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Zappeion
Zappeion
#About the 19th Century Convention Center

In the National Gardens you can see the Zappeion. This is a nice modern building with a short history compared to Athens, but still impressive. Originally it was built in the 19th century. During the Olympics of 1896, the house was used for fencing competitions and also for different events. Right here, in the Zappeion, Leonidas Pyrgos, the winner of the fencing competition, the first Greek in the modern era to win, became an Olympic champion.

Actually, the Zappeion is named after Evangelis Zappas, the person who organized the Greek Olympic games in the mid-19th century. These games were the bases for the modern Olympic Games of today. Outside the Zappeion is a statue of that same Zappas, the revivalist of the Olympics, and under his statue, the head of the man is buried

In the Zappeion in 1938, a radio station began operating. This station was the first national radio station in Greece. The Zappeion continued to operate as the center for the national radio organization up to 1970, the year when the radio house was inaugurated.

In the Zappeion, throughout the years, many historic events took place. One that sticks out was the signing of Greece joining the EU in 1979. The ceremony was in the central atrium of the building - the open and impressive section, surrounded by columns.

One of the impressive halls in the Zappeion is a hall that was built for the Olympic games of 2004, and was used as the official press center for the Olympics.

Today the Zappeion is used to hold conferences and national ceremonies for the public, as well as private events. From time to time the Zappeion is used for professional exhibits, and Athens' elite have private functions here.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/IAIp-Ze-yJI


Another Look:

https://youtu.be/8wYZGgXJ1_g
Panaghia Kapnikarea
Church of Panagia Kapnikarea
#About One of the Oldest Churches in Athens

In the center of Ermou Street, the main shopping street of Athens, is the Church of Panagia Kapnikarea, also called simply Kapnikarea.

The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea is a Greek-Orthodox Church built in the 11th century, around the year 1050, over the ruins of an ancient Greek temple. The building over the ancient Greek temple is not accidental. This was very common for Christian churches being built at that time period. Here the church was built over a Pagan temple that was dedicated to a Greek goddess, probably either Athena or Demeter.

This fact did not help the church to be built any faster. It was completed only in the 13th century about 200 years after construction began.

In an ironic turn of events, this church owes its existence to foreigners who have forbidden the Greeks to destroy it. This happened when King Otto brought a Bavarian architect, Leo von Klenze, to plan a new plan for the city of Athens. The church was then set to be demolished. It was ironically the king of Bavaria, Ludwig I, who opposed the decision and saved the church.

It seems that originally the Kapnikarea Church was a catholicon, the main church of the Orthodox Christian monastery. Mostly, the catholicon is placed in the center of the monastery. According to tradition, it was common to pray here only once a day, and secondary churches or chapels were built in the monasteries, where they prayed the rest of the prayers during the day.

The Kapnikarea was the most southern and large church of the two original buildings. It is shaped like a square cross topped with a dome. It is dated based on morphological criteria, to the second half of the 11th century.

Today, the Kapnikarea is built of 3 sections

a) The original southern church, dedicated to Mary.

b) The Chapel of Saint Barbara on the northern side.

c) The exonarthex, the typical lobby entrance to Byzantine churches, with a propylon, an entrance gate towards the west.



#Tips

The church is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm. The rest of the days the church is only open until 2:00 pm.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/9j8QqxzkMZE


A Breakdance:

https://youtu.be/6DXQIlgAC4Y
Agios Nikolos Ragavas
Agios Nikolaos Ragavas
#About the Byzantine Church with the Freedom Bells of Athens

The Agios Nikolaos Ragavas is a Byzantine Chapel from the 11 century, located in the northern end of the Acropolis, on the higher side of the Epimarchou.

Agios Nikolos Ragavas is used as the background to many couple's photos for their weddings. At the front of the church are columns that, in architecture speak, have a secondary use, meaning they were taken from other destroyed buildings throughout the years.

In this church was installed the first church bell in Athens, right after the liberation from the Turkish occupation. From here, the bells were first heard in 1833, to announce the liberation and freedom from the Turks.




A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/sBXSSleFml8
Fethiye Mosque
Fethiye Mosque
#About the Turkish Mosque in Athens

The Turkish mosque of Athens, Fethiye Mosque, is an Ottoman mosque from the 17th century, located at the center of Athens, right near the Tower of the Winds. Behind the mosque is the Roman Forum, and right near it is the Roman Agora. This is one of 2 mosques in the city.

This mosque remains from the days of the Ottoman rule over the city of Athens. It was built in the 15th century over the ruins of a Christian Basilica from the Byzantine period, built somewhere in the 8th of 9th centuries. The same Christian church was turned into a mosque in 1456, shortly after the Duchy of Athens was conquered, towards the visit of the Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1458.

In the Ottoman period, many called this place the Wheatmarket Mosque. During the short occupation of the city by the Venetian forces in the 17th century, the mosque was changed into a Catholic church.

As the War of Independence broke out in 1824, the mosque was used as a school. Close to the end of the war, the steeple fell from the mosque. Until the start of the 20th century, the building was used as a military prison and bakery. Since then, it was used as a place to store findings from digs in the Agora and the Acropolis in Athens.

Today, since 2017, the mosque has been repaired and operates as a museum and show room for photos and antiquities. This is how one of the most important buildings in Athens' history was turned into a leading cultural center in Athens.



A Closer Look at the Mosque:

https://youtu.be/8gG8jeOYwlY


Photos of the Mosque:

https://youtu.be/y3mJlBIdwNo

Architecture in Athens

Greek Parliament
Greek Parliament
#About the Greek House of Parliament

The Hellenistic Parliament is the Greek Parliament building, located in a building that is very impressive in the Syntagma Square. The Parliament was built between 1836-1842 and was used at first as a palace for the kings of Greece. Today it is the seat of Parliament, and it is possible to visit the central library located inside.

Many tourists visit here, especially to watch the ceremony of the changing of the guards next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This ceremony is conducted by the Royal Guards, wearing traditional Greek uniforms.

In 1843, when the building was inaugurated as a palace for the new king, Otto from Bavaria, the building was supposed to be used as a royal palace for the king. This king was from Austrian origin, and was crowned by the superpowers, who had given their protection to Greece, after a few years earlier, the country had declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire.

By the way, the king, who was also a Bavarian Prince, did not get to rule Greece for a long time. After a cultural revolution in October of 1862, he was exiled from Greece and the monarchy ended completely.



#The Greek Parliament's Architecture

The impressive building where the Greek Parliament sits today, was designed and built as a royal palace in the mid-19th century. It was built according to the accepted European standards, though with an economical budget.

The style of building was geometrical, and it was designed in the Neo-Classic style. Maybe you noticed that it is missing most of the decorations popular with this style of design. The reason is that during construction, the budget was running low, and not enough was left to decorate the palace, so it was left mainly bare.

There were many other issues with the unlucky palace. It is interesting to note that there are 365 rooms here, and until the renovations made in 1910, the entire building had only one restroom!


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/TIg4YlldMhk


A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/O4s2ctz9j6w?end=1m50s
Temple of Hephaistos
Temple of Hephaistos
#About Athens' Most Preserved Temple

The Temple of Hephaistos is also called Hephaisteion, is one of the local sites in the Ancient Agora of Athens. It was built in 449 BC, two years before the construction of the Parthenon, on the hill of Kolonos Agoraios, that overlooks the Ancient Agora.

It is uncertain to which Greek god this temple is dedicated. There is an assumption that it is to the god Hephaestus, god of volcanos and blacksmithing in Greek Mythology, and the one who created the armor for Achilles in the epic poem 'The Iliad." Sculptures of worship of him were found in the temple, and it is important to mention that sculptures of Athena were also found, the goddess of pottery and crafts.

On the other hand, it is completely possible that the temple was dedicated to the hero Theseus. Metopes were found here, a kind of rectangular slates, containing reliefs that told his stories.

Its building, by the way, was led by the legendary Athens leader, Pericles, and it was the first temple built in Athens of marble. In the 7th century, this temple was converted to the St. George Akamas Church, with a surrounding wall. In the 19th century, protestant soldiers were buried here, who died in the Greek Independence War of 1821. In 1834 it became a museum, and at the start of the 21st century, it was restored back to its original design as a Greek temple.

Either way, Hephaisteion is considered the best-preserved temple in Athens in consideration of its old age, about 2,500 years, its condition is still completely in one piece, that enables visitors a glimpse into the past.




#The Temple's Architecture

This temple is smaller than the Parthenon, that was built two years afterward, and is very similar.

The Temple of Hephaistos is elevated around the Ancient Agora, and is in a rectangular shape, closed off on three sides. The fourth and open side lets the sunrays into the structure, straight into the temple.

The inner space of the temple is surrounded by Doric pillars on four sides. In the temple are 34 of these Doris pillars, who support the roof that has partially survived. Notice that wooden roof, with ceramic tiles above the temple.

You can see at the entrance to the temple the horizontal decorations from stone, that adorn the tops of the pillars following the entrance into the temple's hall. Notice the plaques that describe the events of the heroes of Athens, Theseus and Herakles.




A Closer Look at the Temple of Hephasitos:

https://youtu.be/qJD1EIFnOv0
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
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


Panathenaic Stadium
Panathenaic Stadium
#About the Ancient Stadium

Panathenaic Stadium is the only stadium in the world built entirely of white marble. This is a stadium from the 4th century AD that was imitated in the 19th century to host the Panathenaic Games, in ancient Greece.

Right here, at the end of the 19th century, the modern Olympic Games were born. Then the stadium was built, over the ruins of the old stadium that stood here from the 4th century AD until the 2nd century AD.

After the current stadium was built, the first Olympic Games of the modern era took place here, in Athens, in 1896. In the Olympic Games of 2004, again in Athens, the stadium was used for some of the events, and was also the endpoint for the long marathon.

Today, the stadium holds up to 45,000 viewers, and is used for concerts, sporting events, and a reception for Greek sport teams that win in international competitions.



#History of the Stadium

The original stadium was established between the years 330 AD and 321 AD to host the Panathenaic Games. The Panathenaic Games is a festival that was held every four years as part of the celebrations for the goddess Athena.

While dignitaries back then sat on wooden chairs, commoner watched on the slopes that surrounded the stadium.

In 140 AD, the stadium was renovated. This was during the time of the Roman ruler, Herodes Atticus. At this point the stadium was expanded to the size of 204 by 83 meters, and made room for about 50,000 viewers.

During the Roman renovations, marble seating was added to the stadium, which gave it its nickname, Kallimarmaro, in Greek meaning "beautiful marble design."

In the Middle Ages, the stadium was neglected and became unusable. Most of the marble was taken and used as decoration for other buildings around the city.

Only towards the end of the 19th century was the stadium revamped, and put back to use, in preparations for hosting the first modern Olympics, in 1896. In this renovation the seats were re-covered with white marble, that was brought from the Mountain of Penteli, and this became the only stadium in the world build completely of marble.





#Tips

Under the stadium is a tunnel that leads to a small museum that presents modern Olympic history, includes Olympic signs from 1896, and Olympic flames. This is worth a visit, and the entrance is free!


A Closer Look at Panathenaic Stadium:

https://youtu.be/_b8L2ZLK3gs


A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/pT2GNGrc1Qk
Stoa of Attalos
#About the Ancient Market Renovated in the Agora

The Stoa of Attalos is a sort of ancient Greek market, that was recreated in the 1950's. Today, in contrast to the ruins around, the Stoa of Attalos looks like a completely modern place. One needs to try hard to remember that this area was actually a big market in the height of the Greek Empire, in the times of Athens' Ancient Agora.

The lobby with its beautiful columns, today's building contains a museum and temple. Around it is a large archeological dig, where you can see remains of ruins of the Ancient Agora in Athens.

The Stoa of Attalos has a large significance in the teaching of classical architecture. This is because it was reconstructed exactly, bit by bit, exactly as the experts estimate that it looked in ancient times.


#What is the Stoa?

The Stoa, plural called Stoai, is a large and impressive building that was used in ancient Greece for public uses, and many similar buildings were built around all of Greece.

In ancient Greek architecture, a Stoa, is a building that contained a lobby, like a covered walkway, on one side there are columns that open up to the outside, while the other side has a wall with openings. The Stoai were used back then as public places, like for Agoras and markets, stores and galleries. The Stoai evolved to have to sides with columns, and some even had second floors.

At the beginning of the Stoai's history, it was built like a three or two-sided square, and held the inner space. The old Stoai were all built in the Dori style. Later, the Stoai were opened to new styles of design. Throughout history, when Stoai began including passages and two rows of columns, more and more Stoai included an ionic order in one row of columns and a row of columns in the Dori style.



#History of the Stoa

Attalos's Stoa is considered the most impressive Stoa among the five that exist in the Agora in Athens, built in the year 150 BC, by order of King Attalos II of Pergamon. He ruled from 159 BC to 138 BC. The same Attalos gave the Stoa to the city of Athens as a present, a move that won him glory in commemorating the event on an inscription in the Stoic architrave.

During those days, on each of the two floors were 21 stores, and especially stood out the passage with the covered columns along the exterior of these stores.

In the year 267 BC part of the building was destroyed, after the invasion of the Herulim, an ancient German tribe, in the 3rd century.

Over the years, the remains of the Stoa were incorporated in a wall that was built in the city, a fact that will make its identification and rehabilitation in the modern era easier and faster.

Indeed, in 1950 the Greek government began the restoration of the Stoa, while excavating many artifacts, including toys, kitchen utensils, ancient coins and toys from ancient Greece, as well as architectural elements from ancient times, which are now displayed at the Stoa Museum.

This is how the Stoa was reconstructed in the 20th century and became the "Museum of Athens' Agora." Today many see it as the building that best exemplifies the Hellenistic period in Greece.



#Architecture of the Stoa of Attalos

The Stoa structure of Attalos is found in the Agora of Athens. It is larger and more ornate than Stoai built during that period, the classical era of Athens. The size of the Stoa and its supporting columns demonstrate and emphasize the impression it creates.

The Stoa is 115 by 20 meters. It has two floors, with two porches on each floor. The Stoa's columns are designed in two classical arches: the front pillars are of the Dorian order and the inner columns are in fine order.

Each floor of the Stoa has 21 rooms, with openings to the lobby and windows on the back.

We assume that the current structure is a fairly accurate reconstruction of the original structure and this in itself is very impressive. A small part of the original remains are incorporated in the reconstruction. The knowledge of the reconstruction itself comes from studies by expert archaeologists who have studied the original structure from 138 BC.



A Visit to the Stoa of Attalos:

https://youtu.be/PePyeRp5KO8?t=1m55s



The Museum and Some of the Findings Here:

https://youtu.be/zCRUf6KmQgs
Herakleidon Museum
#About the Museum in the Shade of the Acropolis

The Herakleidon Museum is a private museum established in 1898, that displays temporary exhibits of Greek and international artists.

The museum is located in a neo-Classical building, which lies under the Acropolis of Athens. The stated goal of the museum is to expose the visitors to art by the most important artists in history, in a thorough and deep way, one by one.

For all the well-known artists displayed here, there are displays of the many periods that their works have undergone, famous and less known art by the artist is displayed. A variety of modern aids enable visitors to get an in-depth look at the artist's life and work. In addition, the museum presents the artistic development of the artist and the methods in which they worked, along with their biography and private lives.

This is how the museum displays its collections, next to artistic works, including paintings, sketches, and photographs, as well as personal artifacts belonging to artists and sketches that preceded paintings.

In the permanent collection of the museum there are art pieces from famous artists, among them the surrealist artist MC Escher, Victor Vasarely, and more.

In addition to its dealings with arts, the museum hosts cultural events like concerts, book signings, and various study days.



#Tips

The entrance is free for all.

Every year in the middle of August, the museum closes.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/DUbNmEEB0wY
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
New Acropolis Museum
#About the Modern Museum that Displays the Findings from the Ancient Acropolis

In the ancient temple complex, in 2009 a museum opened called the New Acropolis Museum. The new impressive and modern museum contradicts in a clear way the historic and ancient temple.

Over 4,000 items are displayed here from the ancient Acropolis in Athens. There are many explanations about the fascinating findings, from the Parthenon to the ancient neighborhoods of Athens.




#The Museum's Architecture

The museum was designed by the Swedish architect Bernard Tschumi, with the help of Michael Photiadis, created a building that was 23,000 square meters, made of exposed concrete, glass, metal, and floors made of dark and light marble. It is great that in the modern building we are located in now, Tschumi was able to beautifully reference in a respected and fascinating way, the architecture of the Greek temples of Athens.

The architect combined in a wonderful way the ruins of the ancient neighborhood that were discovered in the building area, once the building started. He also invested a lot into the visual experience of visitors, by creating visual points of view with the Acropolis and the Parthenon, and creating eye contact for the visitors with themselves, inside the museum.

There's also a great attribute to the building, which takes advantage of the natural lighting of the sun, coming from outside.

The museum, by the way, elevated significantly the standing of the neighborhood where it was built. In a short time the neighborhood changed from a simple place, to a luxurious and well-thought of place in the city.

The museum's location, adjacent to the south-eastern corner of the Acropolis and the underground train, brings over 5 million visitors per year, the museum is also air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter, unlike other famous sites that are completely out in the open.



#Displays at the Museum

The museum is made of 4 sections:

The basement- the glass floor enables to see the remains of the Byzantine period residential areas, that were discovered in digs under the museum's building.

The ground floor- Findings from the digs from the foothills of the Acropolis's cliffs, outside the upper city. There are many ceramic remains here, from the Neolithic period, until the Roman period. Additionally, findings from the Nymph's Temples, located near the Herodes Atticus Theater, and from the Asklepieion that was discovered near the Dionysus Theater.

The second floor- findings from the ancient Acropolis, that was destroyed by the Persians, like the statues of the old Parthenon

The top floor- this is the Parthenon floor.



#Opening Hours

Monday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm


A Visit:

https://youtu.be/49TsjfebAH0+
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
Temple of Apteros Nike
#About the Most Ancient Temple in the Acropolis

The Temple of Athena Nike (also called Temple of Apteros Nike), is a Greek temple, considerably small, and beautiful, and located on a small cliff on the Acropolis.

It was dedicated to the goddess Athena, and built to ensure the victory of Athena, and so victory would not escape her. In the imagery-filled Greek language, that translates to "wing-less victory." The Temple of Athena Nike was built in 424 BC and considered the oldest temple on the Acropolis.

Many of the statues and plaques from the temple were moved to the New Acropolis Museum, located at the bottom of the hill.



#Nike Temple Architecture

From 424 BC, the Temple of Athena Nike stood here, on the fortifications that protected the entrance to the inner temple. The temple has a terrace with 4 columns on each side, on the front and the back of the building, while on the sides of the building are two walls.

This is a temple with 4 columns at the front, and 4 in the back, as referred to in ancient Greece, "tetrastyle amphiprostyle." The pediments are in the Greek style, and the pediments on the extreme columns are longer than the rest, to blur the lines between the different shapes.

The temple is known mainly for its plaques on its railings, "Nike railing." Most of the plaques today have been moved to the New Acropolis Museum, located at the foothills of the mountain.




#The Tragic Story of Aegeus

In the Temple Athena Nike, one of the main Greek tragedies occurred. According to the myth of Aegeus, here the king waited to see if his son, Theseus, returns victorious from the war with the Minotaur in Crete.

Theseus left to kill the Minotaur, after he was informed that Minos taxes Athens, by taking a sacrifice once every 9 years, 7 boys and 7 girls, to sacrifice to the horrible creator in his palace. Instead of fighting Minos, with his strong army, Theseus went to kill the Minotaur himself.

Theseus, who succeeded in his mission, escaped Crete together with Ariadne, his love, and returned to Athens by sailing. For his happiness in his victory, he forgot his promise to his father, that if he kills the Minotaur, he will signal so from afar by spreading open white sails over his returning boats. The boats were left with their black sails.

Picture Aegeus, standing here, on the Acropolis, worriedly waiting for his son's return. When he saw the black sails on his son's boats, Aegeus assumed that his son Theseus had died. He then committed suicide and jumped into the ocean, ever since then, the body of water was named after him, the Aegean Sea. Only when Theseus returned to the city, did he understand the impact of his mistake, and was very saddened.




A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/fP5lbjC31vk



The Temple's Model:

https://youtu.be/nMun9YM83PA


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

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אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

שלום,
נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
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