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Athens
Athens
#About the Cradle of Western Civilization

Athens is one of the most important cities in history. 3,500 years old, the city and location developed and gave birth to so much wisdom and innovation, so many things were done here for the first time, flattered by ideas that generations and cultures were based on, breathing and living without stopping.

This is the city where democracy was born, where western philosophy was invented, where theaters, tragedies, art and aesthetics were developed, and would be the base for European culture. Here the beginning of architecture starts, fighting technics, the model for imitation for the Romans and hundreds of thousands of other civilizations to follow. Here the sons and creators of the Renaissance and the later neo-classical streamed to.

But the significant innovation of Athens is undoubtedly social innovation. In Polis, the Greek city of Athens, the first ancient democracy was born in history. Although it was far from being a democracy in its modern sense, for the first time in the two hundred years after 500 BC, this Greek city was dominated by a general assembly of male citizens. This was the first democracy in the history of the human race, which, even if it does not equate with today's sophisticated democracies, with women's votes and equality for all citizens, must agree that it all began.

In fact, the democracy of Athens was a system of government which implemented a method that today we call "direct democracy." Athens democracy was created during the eighth century BC, when it moved to the civil status of citizens of the polis. This is for landowners and property in the city and this wonderful process they became social status was initially part of the government. During the 5th century BCE, this system of government was formed into what would be called "democracy," which means "rule of the people" in Greek.


#Savings

Antiques - A full-price ticket to the Acropolis will allow you to enter many archaeological sites in Athens, including the Ancient Agora, the Roman, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Kerameikos Cemetery.

Antiques at the Metro Stations - If the museums are expensive then you can see lots of great antiques that have been discovered and displayed on the high floors of the following subway stations: Syntagma, Panepistimio, Acropolis and Monastiraki.

Museums - The tips of each museum indicate whether and when there are free days. In August there is also the August Full Moon, where museums open their doors for free.


#Communication

For 8 GB internet data, and 500 minutes of called inside Greece, between 7 to 10 days in the country, buy the Vodaphone sim card for 20 euros.



#Food

In Athens, many traditional foods that these small taverns feature are outstanding.

The Tavernas will usually have a rich Greek meze - a collection of excellent Greek dishes.

After these Greek opening dishes, hot and characteristic dishes like the souvlaki or gyros (shishlik or shwarma in a cream and yogurt sauce with garlic, fresh onion and tomatoes), the musaka (a slice of eggplant slices and minced meat in a divine sauce), tzatziki (cucumbers cut finely in yogurt and with garlic crushed and dripping olive oil from above), sardines, the dolmadakia (small vine leaves filled with rice and seasoning that only Zeus knows), and the prime and the splendor of the creation - the Greek salad -so good, fresh vegetables, feta cheese, oil olive and oregano from above. Enjoy your meal!

Drink ouzo or ritzina - a kind of local wine enriched with pineapple and Greek coffee, which is black coffee or "parapha" (pronounced Fra-Pe) - cold, bitter and foamy and very tasty coffee.

So in Greece, there are ouzores, taverns, restaurants and music clubs. Everyone is eating and drinking a lot and good. And by the way, there are as many cafes right now, including those that used to be restaurants, and they stayed the same, but changed the name to a cafe. The reason? - Cafes charge less ...



A Closer Look at the Wonderful Greek Food:

https://youtu.be/C3kPeGtX2v8


#Transportation

From the airport, you can reach the metro from the blue line, within 40 minutes, during the day until midnight. 10 euros will get you directly to the Syntagma and Monastiraki stations.

The metro, in general, is a great tool to avoid city traffic.


#Entertainment

If you want traditional Greek entertainment in Athens, you will find it in the Plaka neighborhood. The concentration of small clubs and successful bars will be in Monastiraki, Psirri, Kolonaki, and Gazi.

#Tip

In Greek restaurants and cafes, it is customary to leave a 10% tip for a cheaper bill, and about 15% for a more expensive bill.

#Greece Country Code

+30

#Shopping

In general, Ermou Street, leading from Syntagma Square to Monastiraki Square, is the main shopping street in Athens.

For more shopping sites, see the link below for recommendations.


#Electric Outlets

The possible types of plugs are Types C and F (see link attached below for photos).


A taste of the upcoming trip? - Here's a video that will show you the city in all its beauty:

https://youtu.be/NJQpXiugmUg



A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/jV4xKLu7lFA



Cultural Points in the City:

https://youtu.be/r3H2f1DiYgQ"
Hydra
Hydra Village
#About the Island where Mules are the Main Form of Transportation

The Island of Hydra is a long and narrow island that lies across from the southern beaches of Greece. The capital of the small island lies on the large cliff, along the water line. All that is interesting in Hydra is located on the water line, and on the streets closest to it. If you walk a kilometer on the beach line towards the west, you will reach an authentic village, with very few tourists, called Kamini.

In the 1960's Hydra became a center for bohemian artists to meet, authors and the shining inner circle, and until today the island still constitutes a popular vacation destination for the residents of Athens and many tourists. There are excellent restaurants and fun night life.

Many vacationers come to the beaches of the island. Hydra is a special island in Greece, it is less an island for spectacular beaches and more a place for a relaxing atmosphere, calm and special. This may have to do with the fact that no motorized vehicles are allowed, no motorcycles or cars, or motorized boats. Moving between the island villages is by mules only, there are no roads or traffic lights on the island. This might sound outdated, but it is exactly what gives Hydra its special charm, and turns it into a first class day trip destination for tourists coming from Athens.

In the past Leonard Cohen bought a house near the monastery on the island, the legendary singer-writer. He lived here for a long period, and inspired by Hydra and its atmosphere, he wrote some of his most famous songs here.



#History of the Island

In recent centuries Hydra has gained a very interesting history. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was the center of important marine time merchants. Back then, many rich merchants lived here, that made their fortunes from trading legal, as well as illegal merchandise, not once these trades were tied to smuggling and piracy.

The big stone houses were built by rich locals on the island in a style that characterized the strong merchant cities of the Mediterranean Sea. The houses surround the port until today and remind of the Italian cities Genoa and Venice.

The old canons that are still on the walls of the port of Hydra, directed towards the sea, tell the tales of the need to fortify the port and defend access to it, from hostile guests and unwanted forces. The fact that it was able to defend itself in those times, Hydra was more or less an independence island, that somehow managed to distance itself from the rule of the Ottomans then, who ruled Greece.

The independence war of Greece turned the merchants of the island to supporters, and they made a fleet of boats available for the navy of the Greek rebels of the Ottoman Empire. Thanks to this fleet, one of the most important factors in the Greek victory, the Turks were removed, and Greece gained its independence. Georgios Kountouriotis, a Hydra born local, one of the independence war heroes, became the Prime Minister of Greece in 1848.

From here, Hydra became a peaceful and serene place, until the 1960's, when it was 'occupied.' This time, the occupiers were celebrities and well-known people, like the singer Leonard Cohen, and the movie star Sophia Loren who moved here during different periods, and made this island famous around the world.



#Tips

Each day at 8:30 am there is a ferry to Hydra. It is a 3.5-hour ferry ride.



A Closer Look at the Island of Hydra

https://youtu.be/QY_-bewUMFQ



Wandering Around the Island:

https://youtu.be/P2MQg2L9mlU



A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/78XcQmsX7-c



The Beaches and Sea Around the Island:

https://youtu.be/bDK6lxjh_6A
New Acropolis Museum
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 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

Athens

Aegina
Aegina
#About the Island of Pistachios, Close to Athens

The Island Aegina is 25 kilometers from Athena, and is part of the Saronic Islands of the Saronic Gulf. The beautiful and loved island is adored by the people and artists of Athens, thanks to them there is quite a lot of cultural activity in the summer nights.

Aegina is considered a heaven for pistachio lovers. Pistachios that are grown on the island are considered very special. They are marketed around Greece and even Europe. You can taste and buy then on every corner on the island in a variety of shapes, including cakes and treats based on pistachios.

In summer, well off residents from Athens come to their second homes on this island and join the hundreds of locals that work in Athens and take daily ferries to work and back.

Aegina is a quiet, peaceful and modest island, with a calm Greek character, very different from the known Cyclades Island, with the magnificent beaches like Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, or the powerful look of islands like Santorini.

The island is named after Aegina, the mother of Aeacus. According to Greek mythology Aeacus was born on this island, and was also its ruler. In the 7th century BC up to the 5th century BC sat here Aegina Polis, the city-state that was the enemy of Athens. In the 16th century, in the war of the Turks and the Venetians, the Ottoman fleet conquered the island. Turkish soldiers killed 6,000 people, including the majority of the men. They then took the women and children for forced labor. In the 19th century Aegina was the temporary capital of Greece, and then returned to its relative obscurity.

The port of Aegina is an important center of the town, also called Aegina. This is a vibrant town and peaceful town all at once, that except for its lively market, offers a variety of tavernas, cafes and different stalls. You can wander around here and spend a few nice hours, with great food, a sea breeze and peaceful Greek atmosphere, that are not crowded.



#Attractions for Entertainment for a Day Trip on the Island

In Aegina you will find one of the best gyros in Greece. The high-quality souvlaki is located in Appia 32 in Aegina. This is the main street, parallel to the port and marina.

More great tavernas can be found near the gyro mention above, in a street parallel to the marina street. Cross the famous fish market of Aegina and reach it.

In the port, you will see the single standing column from the Temple of Apollo. This temple in the past stood in the port area.

The remains of the ancient synagogue, that was on the island in the 3rd century BC, can seen behind the hotel Avrá.

Many tourists go to the beaches of the Aegina marina, the most popular on the island. A rented car or bike will bring you right to the beach and the small beach town nearby, Agia Marina.



#Tips

Aegina is connected to Athens by dozens of ferries and hovercrafts daily. Each day from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm they sail back and forth, from Piraeus to Aegina, and back - an hour-long trip by ferry, and only 40 minutes by hovercrafts.



A Closer Look at the Island of Aegina:

https://youtu.be/f6wfddN-NR0


A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/NZZJu4j5hTU



Attractions and Places in the Island of Aegina:

https://youtu.be/LiVn6COJ_4c
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
Hadrian's Arch
Arch of Hadrian
#About the Gate that was Built for the Visit of the Roman Emperor in Athens

The Arch of Hadrian is a victory gate that was built in the 2nd century, for the honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. The gate was built before the visit of Hadrian in the city around the year 132 BC.

The location of the gate is in walking distance of Syntagma Square, which makes it a central place in the modern city of Athens. In Roman Greece, it was built on the ancient road that connects between the ancient city center, with the Ancient Agora of the Acropolis, and the Olympieion, and the south-east side of the city.



#The Gate's Architecture

The height of the Arch of Hadrian is 18 meters, 12.5 meters wide, and 2.3 meters in depth.

It is interesting that the gate was not a part of a wall around the city, but a gate and arch on its own, along the road. During the Turkish Ottoman rule in the 18th century, the Turks combined the gate with a protective wall for self-protection that they built, against a possible Albanian invasion.

At the top of the arch, Corinthian columns were added to the sides of the walls.



#Writings on the Gate

Two carvings are on the back of the arch. On the west side is written, "This is Athens, the old city of Theseus," and on the east side it says "This city is of Hadrian and not Theseus."

The writings show that the arch was built it seems on the dividing line of Ancient Athens, to the west of the new city of Hadrianoupolis, and on the East side, Theseus.

Some see these carvings as a sort of declaration, of Hadrian, as the hero of the new Athens, and the one who replaced Theseus.



A Closer Look at the Arch of Hadrian:

https://youtu.be/pd-TUgUzzyw
Dionysus Theater
Dionysus Theater
#About the Ruins of the European Theater on the Foothills of the Acropolis

On the southern foothills of the Acropolis is the Dionysus Theater, and not far away is another theater, of Herodes Atticus.

When the Dionysus Theater was built, in the 4th century BC, it was built instead of an older theater that stood here. Today, only 20 rows have survived, less than a third of the original amount, which was 64 rows. In ancient times, this was a place to come and see plays, the theater could fit about 15,000 people, and it is estimated that about 17,000 would sit here at one point.

The Dionysus Theater had a role in the history of theater. Right here, in the ancient theater over which it was built, the greatest Greek classic dramas were performed, by Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides and Aristophanes. In the first rows used to sit the city's dignitaries, and here some of the most famous plays were performed.

In the Roman period a new stage was built here, and even a paved area for a band. If you look through the rows of the ancient theater, you will find a seat that is decorated differently from the rest, in one of the first rows of the theater. This was the seat for the Priest of Dionysus, during the Roman rule of Athens.

The theater in the past had a covered roof made of wood, that seems to have been damaged during a fire. Either way, today both ancient theaters are used for open-air concerts, under the bright sky.



#Tips

The same entry ticket can also be used for the Acropolis and a number of other sites, besides the Dionysus Theater, the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, the National Archaeological Museum, and more.

The entrance is free on the first Sunday of every month, except during tourist season (July-September), they the free entrance is actually on the second Sunday of every month. Also, every Sunday between November 1st and March 31st the entrance is also free.


#Opening Hours

Summer months - 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Winter months - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/jIfLahibHxo


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
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
Kolonaki Square
#About Kolonaki Square

Kolonaki Square, or the Kolonaki neighborhood as a whole, is one of the more pleasant ones in Athens, and where Athens' elite spend their leisure hours.

With wide selections of nice restaurants and cafes, alongside the well-known boutiques of the neighborhood, here the young people of Athens spend their free time, among those who don't need to work all day for a living.

With the modern cafes, Kolonaki Square offers luxury stores for shopping enthusiasts, and there is a decent collection here of designer stores and chains of luxury Greek and international brands.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/W8Zj9kGMa3o
Muses Hill
#About the Hill with the Monument

At Muses Hill in the Plaka neighborhood, there is a monument that commemorates Gaius Julius Antiochus Philopappos. The height of the monument is 12 meters, and its circumference is 10 meters.

This monument was the way for the people of Athens to give thanks and commemorate the Roman Consul between the years 114 - 116 AD, who ruled the city of Athens, and granted rights and promoted the welfare and the good lives in the city. During his reign, Philopappos, originally a Greek prince of Syrian origin, built quite a few cities, including majestic buildings and monuments.

The shape of the monument made of marble has a concave all along with it. There is a niche where statues were placed, of Philopappos and his grandfather, Antoninus IV. The tower of the monument is surrounded by a strip of decoration. On it also a marble plaque, where an iron train is seen. On the train appears the figure of Philopappos the Consul, in the beginning of his rule in the year 100. To his left his father can be seen, Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Actually, the monument survived until the 15th century. At the same time, the mayor of Jerusalem visited the city and he ordered to take down the three dedication plates on it.

Archeological digs began here in 1898 and continued until 1940. Even then, the digs did not completely stop, and an additional dig discovered, among other things, that part of the stones from the monument were used by the Ottoman Turks in the building the Minaret of the Parthenon mosque.

From the hill you can see on clear days the city of Athens and its surroundings, in a straight line from the Acropolis.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/gBL9H7wTSUw
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
Stani
#About the Perfect Yogurt and Small and Warm Donuts that you Must Taste

Ready for a delicious and pampering breakfast? Stani in Omonoia Square is the perfect bakery for breakfast baked goods, cakes, desserts, great with yogurts and hand-made milk.

The yogurt prepared here is especially tasty. The preparation here is a cold milk system with yeast and a little yogurt that has been prepared for 60 years, adding to its unique and excellent taste. Order the yogurt with honey and pomegranate, a dish prepared in Greece for thousands of years.

The traditional family milk bar was established in 1931. Notice the special and delicious small donuts that are fried according to the customer's preferences- the Lokma. These hot and fresh donuts will be served with a side of sweet honey and cinnamon. This is one of the most delicious dishes that the Greek culture has contributed to the world, and is a must-try.
Jewish Museum of Greece
#About the City's Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum of Greece was established in 1977 to tell the story of the Jewish community, throughout history and present times. The museum nicely presents the long history of the Greek Jewish community. The visitors are clearly exposed to the life of the Jews in Greece for 2,300 years.

This museum begins with a simple display of items that have survived World War II, a display that was shown a small room adjacent to Athens' Synagogue. It has since grown, and moved to this current building, and to this day is used as a place to commemorate the Jews of Greece and their lives. All of this is done with the help of photos, documents, textiles, jewelry, holy items, and more.

There are over 10,000 items having to do with the traditions and lives of the Jews of Greece, throughout history and up to today. Naturally, there is an emphasis on World War II, and the great tragedy of the annihilation of most of the Jewish population of the Greece Jewish community during the Holocaust.

The museum is not only a place for displaying items, but it is also a place of advanced research. On top of being a space for displaying items, the museum is also used as a place to learn and research the lives of the Jew in Greece. For this reason, many researchers come here from around the world.



#Displays at the Museum

The permanent exhibit at the Jewish Museum spreads over 6 floors, where each floor focuses on something different:

On the ground floor you can see items that used to be in synagogues around Greece. On the first floor are items relating to Jewish holidays. On the second floor are historical Jewish artifacts. On the third floor there are screenings of movies about Jews and about the Jewish Museum.

The top floors are dedicated to the Holocaust and the murder of most of the Jewish Greece population, showcasing Jewish clothes, and the top floor has items from the daily lives of the Jews of Greece.

Sometimes there are also temporary exhibitions, and there is also a modest museum store.




A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/5itj2N19JZA
Pnyx
#About the Hill Where the Residents of Athens Gathered for Discussions and Voting

On the Hill of the Nymphs, or its more familiar name, The Pnyx, on the foothills of the Acropolis, gatherings of the democratic nation in ancient Greek use to occur. This is considered the first democratic act in history, and in Greek is called "Ecclesia Tu Dimo."

Here the residents of the city gathered. There were no women or slaves because the democracy in Athens was not perfect, but more of a Republic, to use today's terminology.

At the Pnyx, discussions were held about topics relating to the city, about construction and war, attacks and defenses. Here the residents spoke of politics, also a Greek word, and let their opinions be heard. Here, at the end of the discussions, votes were conducted and historic decisions were made.

Athens, where it all started, had no Ekklesiasterion, a special building for political discussions, like the ones futured to be built in many cities throughout history. At first, the community meetings took place in the Ancient Agora. With time, as the city's democracy was molded, the gatherings were moved to the Pynx, that with generations became a sort of Athens democracy symbol.

On the Speakers' Platform here, known names in history spoke. Here Pericles gave a speech, the statesman and benevolent speaker, and the proud commander of Athens. Imagine yourselves listening to Demosthenes, the Greek figure who is considered one of the great ancient speakers, admired throughout history. Right here rhetoric was formed, the form of parliamentary speech of persuasion for generations, that will hence emerge in the line of democratic voting.

Near the Pnyx passed the merchant road to the Piraeus Port, to Athens of those days. To mention one last thing to do with this place, Greek Mythology tells the tale that right here, Theseus defeated the Amazonians.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/jiMG5bsdzOw?t=2m39s
Tower of the Winds
#About the Technological Towers in Ancient Athens

The Tower of the Winds (Horologion of Andronicos) is the Hellenistic Ghost Tower, in the Roman Agora in Athens. It is an octagonal shaped building, made of white marble, from the 1st century BC, by a Syrian astronomer named Horologion, by order of the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. Archeologists gave it the name Horologion of Andronicos, for Andronicos was a Syrian city.

In ancient times the tower was used for several purposes, among them a weather vane, a Water Clock, and a compass. The Water Clock in the tower was a large and interesting mechanism. It was moved by the flow of water that came from a spring in the Acropolis nearby, and was used to measure time on cloudy days or nights, when the sundial was unusable.

Each side of the tower symbolizes the direction of the wind. We know this because on each side of the tower there is a plaque that shows a direction of the wind.



#History of the Tower

The Tower of the Winds is a piece of history that has been nicely preserved. The tower was built in the 1st century BC, the year 48 BC, by the Romans, by orders of Julius Caesar. The man who planned it was a Syrian astronomer named Horologion.

While Christianity developed throughout the years, the tower was also used as a church. Later it was slowly abandoned, covered with earth. Only in archeological digs conducted in the Ancient Agora, between 1837-1845, was the tower revealed and exposed by archeologists.



#Architecture

The Tower of the Winds is an octagon-shaped tower, 12 meters in height, and it stands on the base of three thick stairs.

This tower stands out in its octagonal shape, with 8 sides. On each one of the sides there is a plaque of with images of floating characters in the air. Actually, each of these characters represents the 8 directions of the wind, or the 8 gods of the wind.



#About the Famous Clock in the Tower

The Water Clock is a clock built out of a container with a lot of water, that time is measured by the constant flow. This clock was invented by the Greeks in the 4th century BC. For them, it was the solution for the fact that the sundial was only good during the hours of the day, and unusable at night or on cloudy days, when the sun was hidden.

The construction of the Water Clock was pretty simple. It is made from an upper container that is filled with water, and a lower container that is empty. Through a hole at the bottom of the upper container, water slowly leaks at a constant pace into the lower container. Markings on the lower container presents the different hours, as the water slowly rose, as the lower contains fills up, time goes by...

A more advanced version was invented with time, possibly by the Romans. This version improved the original Water Clock in this way: the lower container had something that floated inside that was attached to a mechanism that spins a dial. With the help of a gearbox and gear, the dial pointed to a time table and showed the time

Not only in ancient Greece was a Water Clock used in ancient times. Similar Water Clocks have been found in China and Egypt.

Across from the Tower of the Winds, right next to Plopida Street, are remains of a square building, that was once the public restrooms built by Emperor Vespasian between the years 70 - 77. If you look closely, you will be able to see the toilet seats, made of stone slabs. In this restroom water was constantly running that washed away all the feces into the main sewage in town.



A Closer Look at the Ghost Tower:

http://youtu.be/ysLNOeiRwq8


Varoulko
#About the First Michelin Star Restaurant in Greece

The Varoulko restaurant, not only considered one of the most expensive in Athens, is also one of the highest quality in Athens. It is located on Piraeus Avenue in central Athens. You will find authentic fish and seafood dishes, freshly baked fish in the oven, fish soup, grilled octopus salad, probably due to its proximity to the sea and its quality raw materials. The desserts in the restaurant are amazing.

An interesting story is about the chef of the restaurant, Lefteris Lazarou. His father was a cook on a Greek fishing boat and gave his son the special love for cooking and fish in particular. Lefteris went to study in Italy and when he returned he set up a small restaurant on the water in Piraeus. After moving to several different neighborhoods, the restaurant won one Michelin star. The great advantage of Varoulko stems naturally from its proximity to the sea and the quality raw materials that come from it.

In the first years, the restaurant won publicity, especially thanks to squid soup with leeks prepared by the talented chef and thanks to the Kalamari dish in Pesto. But in addition to the octopus and squid soup, you'll find plenty of great fish and seafood dishes here. Freshly baked sea fish, excellent fish soup, grilled octopus salad and similar dishes are also served here, mostly based on the Piraeus fisherman's sea. Along with all these, the desserts in the restaurant are tasty and some will even say amazing.
Anafiotika
#About Athens' Village Neighborhood

One of the neighborhoods that should not be missed while visiting in Athens, is the Anafiotika neighborhood, located in the shadow of the Acropolis, in the heart of the city.

The quiet and small neighborhood is picturesque, with narrow alleyways, small steps made of white stones, which stand here since the 19th century. Notice the type of buildings - white houses in a cube-like shape, with colorful doors and windows (blue, green, and yellow).

The neighborhood is quiet, and you will rarely see the locals, but there are still a few parts to pay attention to. One of them is the Church of Ayios Simeon, built by the first residence of the neighborhood in 1874. Also the Church of the Metamorphosis Sotiros, this is a dome-covered church made of stone, built in the 14th century. Here you will also see the village from the Cycladic Islands founded by the former residents of the village of Anafi in the 19th century.

From the place you will have a great view over all of Athens.



Photos of Anafiotika:

https://youtu.be/VBlgTAnkGtU
Ancient Agora
#About the Market Area and the Political Center of Ancient Athens

The Ancient Agora was a market, and the main political center of ancient Athens. Here were the main merchant stores in Athens, and here big events in history occurred.

In the Agora, the center of social, cultural and political life of the city, where the schools of the biggest philosophers. One of them was lead by Socrates, and where Paul the Apostle lectured about Christianity in 49 BC. Here the famous Athens democracy was born, and nearby were theaters where the Greek tragedies evolved, the parents and grandparents of plays and movies, up to this day.

One of the main locations in the Agora, north of the Acropolis and west of Plaka, is the Hephaisteion Temple, dedicated to the Greek god of blacksmiths. This temple was built in 449 BC and is the best-preserved temple in Athens.

Not far, you can see the Stoa of Attalos, and the Church of the Holy Apostles, built in the 11th century, in dedication to Paul the Apostle.

In the museum in the Ancient Agora you can see many findings from the market throughout the years.



#What is the Greek Agora?

The Agora in Ancient Greece was a place where the locals gathered, and those from elsewhere, like all main cities of the time, to shop, tour, gossip, and hear the news.

In the Greek Agora, between shopping and conversations, assemblies and preaching, ideas were always being starts, fights, and makeups. Here was the center of town, and the main place where you can reach interesting people.




#Tips

The entrance ticket into the Acropolis, beyond entrance into all the sites at the location, also a few other sites in the area, like the Acropolis, the Museum of Archeology of Karamissos, and more.

Entrance is free on the first Sunday of each month. During the tourist season (July-September), entrance is actually free on the second Sunday of each month. Additionally, between November 1st and March 31st, the entrance is free on every Sunday of the month.



A Visit:

https://youtu.be/dPTs2Yu8k_k



An Explanation in English:

https://youtu.be/swVFXvplfDA
Aerides Square
#About the Square in Athens with the Layers of History

Aerides Square located in the Plaka district, is the location of the Ghost Tower, the same ancient Hellenistic tower, surrounded by temple pillars and ancient Roman ruins.

Actually, in the square are layers of ancient Greek history, starting from the Roman Agora, the Ghost Towers, the Acropolis Temple above, and a handful of Byzantine and Ottoman remains.


A Visit to the Square and the Mirrors:

https://youtu.be/suFvWJp-gZ8
Asteroskopeio Observatory
Attica Zoological Park
Benaki Museum
Cape Sounion
Epirus Tavern


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

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בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

שלום,
נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.