with an amazing collection of people and animals caught up in the moment (and preserved for all time).
Ancient Agora is a large geographical area composed mostly of ruins today. It had been the center of Greek life until it was conquered and dstroyed in the 3rd century B.C.
Not too far from Ancient Agora, this popular "square" or busy center is home to the flea market (pass that by, not worth the time and effort to look at old, broken junk) and the many stalls of vendors selling everything from foods to souvenirs. Here an be found lots of outdoor dining opportunities at the many restaurants, and this location is also very close to the ruins of Hadrien's Library. A 12th century church and a mosque (now a library) are points of interest.
The heart of Athens resides here. This is where demonstrations take place, the Evzone guards honor the tomb of the unknown soldier, and from where the government presides. It's an impressive hub of activity with powerful architecture.
Located in the Ancient Agora section, it is remarkably well-preserved for a building dating back to the 5th century B.C. The Frieze memorializes mythological battles and rape, centaurs, and was a church until the 1800's.
About 80,000 spectators can fill this stadium. We can't imagine you'd need a tour of the stadium as all of it is pretty much visually open to passers-by. It did host the 2004 Olympics.