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Agios Georgios
Agios Georgios
#About the Small Church on Mount Lycabettus

The Church of St. George (Agios Georgios), is a church located at the top of Mount Lycabettus, at 277 meters, in the Plaka district in central Athens.

If you arrive here on Sunday mornings, you can see the local community arriving for mass. In the northern part of the hill, near the church, you can see a small theater that is nice to visit.

An attraction that catches the eye is the terrace with the wonderful view, overlooking all of Athens. From here you will see the entire city around, the Acropolis that stands tall above, and the contrasting famous Port of Piraeus


#Tips

You can ascend to the small church with stairs, or with the cable car on Ploutarhou Street for a price of 6 euros.

Near the entrance are a few restaurants for tourists.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/fc7FqgVSx8Q
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
Piraeus Harbour
Port of Piraeus
#Athens' Port, the Most Important in Greece

Since the ancient days, the Port of Piraeus was the main port of Athens, and the largest in Greece. Today the title remains, as the main port of Greece, the port where many of the cruises to different islands and countries leave, if in the Mediterranean Sea or further away.

Piraeus is a classic port city, like in songs and books. You will find here a port and everything that is expected from a port city, especially in the Mediterranean Sea. The honking of cargo ships, and passenger ships declaring the start of their journey. Ticket stands and travel agencies, marine equipment stores, and cargo that has just arrived with the ships, warehouses and tax houses, the harbor stevedores, loading cranes, tavernas and bars along the main street of the port, lines of cars waiting to board the ferries.

You have arrived at the Port of Piraeus - for generations songs and books were written about this port, and now you are finally here as well. Enjoy!



#What is There to do at the Port of Piraeus?

The area of the Port of Piraeus is among the liveliest areas in Athens. It's nice to walk along the port, near the boats, shuttles and yachts that dock here. A meal in one of the many tavernas scattered around, will reward you with a dinner of seafood and fish.

On Sundays, near the Port, there is the local flea market of Piraeus, that offers mostly clothes, tools, vintage items and antiques. The flea market concentrates around the train tracks and to Alipedou Street. On days when there is no market, in the streets of Piraeus behind the port, you will find many interesting and cheap stores.

From the Port of Piraeus you can leave on a day cruise, to one of the close islands to Athens and to any Greek island. The island of Aegina is pleasant and only a short boat ride away. Longer sailing will get you to one of the most picturesque islands of Greece - Hydra.




#Tips

From the Port of Piraeus many cruises leave towards the Greek Islands, including close islands, Aegina and Hydra, but also further islands, like Paros, Naxos, Santorini, Ios, Mykonos, Lesvos, Crete and more.



A Closer Look at the Port of Piraeus:

https://youtu.be/RmVgIvVerDA
Aerides Square
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

Free in Athens

Herakleidon Museum
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
Athens Central Market
Athens Central Market
#About Athens' Farmer's Market

Busy, colorful and full of life, smells and sounds, the Athens Central Market (Varvakios Market) is located in the Agora deep in the city, next to Athens' Town Hall. This is the central and biggest market in Athens, and you can easily spend many hours here.

The Central Market, also called Agora, is a fascinating and wonderful market where you can spend a full day. This is mainly a food market that includes meats, fish, seafood, vegetables and fruits.

It lies inside a big metal building from the 19th century, and around are smaller branches of the market that offer different food products. For example, there is the Spice Market on Evripidou Street, parallel to the Vegetable Market. Don't miss the olive stores, the endless varieties of olive oil and Greek cheeses around the market.

If you look closely, you will also find clothes and shoes, even gadgets and cheap electronics. Around the market are many tavernas, and in the evenings the entire area opens up with restaurants that are lively and busy.

#Tips

Come to the market with closed toed shoes - the floor can be wet and slippery, especially near the areas of the fish and meats.



#Tour Around the Main Market of the Greek Capital of Greece:

https://youtu.be/V9Q-iJOI9jg
Greek Folk Art Museum
Greek Folk Art Museum
#About the Museum of Cultural Greek Art

The Greek Folk Art Museum was established in 1918 and displays handmade Greek artifacts.

The museum, whose name Greek Folk Art Museum was only chosen in 1959, has 4 sections. Each section is located in a different place in the city:

The central building - displays folk art exhibits, including ceramics, wood carvings, metal, cloths, embroidery, and religious items. There is an exhibit here for traditional dress for men and women from all around Greece. Displayed in this section are costumes for a masked ball, holiday wear, clothes worn during festivals and special occasions, and also costumes for theater. Additionally, you will see here works of silver that were created for churches and everyday uses, as well as huge collections of beautiful jewelry unique to Greece.

The building on 22 Panos Street - this building is in the Plaka, it presents the main and permanent exhibition. This is the museum's main building in Plaka, where the museum offices sit, with lecture halls and its own library.

Tzisdaraki Mosque - this was a mosque that was built during the Turkish rule over Athens, and today displays the Greek folk ceramic collection of Greece. The mosque is located in Monastiraki Square.

Bath House of the Winds - this was an ancient bath house located in the Plaka, and is from the Turkish rule over the city of Athens. It is unclear where the name Bath House of the Winds came from. Regardless, this is the only public bathhouse left of ancient Athens.


#Tips

The entrance is free for anyone under 19 years old, and students from the European Union.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/Ro-kKQcC3wQ
Lycabettus Hill
Lycabettus Hill
#About the Great Viewpoint Hill of Lycabettus

Legend has it that Lycabettus Hill, or "Wolf Hill" gets its name from the fact that in ancient times many wolves lived here. In ancient times there was a temple here in honor of the god Zeus at the top of the hill, the hill rises to the height of 277 meters, is known as the best observation point in Athens.

Lycabettus Hill stands on the high streets surrounding the Kolonaki quarter. The hill area is wooded and has nice hiking trails. You can also visit the beautiful white church of Agios Nikolaos, St. George's Chapel. On the hill there is also an open theater and a restaurant with amazing views.

From here you can also just stand and look out over the entire city. The magnificent panoramic view extends all over the city to the sea. Take the time and try to locate the Acropolis and the Plaka. Try to locate the port of Piraeus and far from the sea, the nearby island Aegina



#Tips

You can get to the top of the hill by the cable car, the cable car ascends from within the mountainside. You will also have to climb a bit with the cable car, and hikers can climb the stairs all the way to the top.

The stairs are not easy to climb, and in summer they are very exposed to the sun. Get a hat and water!


A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/SRNoAsvj_9A


Monastiraki Square
Monastiraki Square
#About the Square of the Flea Market

Monastiraki Square is a busy square, full of people, movement, and the honking of cars.

This square is familiar to tourists thanks to the flea market that spreads over the area. But some miss the square for its own interest. Between the smells of souvlaki and kebabs coming out of restaurants, the crowds of tourists and street performers, this square is full of action and stimulation.

In Monastiraki Square there is a small church with the same name as the square, not far, there is also a handsome fountain that is made of marble. During the past decades, renovations in the square added a metro station underneath the street. This, by the way, is considered one of the most impressive metro stations in the world.



#Tips

Beware pickpockets in the area.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/oZBQB8_v7ig


Another Look:

https://youtu.be/oIhyhUKhqMw
National Gardens
#About the Green Lung in the Center of Athens

Next to the impressive Parliament building in Athens, which was once a royal palace, the National Gardens are located. These are a place to escape the noise of the city of Athens, the biggest city in Greece.

This is a large green park, with nice gardens and much shade provided by trees. There are flower beds, a small lake, Roman mosaics, and ancient ruins. All these are near artistic sculptures, botanical gardens, and a small animal zoo that is located near the garden.

The National Gardens were planted in 1840, by the Queen Amalia of Oldenburg. She ensured the garden's construction around the royal palace of those days, and they became her royal gardens. Today they are open to the general public, and located near that same palace, that has since been turned into the Greek Parliament building.

With lots of playgrounds, wandering peacocks in the gardens and nice fountains, a visit here is recommended for families with children and travelers. In the nice and shaded gardens are attractions for children, small lakes, fountains and pools, with ducks swimming around, and even a small zoo.

It's possible that lively young people looking for excitement might not find it here in the park, but will be able to rest for a short while, while on their way to see all the extraordinary sites in Athens.



#Tips

Visiting during the night is not recommended, and can be very dangerous.


A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/1TaGBap4kQs


Another Look:

https://youtu.be/uHLuVQGYw8s
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
Cape Sounion
#About the Temple of Poseidon with the Beautiful Sunsets

The Temple of Poseidon is located in Cape Sounion, in the corner of the Sounion peninsula

The temple, who many simply call Cape Sounion, is one of the most famous temples in Greece, and without a doubt of the most impressive, not only in its classic architecture, but also in its location. This is an ancient site located on an extremely picturesque spot, on a hill located right at the end of the Sounion peninsula, surrounded by the endless blue sea, with a panoramic view of the Saronic Gulf towards the faraway islands, especially the island of Patroklos that is right across.

For thousands of years that the remains of the monumental Temple of Poseidon have been overlooking the Cape towards the sea. It stands on the high hill at the southern end of Attica Island, only 69 miles southwest of Athens and thousands of years from the modern age.

By the way, a pretty place to take a photo of the temple is from the hill nearby. From here you can capture the temple and the marble columns across from the blue sea, with white sailing boats in the background.


#History of the Temple of Poseidon

The temple was built around the year 440 BC, during the Classic period of Ancient Greece. This was apparently part of the famous building plan of Pericles in Ancient Athens. Researchers are certain that the Temple of Poseidon itself was designed by the same architect that built the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens.

Actually, the Temple of Poseidon was built over the ruins of an earlier temple, that was destroyed about 40 years before the construction. These were the soldiers of Xerxes I, who invaded the ancient temple and destroyed it, while destroyed the Acropolis as well. Xerxes I is the Greek named for Ahasuerus I, King of Persia Hamman in the years 485 to 465 BC.


The beauty of the place left a big impression of many throughout history. In the Sounion peninsula and Cape Sounion visited one of the most well-known people to have been influenced by the place. This was the British poet Lord Byron. He visit here between 1810-1811, when he made his first visit to Greece and lived in Athens for a few months. The name of the romantic English poet is etched today on the base of one of the temple's columns, it is though that he himself carved the words into the stone, though this is not proven. Either way, the Lord Byron also reminds Sounion in his song "Isle of Greece":

Place me on Sunium's marbled steep
Where nothing save the waves
and I May hear our mutual murmurs sweep.


#Fun at Cape Sounion

A half day trip or full day trip to the area of Vouliagmeni, south of Athens, and particularly Cape Sounion on its southern tip, will be a lot of fun for everyone. Not far from the temple you will see wonderful beaches, where you can combine a pleasant Middle Eastern vacation, with the historical culture that is seen in this classic and impressive temple to the god Poseidon.

In general, Cape Sounion is really close to the center of Greece, and is no more than an hour and a half from Athens, or a 20-minute ride from Athens' international airport. Come and visit!



#Tips
The temple is open every day from 9:30 am until sunset.

The entrance fee is 4 euros per person.

There is an eatery at the entrance to the site, but be sure to bring a water bottle with you, it may get hot.


A Closer Look at the Cape Sounion:

https://youtu.be/Bk7BeWrDyww


A View from Above:

https://youtu.be/Kuu2CXIyE2I
Plaka
#About the Ancient Neighborhood in Athens, that Come to Life at Night

Picturesque, ancient, and very entertaining, the Plaka is the most ancient and famous neighborhood in Athens. It lies in the northeastern foothills of the Acropolis, and it is incredible that this neighborhood has been inhabited continuously for 5,000 years.

In our day, Plaka is considered the ancient part of Athens. It is located in the most central area of the city, and is considered one of the most famous tourist attractions Athens has to offer. Wandering in the neighborhood with the nickname "old Athens," is a must-see for any thorough tourists, and a visit to the past.

Plaka was born from an ancient neighborhood that was here in ancient times, and built on the foothills of the Acropolis. During the last century, it has gone downhill and become a neglected, poor, and failing area. Only its tavernas and its location under the Acropolis kept its status as a tourist destination. Tourists come here to wander around, eat and drink, and mainly spend the evening hours.

In the way of poor neighborhoods, that suddenly surprise and return with full force, the Plaka in Athens is also slowly evolving as a place vibrant with life, fashionable, and a wanted location by youths. Young people came for the cheaper living quarters, and changed the buildings' exteriors. Many houses were renovated in the past decades, and to the famous tavernas, many souvenir shops have opened up, and currently, it is a lively spot in the evenings and at night.

Many tourists come here to wander around, do some street shopping, sit at a cafe in the district and at the busy tavernas. Most of the streets in the district are meant for pedestrian traffic, and in the square are usually live performances to enjoy.



#About the Plaka's Architecture

The Plaka neighborhood is divided by the main road, Andrianou Street. From both sides, spread across the entire neighborhood, are Upper Plaka (Ano Plaka), and Lower Plaka (Kato Plaka).

The Plaka neighborhood is a type of village within the city. Inside the maze of narrow alleyways, you can see beautiful buildings on both sides of the street, designed in the neo-classical style, many of the houses have red tiled roofs, and picturesque terraces full with growing flower pots.

One next to the other, the houses here are well tended, next to the ancient ruins and ancient archeological remains of ancient Greece.

The Greek style is also wonderful, and comes to life here. The special character here is set by the colored tables of the tavernas in the neighborhood, white and blue for the Greek flag, the blooming geraniums and bougainvillea, the yellow ancient stones, and colorful garlands that are turned on at night.




#History of the Plaka

Plaka was built right over the Ancient Agora that was once here during the days of ancient Greece, on the foothill of the Acropolis. Under the Ottoman Empire, the Plaka neighborhood became a Turkish quarter, and even the Turkish governor resided here.

During the Greek independence war, many residents abandoned the Plaka, and returned only once a new Greek state was declared, under the King Otto.

At the end of the 19th century, many Albanians settled in the neighborhood, that were part of the community, which the new neighborhood's name was named after - the Arvanite Quarter.

In 1884, a fire burned many of the houses in Plaka, which started digs in the areas, and led to fascinating archeological discoveries, with ancient Roman buildings being discovered from ancient Athens.

In the 1960's, a Greek musical culture developed in the neighborhood, and in the 1970's, it became a center for bars and wild night clubs.

Today, the Plaka returns to its place as a tourist destination, that combines youths, adults, and the elderly, tavernas and cafes with middle working class customers. From almost any point here the Acropolis is visible, what in the past gave Plaka a nickname, "neighborhood of the gods."




A Closer Look at the Plaka in Athens while Wandering in the Daytime:

https://youtu.be/dXj9pDpHT10


Pictures from this Beautiful and Old Neighborhood:

https://youtu.be/YzUW9N3_gJ8


Wonderful Restaurants and Nighttime Entertainment in Plaka:

https://youtu.be/cza8DiZRygk
Monastiraki
#About the Flea Market of Athens

The flea market of Monastiraki is the most well-known flea market of Athens. It operates on Sundays since 1910 in Avissinias Square in the center of Monastiraki. Once this was the center of Ottoman Athens, and today is the area of the flea market.

Here you can try and hunt for antiques and finds. Many items and clothes are here on stalls along the sidewalks. Likewise, you can find here almost anything imaginable - antiques, jewelry, clothes, kitchen utensils, presents, vinyl records, old books, souvenirs, and more.

The ruins that can be found here can surprise even educated enthusiasts. From surprising souvenirs from World War II, and old watches, vintage items and design, old style toys and weapons, some are real antiques and some fake.

What is nice here is that it is not visited only by tourists. Also the locals of Athens love to shop in this flea market, located at the edge of the Plaka area, at the foot of the Acropolis.

In the streets of the flea market of Athens there are many tavernas, shops, restaurants and cafes.



#Tips

Though it is open all week long, the market is especially popular on Sunday.

The entrance to the market is from Ermou Street, or Ifaistou Street, and it spreads along Ermou and Pandrossou Streets.

It is permitted and even encouraged to bargain with the vendors.

Beware of pickpockets around this market.

Don't touch the archeology - it is either fake or take out of Greece illegally.



A Closer Look:

https://youtu.be/oIhyhUKhqMw
Tomb of The Unknown Soldier
#About the Monument for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Changing of the Guard in Athens

The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier, in Syntagma Square, is located in front of the Greece House of Parliament, the Hellenic Parliament, and nicknamed 'Vouli.' This is a monument for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that is guarded by the Greek Presidential Guard 24 hours a day.

Like many monuments around the world with the same name, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier built here is to commemorate fallen soldiers in different wars whose bodies were never identified. Like in many of these tombs around the world, in Athens as well, this place is used to hold state memorial ceremonies.

Trying getting here exactly at the beginning of each hour, to the front of the Parliament building, to see the guard, called "Evzones," and changing shifts to the tunes of the marching band. Children really love this, and adults find the ceremony interesting, the soldiers are also in traditions skirts and shoes with pompoms on them, different from any other military uniform in the world.

It is also interesting to see the parade, strict with its steps, of the soldiers. In traditional ceremonial marching, rarely seen, the soldiers swing their legs high and bring them down with a loud thump.

If you can get here on Sundays or national holidays, at 11:00 am you will see the guards change to a unit of the elite unit of infantry soldiers of the Greek army, when the music is played by an army band, it adds a festive feeling to the ceremony, that is conducted by no less than 120 soldiers.



Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea4rhvEZFp4


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

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

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

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.