Athens. The place where I felt like a Goddess
Athens. The place where I felt like a goddess.
I warn you that it is an article with many photos! There were so many wonderful things to see and remember there that I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
Greece is always a good idea! That was proven to me again. I went to Athens at the end of February; This city has a very positive vibe, the people are relaxed, the Greeks takes care to make your stay as pleasant as possible. I would never get bored of walking on their streets, admiring the greenery and trees full of oranges, looking at the Acropolis or the blue sea, eating olives.
We stayed for 3 nights in Athens, in the Monastiraki neighborhood, at the Athens Luxury Mansion, a very nice Boutique hotel with a story rooftop, where we served breakfast. What a great place to start your day! Staying there meant being close to everything we wanted to see, we were, basically, 7 minutes away from Monastiraki Square (where there was a subway station), 10 minutes to Acropolis and so on. We are right in the historical center.
We came by plane, from the airport I took the subway to the Hotel. The price of a subway ticket from airport to center is 10 euros and the journey time was 40 minutes.
As I said earlier, Athens offers you a very special energy, a good contagious disposition, in a cool way. I will tell you what I saw, what we ate and why we enjoyed it.
1.First on the list is: ACROPOLIS
I could see it from the rooftop of the hotel, Superb! The entrance was 10 euros.
The best known, Acropolis in the world! This is a place where you can spend a whole day. With the sun in the sky and the weather on our side, it was wonderful to admire everything we had to offer. You can even see the sea.
The road up there was an adventure we enjoyed, there were all kinds of narrow streets that we had fun to go to, and the Plaka neighborhood was a pleasure.
It has housed, since ancient times, the main cult buildings of Athens. Destroyed entirely by the Persians during the wars, it was rebuilt in the period of the “golden century” of Pericle (5th century BC).
The Akros pole (Upper City) of Athens has been inhabited since the 3000s., And the Pelasgians were the first inhabitants of Athens (Atica), who fortified it against foreign invasions. In the period 650-480 BC the cult of the goddess Athens is established in the Acropolis. Acropolis is located on a rock 156 m above sea level. It is 300 m long and 150 m wide.
Parthenon. It is the temple dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos. Parthenon was built during the Golden Age of Pericle, between 447-432 BC. Pericle hired Fidias, who was assisted by the architects Ictinos and Callicrate and the sculptors Agoracritos and Alcamene, to build a temple dedicated to the goddess Athens. Parthenon is the most important surviving building in ancient Greece. It is considered to be the apogee of Doric art.
Temple of Athens Nike (Victorious). It was built between 427-424 BC. to celebrate the victories of the Athenians against the Persians.
In ancient times, in the temple, there was the statue of the Athenian goddess Nike, the one with the wings cut. On the eastern side you can see a bas-relief depicting a gathering of the gods. On the other sides of the temple can be seen scenes from various battles.
Erechtheion. It was built between 421-395 BC. It is said that the first olive tree in Athens rose here. In the Erechteion there is also the Cariatid Portico with support columns carved in the form of virgin saxes. The current columns are copies of the original columns. Five original columns are at the Acropolis Museum, and one at the British Museum in London.
Propylaea. It was built around 437 BC. as the main gateway to the Acropolis. The construction, designed by the architect Minesicles, represented symbolically, the delimitation of the profane world from the sacred world.
2. ANCIENT AGORA OF ATHENS
The ancient Agora is close to Monastiraki Square. Admission is 5 euros.
The ancient Greek Agora has been the Athens market since the 6th century BC. For 1200 years it was the center of Athens’ life, trade, politics, philosophy, art and sports competitions. In ancient times, Agora was the place where discourses of Socrates, Plato and Sophocles were held. It is the place where Aeschylus, Euripides and Herodotus passed. In the ancient Agora the Greek standards of weight and length were preserved.
What can be seen in Agora Antica:
The portico of Attalos. It was a commercial center built in the 2nd century i.e. n. by King Attalos II of Pergamon. It is a two-storey building that was restored between 1953-1956 and transformed into the Agorei Museum.
The Temple of Hephaistos (Thission). It was built between 449-444 BC. (The Golden Age of Pericle), before the construction of the Partheon. It is one of the best preserved temples in Greece. Hephaistos was the protective god of fire, crafts.
The portico Basileos (Basileios Stoa). It was built in the year 500 i.e.n. and hosted the legal chancellery of the ancient cults.
Agrippa’s Odeon, is a theater built by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa in the year 15 e.n. as a gift to the Athenians.
The Tholos Building. It was built around 470 BC. by Cimon to serve as a dining room for members of the senate.
The large drainage channel that collected water from torrential rains.
The altar of Zeus Agoraios. The temple was built in the 4th century BC.
Areopagus Rock, the place where St. Paul delivered the famous sermon to the Athenians (New Testament, verses 17: 22-34) and converted the first Athenians to Christianity. Today it is an important place of pilgrimage.
- Plaka neighborhood
One of the most famous neighborhoods of Athens. A place where you can walk, buy souvenirs or enjoy some good food. (close to Monastiraki Square)
- Square Syntagma
The place where you can see the guard exchange which is a true ritual. It happens at a fixed hours, lasts about 12 minutes and is a kind of dance.
- Monastiraki Market.
The place where everything starts. From here you can easily reach all the important sights. If you are looking for souvenirs, here you will find, if you want to eat, you have a wide range of restaurants to choose from. If you want to have a lunch or dinner overlooking the Acropolis, there are some very fancy rooftops that give you a perfect experience. We went to English. (you don’t find much traditional food on the menu, haha).
- Piraeus port and its surroundings
I fled to the port of Piraeus. I got there by metro (the cost of a trip is 1.5 euros). If you arrive in Piraeus do not stop where the ships are because you do not have much to see. 10 minutes from the port, on the other side you have a cliff, the port with yachts and boats and restaurants.
- Temple of Olympian Zeus
It is also known as Olympieion or the Columns of Olympian Zeus. Construction began in the year 515 i.e.n. and was completed 700 years later by the Roman emperor Hadrian. Of the 104 original columns, only 16 were preserved. The entrance to the Temple of Zeus the Olympian is made through the Hadrian’s Arch.
- The Olympic Stadium
The stadium that hosted the first modern Olympic Games, in 1896, was the one in Athens. Olimpice dates, according to historical documents, as early as 776 BC, even though it is supposed to have been organized long before this documentary record.
- Academy of Athens.
The Athens Academy is the largest research institution in Greece which first opened its doors in 1926. The main fields of study were philology, natural sciences, political sciences and fine arts. Today the Academy in Athens is the most important landmark of the city. Constructed from fine marble, the main building looks like a large temple, with high columns at the entrance. The inspiration of the architects started from the classical architecture existing in the 20th century. 5 I.Hr.
- Where do you eat in Athens?
Every place we ate impressed us. The food is fresh, tasty, and the Greeks want to make you satisfied with their services. We also went to a restaurant with live Greek music – Kotili (near Monastiraki Square), where we had fun dancing. One evening we had dinner at a restaurant that looked directly to Agora Antica. The rooftops are not to be missed either, having a great view towards the Acropolis. The prices are very affordable, a dinner for a person with a dish and drink costs about 20 euros. Of course, there are cheaper options, a Gyros costs 7-8 euros.
- The streets
It’s a real pleasure to walk the streets, here you will have:
Cats. We couldn’t help but take pictures to a few.
- Ermou (the most important shopping street).
Full of shops and tourists.
That was the atmosphere in Athens. I hope you want to visit it!
photo credits: Gabriel Cotet