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Omonia Square
Omonia Square
#About the Main Square in Athens

From Omonia Square continue the few important commercial streets in Athens. This is the busiest square in the city. Once this was a luxurious and well-off square, which was the center of the commercial district of Athens of those days.

However, with the years, the fancy square got more and more run down, and completely neglected. It was then a center of crime, drug dealings, and call girls.

The situation changed when the new metro station was established in the square, and the square won a breeze of fresh air and a new start. Instead of the old stores that were here, big modern fashion boutiques settled in. In the square are also many commercial stores and cafes, and luxury hotels, in the style of the Imperial Hotel.



#Tips

The locals would say that it's not recommended to the streets behind the square at night, especially with children. When the stores close, the streets fill with many questionable characters. In general, try to avoid this area, as it is also filled with pick-pocketers.
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
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
Ancient Agora
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

Monastiraki Tour

The Jewish Museum of Greece
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
Ermou
Ermou
#About the Famous Shopping Street of Athens

From Syntagma Square to Monastiraki Square, Ermou Street is the main shopping street in Athens. Here, facing a magnificent view of ancient mountains, monuments and temples, is Athens' main shopping street in Greece.

Here are all the international brands, such as Barshka, E-Spirit, Zara, H&M, Mango and Marks & Spencer, along with hundreds of well-known local shops of Greek products and brands. Here you can buy everything. From fashion and souvenirs to luxury goods and electronics, sweets, spices and more.

But Ermou Street is not only the famous shopping street in Athens, but also the most interesting in town. The combination of a mix of international and local brands, along with a lively and illustrated pedestrian mall, right in the center of Athens, with street performances by local and foreign artists and many beautiful young people full of joy, is a winning combination.

And if you can not find enough in Ermou, at the end of the street you will find other places to shop, including large shopping centers and department stores.


A Visit:

https://youtu.be/D62HYUqWCTo


Another View:

https://youtu.be/1IILoOcsLNw
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
Tomb of The Unknown Soldier
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


Monastiraki Flea Market
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


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.