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Parthenon
Parthenon
#About the Perfectly Preserved Temple, and the Symbol of Athens

The symbol of the Acropolis in Athens, and the most famous building here, is without a doubt the Parthenon, located right in the middle of the Acropolis.

The Parthenon is the main ruins of ancient Athens. This is a temple built in the 5th century BC, as a tribute to the goddess Athena. In building the temple, the citizens of Athens thanked the goddess Athena, the patron of Athens, for helping them win the war against the Persians. The Parthenon was built right in the place where before stood a more ancient temple that the Persians destroyed during the war.

Like many ancient buildings around the world, and like many pieces of art throughout history, the Parthenon is built in the proportions of the "golden ratio," according to the rules of aesthetics that crossed periods, known as "divine proportion."

Besides the Parthenon, the Acropolis in Athens has many other ruins of former buildings, like the Temple of Athena and the Erechtheion. There are two theaters and a variety of statues from ancient times.




#Parthenon Architecture

If the Parthenon has any outstanding features, it is its incredible design and stance. The temple was built between the years 447 AD - 438 AD at the highest point on the Acropolis. All the white marble for the Parthenon was brought from the mountains of Penteli, near Athens.

It was built in the Dori style, as you can see by the special crowning on its columns. The Parthenon is built of 8 horizontal Dorian columns, and 17 vertical columns. The Dori style represents the most fascinating architecture to survive to this day, and this is without a doubt the best Dori building in the world.

In ancient times, the Parthenon consisted of two rooms. The first was "The Virgin Room," which is also the meaning of the word Parthenon. The second, "The Treasure Room," a place where the treasures where held collected as taxes by Athens. At the center of the temple was a statue of Athena, created by the famous sculptor Phidias, a big name in the sculpting world at the time, it is the same man who sculpted the statue of Zeus in Olympia, a statue that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This was a large statue, made of wood and covered with ivory and gold.

The perfect proportions of the Parthenon, and the great placement of the columns, as well as its height on the Acropolis, are what make this site a must-visit while in Athens.




#History of the Parthenon

The Parthenon was built in the 5th century BC, as a token of gratitude for the goddess Athens, and a temple for her. In building the temple, the citizens of Athens thanked the goddess Athena, the patron of Athens, for helping them win the war against the Persians. The Parthenon was built right in the place where before stood a more ancient temple that the Persians destroyed during the war.

To be precise, the building of the Parthenon began in 447 BC, and was finalized 9 years later, in 438 BC.

During the years, the Parthenon was used in consideration with the changing tides of history in Athens. In certain periods it was also a church, a mosque, and even an ammunition warehouse.

Throughout the years, though the building has survived, it was damaged quite a bit. It happened mainly when it was bombed, at the time of the Venetian siege over Athens, in 1687. The Parthenon was also completely destroyed, but partially remained.



#Tips

If you arrive in the area around 6:00 pm, you will feel the relief as most of the tourist crowd begins to disappear. The Parthenon is also light with special lighting at this time.



Here is the Parthenon and Findings from Inside:

https://youtu.be/G1D5hbxa8CM


How the Parthenon Looked in Ancient Times:

https://youtu.be/aGitmYl6U90
Erechtheion
Erechtheion
#About the Temple with 6 Female Pillars

The Erechtheion at the top of the Acropolis in Athens, is a temple to the gods Athena and Poseidon (god of the sea). This is also the final resting place of Erechtheus, of the first kings of Athens.

In the Erechtheion there are wonderful carvings, and one can see the Caryatids, which are figures of sculpted women, in ancient Greece they were used as support pillars for the buildings. Six Caryatids that was here hold the terraces roods, and are the most beautiful of their kinds in the world. The ones you see here are actually copies of the original Caryatids, 5 of them were moved for display in the New Acropolis Museum in order to preserve them from the famous air pollution of Athens. The sixth pillar, is located in a British Museum, after a British Lord took one hundreds of years ago.

In the temple itself, notice Poseidon striking the ceiling and floor, and taking water from the stream, in a competition against Athena. According to mythology this competition was held to see whose name would be the new name of the city. You can already guess who won that competition in Athens, right?

Next to the grave, on its northern side, you can see an olive tree. According to Greek mythology, Athena planted this tree, while competing with Poseidon, by striking the rock with a spear.



#Tips

If you arrive here in the evening hours, after 6:00 pm, you will feel at ease with the crowds of tourists who surround the area.



A Closer Look at the Erechtheion:

https://youtu.be/lhHcCkeQnqQ


The Model and the Reconstruction:

https://youtu.be/lkwvdubH6zs


A Visit:

https://youtu.be/_6bX9NPRA_M
Gournia
Gournia
#About the Most Preserved Minoan City in Crete

Thousands of years ago the Island of Crete was the center of the Minoan people and culture. On the island, there are ruins of palaces, and vast amounts of information on the civilization that shows their history way of life in a positive manner, which lasted a long time.

It all ended when the Minoan civilization ceased to exist. This happened because of a volcano eruption that caused a massive tsunami.

Among the Minoan ruins, many remains can be seen at Gournia, a famous archeological site for the most preserved Minoan city in Crete. Gournia resembles a narrow maze with small houses built around a small palace overlooking the Mirabello Bay.

Gournia dates back to the 15th century BC. Among the ruins in the city are a small palace and small houses on the top of a hill. Between the house structures, a small street can be made out with stairs, today this is one of the most famous archeological sites in Crete.



A Closer Look at Gournia:

https://youtu.be/ze6ATJtF8R8
Heraklion Archeological Museum
Heraklion Archeological museum
#About Crete's Archeology Museum

The Heraklion Archeological Museum is a great archeological museum, hosting many treasures and remains of old civilizations, near Hellenistic and Roman exhibits from later periods.

Here you can see the Phaistos Disk, which has symbols that no one has been able to decipher yet.

At a different area of the museum, you can see a replica of a 4,000-year-old carriage with 4 wheels. This is the earliest proof for the use of the wheel on the Island of Crete.

The museum features beautiful Minoan figurines. Pay attention to the statues of snake goddesses from the Minoan period, and an acrobatic statue of a bull, all made of gold and ivory.

There are also findings that were discovered at the Minoan harbor of Kato Zakros. These findings are very important to researchers, as they are proof of the trade relations between Crete, Phenicia, and Egypt. There is jewelry from Egypt and ivory artifacts from Syria.

Also, pay attention the frescoes found in the ruins of Knossos. Among these, you can find the "Prince of Lilies" wearing a crown of feathers. There are also frescoes of dolphins, acrobats riding bulls, and elegant women.



A Closer Look at the Heraklion Archeological Museum:

https://youtu.be/epaphh76YZk

Antiquities

Historical Museum of Crete
Historical Museum of Crete
#About the Historical Museum of Crete

The Historical Museum of Crete lays next to the beach in the city of Heraklion, the capital of the Island of Crete.

Frescoes, statues, religious designs, jewelry, clothes and coins - the museum showcases many artifacts from Crete's rich history. There are many cultures who are exhibited here who were conquered, those who came to rule the city, including findings from the periods of Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman, and modern times.

The permanent exhibits are displayed on the third floor by category. There is a collection here of the Middle Ages and Renaissance that are shown through the times of the Bynzantine, Venetian and Ottomans.

There are also more modern displays here, cultural folk art, paintings and copies of the paintings of artist El Greco, there is even a space that was devoted to the Greek poet and philosopher, Nikos Kazantzakis.

#El Greco in the Museum

At a very respectable spot, the Historical Museum of Crete places the famous painter and artist, a Crete local - Domenico Teotocopoulos, better known for his nickname - El Greco.

In a certain way, El Greco, who is considered one of the important artists of the Renaissance, found his fame only after leaving Crete and going to Spain, learning to paint, and becoming an artist.

Ironically, the only painting by El Greco that is displayed here is the "View of Mt. Sinai and the Monastery of St. Catherine." This painting was painted during El Greco's stay in Venice, when he was studying under the famous artist Tiziano.



A Closer Look at the Museum's Displays:

https://youtu.be/gqyiwlCiFAc
Ramses II's Gate Garden
Ramses II's Gate Garden
#About the Garden that is the Core of Jaffa

Ramses II's Gate Garden, the ruins in front of you, are the oldest ruins in Jaffa. They are located in an archeological dig that was excavated in the 1950's, with many findings throughout history being discovered.

In the archeological dig there are ruins of residents from more than 4,000 years ago. These are remains of a moat, a wall that surrounded the hill from the 18th century BC, during the second Bronze Age. The buildings were originally built of soil blocks that were built on the foundation of fieldstones.

These remains, like others around the region of Canaan, that Jaffa, already back in the day, was under occupation and rule from Egypt.

Digs on the southern side of the hill are archeological digs of remains from an Egyptian city during a later period, more than 3,500 years ago. From this settlement the city of Jaffa was built, and eventually reached the Jaffa we see today.

"Ramses Gate" that you see in front of you, was recreated and built above the stone wall. It exemplified how the gate used to look on the Egyptian fortress that used to be here, more or less more than 3,300 years ago.

The original remains of the gate, by the way, are placed at the Jaffa History Museum. The gate's name was given to it after inscriptions of three of the five names of Ramses were found on it, alongside a series of honorary titles for the king and ruler.



A Look at the Replica Made in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem:

https://youtu.be/TpsFcGBW6R8
Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya
Catalan Museum of Archaeology
#About the Museum

If you are visiting Barcelona, come to the magical Montjuïc Hill, and one of the greenest places in the city. On top of the hill, you can find the Catalan Museum of Archaeology, a museum that will invite you to discover the history of the area and enjoy archeological items that were found in Catalonia and the entire area. The displayed items in the space are impressive and curious. The museum lays in the Graphic Arts Museum, that was built for the World Expo of Barcelona in 1929.

Under the management of the Catalan Museum of Archaeology is a system of museums that are spread around the Catalan region, and manage the most important archeological history and their collections.

The "Iberian Way" is a tourist cultural project that belongs to the museum, and its purpose is to show visitors the main Iberian sites, made of 17 sites and 7 tracks and takes visitors 2,000 years back. If you are interested - this is the place to receive information about the archeology of the area and to go and discover.



A Closer Look at the Museum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rprgXURtx4
Goulandris Museum
Goulandris Museum
#About the Museum that Displays Art from the Cycladic Islands

The Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art is a museum that presents mostly the ancient art of the people of the Cycladic Islands. These are Greek Islands located in the Aegean Sea, these comprise of more than 200 islands, their art is interesting and unique to its era.

The archeological finds here demonstrate the quality of the ancient Cycladic culture, who, from 3200 BC up to 2000 BC flourished on these islands. The findings here include about 200 objects from a couple of collectors named Nicolas and Aikaterini Goulandris. The museum, as you probably understand, is named after this couple.

The Cycladic collections, the most important in the museum, mainly include stone figures, stone utensils, and ceramics from the 3rd century BC. The main features are the Cycladic statues, recognized by their white body figures and their angular faces, without eyes.

The four floors of the museum are divided by periods, and only some of the floors are dedicated to art from the Cycladic Islands. The upper floors include ancient Greek art and reliefs from the former civilizations of Cyprus.

In the museum you can see Greek Amphorae and vases, ancient and beautiful that usually include drawn figures in the colors red and black. Near them you can see cylindrical stone beads from the 4th century BC, ceramic jars from the 13th century BC, a two-neck drinking container from Cyprus from the 3rd century BC, and more.

If you will exit to the beautiful garden you will see, adjacent to the beautiful museum building the Stathatos Mansion. This building is designed in the neo-classical style at the end of the 19th century, by the famous architect Ernst Ziller. Today this is a wing in the museum, where the museum offices are located, and also hosts some temporary exhibits.




#Tips

Entrance for anyone under the age of 19, or anyone with disabilities enters for free.

On Mondays, entrance is free to all visitors.

Souvenirs at the souvenir shop in the museum are very expensive. You can purchase imitations of Cycladic sculptures at a much lower price at souvenir shops in the Plaka district.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/CfutABp9C8w


National Archaeological Museum
National Archaeological Museum
#About the National Archeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum of Greece is located in Athens, and is without a doubt among the most important archeological museums in Greece. If you have the time or the patience for just one museum while you are in Athens, we recommend the National Archaeological Museum.

The museum was opened in 1874 and is located in a very impressive building, built for the museum. Inside are a variety of ancient Greek treasures, through its different periods, more varied than any other museum in the world.

Here, for example, are rare accessories from the island of Santorini, ivory and bronze statues, as well as frescoes from the 16th century, the 'Mask of Agamemnon,' molding from gold, and other creations from the Island of Mykonos, display items from the Mycenaean period, and ancient items from the Island of Delos, and more.


#Tips

For those 18 years or younger, entrance is free.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/kmsC6-zjyas
Temple of Olympian Zeus
#About the Remains of the Impressive Temple for Zeus

When the Temple of Olympian Zeus was completed, it was larger than the Parthenon on the Acropolis, and was considered the biggest temple in Ancient Greece. Today there are only 15 columns visible, but they are still impressive and give a sample to the size and grandeur of the temple.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus went through many stages of construction and pauses. Its building began in the year 515 BC, and was completed in the 2nd century AD, during the Roman rule. According to those architectural times, the temple had 104 impressive Corinthian columns, tall and fancy.

Like the Arch of Hadrian nearby, the Temple of Olympian Zeus owes its completion for the visit of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in Athens, during the Roman rule over Greece. And so the building was complete right before his historic visit.

Today, visitors at the site can see mostly the remains of the massive buildings, and imagine how it looked in the old days, a structure that was larger than the Parthenon, and the largest temple in all of Greece.

In the area around of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, are a number of monumental and historic building, like the Arch of Hadrian, 18 meters tall, was also erected for the visit of Hadrian in Athens, the public Roman Bath House, and a few Roman temples.




#The History of the Temple of Olympian Zeus

The building of the Temple of Olympian Zeus began during the reign of Peisistratus around the year 515 BC. Initially, for a few years, the building was going smoothly and without issues. However pretty soon the building was halted, when Hippias, son of the tyrant, was exiled.

More than 300 years later, in 175 BC, the work continued. This was during the rule of the Hellenistic Syrian King, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. For the planning of the temple, the Roman architect was appointed, Cossutius. However, 11 years later when Antiochus died, the building was halted once more.

Again 300 years passed, until, before Hadrian's visit to Athens in the 2nd century, the building was completed. This is when the temple was dedicated to Olympian Zeus.

Researchers are certain that an earthquake started the deterioration of the temple, at a later period. In the Middle Ages and in later periods, the temple was torn apart, with many of its stones being taken and used elsewhere.



#Architecture of the Temple of Olympian Zeus

The original dimensions of the Temple of Olympian Zeus were 96 by 40 meters. Out of the 104 original columns, 15 are left standing, and one laying on the ground. The size of the columns are a little over 17 meters, with a 2-meter circumference.

Originally, these columns surrounded a central inner room where large statues were located. The marble inside that was used for the building of the temple was brought from Mount Pentelus.




#Tips

In the last week of September, the entrance is free.

On Sundays between November 1st and March 31st, the entrance is free.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/Qx-jhn3K96g


Another Look:

https://youtu.be/aqABael4TRo


Maybe this is How it Once Looked:

https://youtu.be/nfKcq9pGJTo
Noon Day Gun
#About the Cannon that is Fired Every Day At Noon

Hong Kong's Noon Day Gun is a naval cannon stationed in the Causeway Bay area. According to the name "Cannon of the Day," they fire it every day at noon.

In English tradition, which has been going on since 1850, a uniformed Matheson guard goes out every day and rings the bell. In this he marks the changing of the shifts. Then he fires the cannon on the shoreline and rings the bell again.

It is said that the custom was born when one of the senior members of the British Royal Navy arrived in Hong Kong. He did not like the fact that a barrage of honor was fired from a cannon in honor of senior officers only. He then ordered to fire the cannon every day at noon. The custom continues even today, when England no longer controls Hong Kong. This is because the cannon has become a popular tourist attraction in Hong Kong, just like similar cannons in Edinburgh, Scotland and Cape Town, South Africa.

According to British tradition, it is customary to fire a cannon at midnight on December 31, to symbolize the New Year.

By the way, in 1961 they replaced the previous cannon with a smaller cannon used during the Battle of Yutland during World War I. The reason was not historical, but from complaints of residents that the sound of the cannon was to great.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/nnlwd8rxHug


The Cannon Firing Ceremony:

https://youtu.be/d9FX1FHIB6g
Propylaea
#About the Acropolis's Gate Structure

The Propylaea is a monumental gate located next to the Athena Nike Temple in the Athens Acropolis. The Propylaea was built in the 5th century BC as the entrance gate to the Acropolis, and actually begins the splendor and decorations of the sacred domain of the concentration of temples in the Acropolis.

The fully decorated Propylaea takes care of the height differences at the entrance to the Acropolis, and impresses those entering through. It is interesting that the gate was never fully built. In the 17th century, it was actually badly damaged by canon fire, and still managed to maintain its impression.

Notice on the left side, before the entrance, the Monument of Marcus Agrippa. He was the deputy, partner in power and the beloved son-in-law of Emperor Augustus. Up until his untimely death, Marcus Agrippa was the successor for Emperor Augustus, and even married his shrewd daughter, Julia. History tells that the known Marcus Agrippa was loved by the commoners, however, the Roman nobility disliked and were jealous of him, he himself ordered this monument to be erected, as if the people of Athens adored him and erected this statue for him.


#Architecture of the Propylaea

The Acropolis's Propylaea reminds of a facade of a church with 6 columns. The distance between the main columns is large because the planners thought of carriages that would go through with sacrifices.

The assumption is that the Propylaea was built over an earlier entrance, whose structure or size is unknown.

Most of the columns in the Propylaea are in the Dori style. Only the middle columns, the taller ones, are Greek-styled columns. There is an explanation that they were built in this style, so as not to look to messy.


#What is Propylaea?

The Propylaea is a monumental gate structure that was used in ancient times, both in Greek architecture and in the Roman construction that was based on it. Simply put, this is a gate structure with columns.

The meaning of the name Propylaea is in the combination of pro - meaning "before" and "pylaea" which means "columns." This combination was first given to this Propylaea, the entrance gate of the Acropolis in Athens, the one you see here.

Later, the term was used in other places, since its meaning is simply the "gate." Indeed, the Propylaea buildings were erected in antiquity in many places. Among them were profiles in ancient sites such as Mycenae and Baalbek.

Interestingly, modern architecture continued to use the principle of the Propylaea of the Acropolis in Athens. The Brandenburg Gate, perhaps the most well-known building of Berlin, is a Propylaea structure based on the historical structure here.





A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/fyy0UmvnIxo
Jerusalem Archaeological Park
#About What the Excavations on the Southern Side of the Western Wall Discovered

On the Temple Mount, the Sages (may their memory be blessed) said, "Those who have not seen the Temple of Herod have not seen a beautiful building before." Around you, you can see real remains that will show you what they meant.

Welcome to the excavation site near the southern part of the Temple Mount, outside the walls of the Old City. You are in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, where you can see the excavations of the southern wall of the Jewish Temple.

Here one can see the steps on which the Sages dwelled and from which the pilgrims entered the Temple.

You can also see a stone from the "house of blowing," the place where the shofar was blown in the Temple Mount.

See also the ashes of the fire from the Romans when they burned Jerusalem.



#The Place of the Stones of the Western Wall

Notice the original pavement from the Herodian street, the one built during Herod's reign. It is the same street that continues northward, to the Western Wall tunnel area, and southward - to the area of ​​the Shiloah Pool in the City of David.

Pay attention to the outlet in the middle of the paving. It may seem to you like just a dent, but it is a remnant of the greatest drama of the Jewish people, which will affect its history for the last two thousand years. This depression was created from a pile of stones that fell on the street, right at the time of the destruction of 70 CE, when the Romans destroyed the Temple.

Most of the stones in the heap above the depression, incidentally, were evacuated from here and buried elsewhere in the compound. This was because it was feared that these stones were part of the Temple itself.



#Robinson's Arch

Raise your head and see the remains of the rainbow that once rose above. This is the Robinson's Arch, named after the British researcher who identified these remains as early as the 19th century. These are the remains of a monumental staircase, which during the Second Temple period tens of thousands of pilgrims climbed into the Temple Mount.

When the arch was complete, it joined up with the almost complete base, which is below. See it? - Pretty. Note that this is perhaps the most ancient interchange in the world and perhaps the first in history.



#What is the Southern Wall?

The southern wall is the continuation of the Western Wall, to the south. It is also almost as high as the Western Wall. It is located on the southern side of the wall that supports the Temple Mount plaza in the Old City and in fact is the southern wall of the entire Old City.

All findings you see in the archaeological garden, were discovered in the excavations carried out there after the liberation of the Old City in the Six Day War.

The southern wall is considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the Old City, alongside the excavations that exposed the Western Wall tunnels and the Western Wall itself.

Alongside the important discoveries that you see here in Jewish history, the importance attributed to the southern wall is also connected to the Muslim belief that here, right here, Muhammad tied his mare to the Wall and went up to the Temple Mount to pray there and ascend to Heaven.




A Close Look at the Western Wall Excavations at Night:

https://youtu.be/NzHdGbcPT_I
Festos
#About the Palace

During the Minoan period, Festos, situated approximately 63 kilometers south of Heraklion, was the city of the second most important palace of Knossos. Festos was destroyed around 1450 BC, along with the other Minoan palaces in Crete.

Festos is located in an impressive hillside with a stunning view of Ida Mountain and the Messara Plain, a plateau with particularly fertile land.

The structure of the palace on the site of the ancient Festos is reminiscent of the palace in Knossos, however unlike the latter, the palace in Festos does not have magnificent frescoes. However, Festos is much more serene than its more popular competitor. A visit to Festos Palace is a more relaxing experience.

Popular attractions here include the pottery house, the maze of ruins, the Minoan courtyard and the theater with terraced stone seats and a huge staircase, a peristylium hall, and a large central courtyard.

Do not look for the Phaistos disk, which has yet to be deciphered. The mysterious disk dating back to 1600 BC, was discovered here during archaeological excavations, and is now on display at the Heraklion Museum of Archeology.


A Closer Look at Festos:

https://youtu.be/FS2x8Y5uPu4


Another Look:

https://youtu.be/jVKt7kK3F4c
Knossos Palace
#About the Famous Palace of the Minoan Civilization

Knossos Palace is a large archaeological site that is located a few kilometers south of Heraklion. It was built in the ancient city of Knossos, generally known as the central city in the Minoan culture of the Bronze Age.

The construction of the palace began about 4,000 years ago, however after approximately 300 years the original palace was destroyed. A much more magnificent palace was built upon its ruins, which was also destroyed around the year 1450 BC. This occurred during a violent earthquake, which hit not only the island of Crete but also the island of Santorini.

Before it was destroyed, this palace covered an area of about two square kilometers. It was developed around the famous legend of the labyrinth built by King Minos. The labyrinth was built to hold the Minotaur - a human being with the head of an ox born to the king's wife. In this labyrinth, the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus were imprisoned and from there the two took off to the sky.



#The Legend of Icarus and Daedalus in the Heavens

One of the most famous legends in Greek mythology took place in this palace. It is the story of Icarus.

According to Greek mythology, Icarus was the only son to Daedalus. He was a reckless, clumsy child, whose father was an artist and an inventor. When King Minos of Crete asked him to build the labyrinth, a maze designed to hide from the world and hold the monstrous Minotaur, the son of Minus's wife, Daedalus did so willingly. He managed to create a labyrinth form which the Minotaur could not escape.

However, once Dedalus finished building the labyrinth, he was surprised when King Minos imprisoned him and Icarus in a tower so that no one would discover the secrets of the labyrinth.

Daedalus and Icarus managed to escape from the tower and decided to flee the island of Crete. But the island was surrounded by ships and guards, so the two decided to make wings of birds' feathers, which were connected by wires of wax.

Before they began to fly, the father warned Icarus not to fly close to the sun, for fear that the hot sun would dissolve his wings. But when they began to fly, the impulsive Icarus was excited by the flight and began to rise up, forgetting his father's warnings. As Daedalus feared, the heat of the sun quickly melted the wax of his wings, and Icarus fell down from the sky, plummeting into the sea to his death.

Since then, the story of Icarus has been a warning sign for people, not to be reckless adventurers who take unnecessary risks, forgetting all precautions.



#The Antiquities of Knossos

Knossos Palace is the most important site of the many remains in Crete. The Minoan civilization developed and flourished on the island of Crete during the Bronze Age, and has remnants worthy of exploration.

Knossos probably served as the political and commercial center of Minoan culture. The antiquities that remain to this day provide an exciting site for the island's visitors.

At the beginning of the last century, the archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered this vast palace. In March 1900, barely a month after he began the excavations, he uncovered the throne hall where Evans then found King Minos' original throne.

Later on during the excavations, the palace, shaped like a complex labyrinth, was discovered, with halls and living rooms alongside warehouses and workshops where former craftsmen, jewelers, and potters, worked in the past.

The walls of the palace that Evans discovered were covered with paintings depicting life in Crete during the Late Bronze Age. These impressive frescoes, like most of the important artifacts discovered here at Knossos, were transferred to the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, which contains the world's largest collection of Minoan art.

Apart from exciting and important archaeological discoveries, Evans did something else for which he was less appreciated. He began to reconstruct the palace and created a great deal of controversy over this activity. With great creativity and imagination, he literally rebuilt many parts of the palace. The construction was done with concrete, which is now considered a serious alteration to the findings.

In addition, Evans brought painters artists who "renovated" the frescoes discovered on the walls of the palace. In so doing, it made the place much more impressive and colorful but significantly damaged its authenticity.

It is important to note that renewal of the painting is not a reconstruction of it, at least not according to today's accepted standards. There are also some scholars who claim that some of the renewed paintings were not accurate in the original subjects that were painted on the wall.




#Tips

The palace can be reached by bus departing from Heraklion every 15 minutes.



A Closer Look at Knossos Palace:

https://youtu.be/I6JJdzsE3_A


The Original Structure:

https://youtu.be/4XJd88cTRsU
Gortis
#About the Roman Capital of Crete

The city of Gortín, also known as Gortis, dates back to the Minoan period and reached its peak during the Roman era, as the capital of the Roman province of Crete and Cyrenaica.

From a small town in the Minoan period, Gortis developed into an important city of Crete. It was so up to the Roman era when it became a member of the Roman Empire and one of the richest cities in Crete and served as the capital of the Roman province on the island. It all ended in the 8th century AD, when it was plundered and destroyed completely, by Arab invaders.

Today it is an archeological site recommended for archeology and history buffs, but less picturesque than the more popular Knossos. Gortis is located in the Mesara Valley, south of Heraklion.

You can learn about the great history of the city of Gortis from the great relics found here. Post-Minoan fortifications, through Agora, Acropolis and the remains of temples to Athena and Apollo. There are dozens of fallen Roman columns alongside ruins of a Byzantine basilica.



#Sights to See in Gortis

There are many interesting ruins in Gortis. Here is a compiled list to look out for:

The Odeon inscribed with the laws of Gortin - the inscriptions of the famous Gortin laws date back to the 5th century BC, which Plato spoke of with admiration. They were written in ancient dialects and related to criminal law and marital law.

Pythian - the Egyptian idol mosque of Apollo.

The 2nd century AD Paratorium - the Roman Commissioner's residence in the province.

Nymphaeon - a worship site for nymphs from the 2nd century AD.

No less interesting are the remains of a 16th-century farmhouse, one of the oldest preserved houses.



A Closer Look at Grotis:

https://youtu.be/jgjX4u0RDoQ
Capitoline Hill
#About the Hill Overlooking Rome

In the past, Rome was situated atop only one hill, called Palatino Hill. However over the years the territory of the city sprawled out over six other hills in the area. One of the most well-known ones is in the heart of ancient Rome - Capitoline Hill, which is considered to be the highest of the hills of Rome, along with its neighbor Palatine Hill.

It is impossible to overlook the stunning view from this hill. It is located between the Forum and the Field of Mars, two important points in ancient Rome.

At the top of the hill are two interesting and important religious and political centers:

The first is the most important temple of ancient Rome, dedicated to the Capitolians. In this temple they worshiped the family of Gods composed of Jupiter (King of the Gods), Juno (queen of the gods and patron of Rome) and Minerva (their daughter, goddess of wisdom and spirit) - all three were called the Capricorn Trinity. The temple was large and very impressive.

The second is Asylum, a refuge area used in ancient times by criminals who fled the law. Among them, by the way, were also the murderers of Julius Caesar.

Today you can see the remains of the temple and its reconstruction on the hill.



#The View from the Hill

The buildings surrounding the hill were designed by one of the most famous Renaissance artists - Michelangelo. He built a lot of buildings on Capitoline Hill, which became very significant over the years. Among them were the palaces of Campidoglio, facing the Old City, the Capitol Square with its wide and spectacular stairways and the Vatican compound, the World Center of Catholic Christianity. Dating back to the Renaissance Era the hill had the Capitoline Museum, the National Museum holding classical works of art, archeology and science.

Another interesting place on the hill is the Capitoline Jupiter Temple, the most important and impressive temple of ancient Rome. A lot of stories have been told about this place, stories of murders, betrayals, wars, politics and inheritance.


Caracalla Spa
#About the Caracalla Baths

Once, in the place where you stand now there were luxurious baths used by Rome’s elite class. This huge public baths was almost 40 meters high and one hundred meters wide. The entire structure was magnificent, as parts of it were covered with marble, sculptures and decorations made of silver and gold.

An underground heating system of the water served as the heating for the building, which operated by burning coal. Though it’s hard to believe, this successful system operated from the time of the Romans until the middle of the 19th century.

In the various compounds of the baths were hot and cold baths, shops, brothels and a library. It became a popular location for wealthy citizens of the city, due to its huge size which enabled thousands of people to enjoy the luxurious experience. The green areas added to the pastoral atmosphere of the place.

Over the years, the baths underwent the usual wear and tear, similarly to most buildings in Rome. Earthquakes, such as the most recent one in 2009, also hit a place that has become a historic ruin.

Today the entire area serves as an amphitheater. Sometimes, when the weather is nice, concerts are held there.



#The Rivalry between the Caracalla Brothers which led to Blood Baths

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, known as Caracalla, was one of the most corrupt and controversial emperors.

When the preceding emperor, Septimius Severus, died in 211 AD, the brothers Caracalla and Publicus Septimius Geta ascended to power together. They took various actions to strengthen the Roman Empire, but beneath the surface there was a hidden competition between the brothers. It was a competition for control.

One day, Caracalla invited his brother Geta in the guise of reconciliation. In the middle of the conversation he sent his men to murder him in cold blood. Thus Caracalla became the single ruling emperor. Caracalla then took measures to ensure his status and popularity. One of the measures was establishing the baths in Rome.



#What did the Compound look like in Ancient Times?

During ancient times, the bath complex was 225 meters long and 185 meters wide. Experts estimate that the height of the building was about 38.5 meters.

The bath complex had a special channel that transported water. The baths themselves had a frigidarium (cold room), a tepidarium (a lukewarm room) and a calderium (hot room). In addition, the bathers were offered two options- a gyms or a boxing room.

However the baths didn’t only serve for bathing purposes. They filled the function of a resort and cultural center that included a public library of two rooms, as was customary at the time. One of them had Greek texts and the other Latin.



Here are the Pools Today:

https://youtu.be/SFr0UWUM_iQ



What the Pools Might Have Looked Like this in the Past:

https://youtu.be/pjLiQdI0U9I
Baths of Diocletian
#Baths of Diocletian

The luxurious Baths of Diocletian (Thermae Diocletiani) were built for the Caesars of the Roman Empire, at the request of the Roman Emperor Maximilian in the fall of 298. They were inaugurated in 306 by Emperor Diocletian and are the most luxurious and beautiful of all the baths.

In order to take advantage of solar energy and warm the caldarium, the baths face south-west. The caldarium was a warm room with a "floating" floor; the floor was elevated on pillars, with the space under the floor used as a heating well. It was in this way that the room can be warmed up. The caldarium in all the baths worked alongside the Frigidarium, the cold room, where the pool of cold water is located.

The Roman bathhouses were based on water brought to them via aqueducts. Roman aqueducts are artificial channels whose function was to transfer water from one place to another. In 537, the Goths destroyed the aqueducts that flowed to the baths causing them to cease functioning.

An interesting fact is that the ame of the railway station in Rome, Roma Termini station got its name from the baths.



#What Can be Seen in the Baths Today?

There was once a tepid water room, the tepidarium, which today is the Basilica of Santa Maria.

One of the two towers of the baths is the church of San Bernardo alle Terme. One of the buildings of the National Museum of Rome is located in what was once the foyer of the bathhouse.



#Overview on Roman Baths

There are several luxury spas to enjoy in the heart of Rome. They were built for the Caesars of the Roman Empire. These baths are among the finest Roman works of the empire and they helped the emperors introduce hygiene into the Roman agenda. The baths were aesthetic and ornate places which provided an enjoyable and refreshing experience.

The baths were very popular in the rich and progressive empire of those days. Rome's elite class used to build baths in their homes and villas. Private initiators built public baths in the city's neighborhoods. These were established for business purposes and had entrance fees. In 33 BC there were no less than 170 baths in Rome, a number that has grown over the years.

Initially, these baths were a luxury that was only available to the rich, but there were attempts to make these sites accessible to those who did not have the financial means to gain access to the baths. This was the historical role of Marcus Agrippa, the Roman general who became the vicar of Augustus Caesar and became a governmental superintendent of Rome and an innovator. Among other things, he took care to supervise the public baths, inspect their heating facilities and ensure their order and cleanliness.

When Agrippa was rich and wise later on, he made an amazing gesture. He took upon himself the cost of the entrance fee to all the baths for the period of his supervision. He did it to let everyone in - both the rich and the poor. Later he also built the free baths that bore his name - the Agrippa Baths. This noble attitude towards the masses was unusual in the imperial days and made him a popular figure in the empire. A good shower was considered of great importance in those days!
Mouth of Truth
#The Sewage Cover that Became an Oracl

The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità) has the engraving of a human face. According to legend, it is meant to resemble Triton, the son of the sea god Poseidon. However, curiously, the statue filled the role of a "polygraph" for hundreds of years in order to discern if someone was lying.

Legend has it that if you put your hand into the mouth of the Bocca della Verità and say something, the statue will distinguish truth from falsehood. The rumor strengthened in the Middle Ages, this mouth was used as a real machine to verify the credibility of speakers who, if they lied, received a bite to the outstretched hand. Historical sources have tried to give a credible explanation. One theory is that some priests hid scorpions inside it in order to frighten liars into telling the truth.

The statue is located under the Church of Santa Maria in the center of Rome. It is probably a remnant of an ancient fountain in Rome from the first century, but this is only one hypothesis about the origin of the sculpture. It is also possible that it covered a Roman sewer that survived to this day and received an impressive status. Hard to believe but true, the Romans had a sewage system, even in those early days…

The sculpture was also mentioned in the cinema. It was in the 1953 film "Holiday in Rome," starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. In the film, the hero tells the heroine about the widespread belief around the statue. She puts her hand into the statue's mouth and rejoices in peace. When he puts his hand in, his hand is "bitten" ... until he exposes it to the heroine.



Here is the Excerpt from the Famous Film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6af1dAc9rXo
Macello Theater
#About the Theater

The purpose of establishing the Macello Theater (Teatro di Marcello) was to compete with the theater of Pompey, the theater established in the Field of Mars in ancient Rome, and was also one of the largest. Its construction began in 44 BC, by Julius Caesar. Incidentally, Julius Caesar was also murdered the same year.
Construction ended sometime between 13 and 11 BC. The theater was built of stone, concrete and brick and its exterior walls are made of white travertine stone.

One of the most beautiful elements of the theater was that it faced the river, turning the river into an integral part of the setting. Later in history, the theater became a fortress and then a residence. Today the site is a concert site and can accommodate 15,000 viewers.

During the summer months you can enjoy concerts held here every evening, in the magical and romantic atmosphere of this theater.



A Closer Look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDcpk5hQ9Fs
Jaffa Hill
Columns of San Lorenzo
Porta Ticinese
London Wall
Valens Aqueduct


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

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אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

שלום,
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