World Heritage Sights in Athens

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Athens is home to two UNES CO World Heritage Sites: the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.

The Acropolis

A visit to the Acropolis, is definitely a once in a lifetime experience you should not miss! It is the most famous attraction of Greece, a landmark in the history of humanity, and a World Cultural Heritage Monument. Put on your most comfortable shoes and climb up to the sacred rock of the Acropolis, the greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena. Up to the Acropolis -also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent- man, Cecrops, the first Athenian king you can admire some of the most important masterpieces of architecture and art in the world such as the Parthenon Temple, the impressive Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion, the most sacred part of Acropolis, where goddess Athena’s sacred symbo l- the olive tree – grew. From here you will have a stunning view of the city. For a more holistic understanding of the archaeological site, you can take a tour of the impressive Acropolis Museum, which houses more than 3,000 famous artefacts from the Acropolis. If you need a break, take a seat in the museum’s cafe and restaurant and enjoy your coffee or a menu with Greek local dishes with the most panoramic views of the Acropolis!

Daphni Monastery

Located on the outskirts of Alsos Chaidari (Chaidari Grove), between Athens and Eleusina, Dafni Monastery is an 11th century. Byzantine monastery founded on the site of an ancient temple. It is one of the great masterpieces of the Byzantine Empire, especially famed for its beautiful interior mosaics. Dafni Monastery was inscribed to the UNESCO list in 1990 together with Nea Moni of Chios and Osios Loukas, near Delphi, as they belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetic characteristics. They are all built on a crossin – square plan with a large dome supported by squinches defining an octagonal space. In the 11th and 12th centuries they were decorated with superb marble works as well as mosaics on a gold background, all characteristic of the “second golden age of Byzantine art”. Once you enter the Dafni Monastery you will realise that it is impossible for the camera lens to truly capture the spirituality, power and glory of the light emanating from the figure of Christ in the dome of the monastery’s “katholikon” (main church). One thing’s for sure; it’s a place of sheer beauty you shouldn’t miss while in Athens.

Ancient Sites in Athens and Attica

The THEATRE of Dionysos

The Theatre of Dionysos is one of the world’s oldest theatres, used for festivals in honor of  the god Dionysus and where the great plays of Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus and Aristophanes were performed during the golden age of Greek drama. It lies on the south slope of the Acropolis. (6th century BC)

The Odeon Of Herodes Atticus

The odeon is today the main venue for the summer Athens Festival’s performances, under the shadow of the Acropolis and the Athenian stars! It was established in 1661 AD by the magnate Athenian Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife. It was then used as a concert hall.

Temple of Olympian Zeus

The temple is one of the largest temples in antiquity (6th century BC), with 15 of its 104 columns still standing. According to the traveler Pausanias, it was built by Deucalion, a mythical ancestor of Greeks. Several attempts to built the temple were made until it took its final form  in 31 BC by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

Pnyka (Pnyx Hill)

Literally THE birthplace of democracy and the Public Assembly of the citizens place of ancient Athenians. This is where they used to meet the discuss the city’s issues.

Philopappos Hill

Renowned in antiquity as the Hill of the Muses with its strikingly beautiful cobbled little roads and the Roman monument of Philopappos (2nd century AD), this summit affords extraordinary views of the Parthenon and the Athenian skyline.

The Roman Agora

The agora is a unified architectural complex constructed between 19-11 BC, thanks to a donation from Julius and Augustus. It was used as the main commercial market during the Roman Times. North of the complex is Hadrian’s library (a rectangular building), built in 132 AD. During the Byzantine period and the Turkish occupation the area was covered with houses, workshops and churches, along with the Fethiye Mosque

The Archaeological

The Temple of Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the sea, dominates the southernmost tip of Attica, where the horizon meets the Aegean Sea. Perched on the craggy rocks of Cape Sounio, the temple is one of the most impressive ancient temples in Greece, enveloped in myth and history from antiquity until the present day. The unknown architect is probably the same one who built the Temple of Hephaestus in the Ancient Agora of Athens.

Archaeological Site of Kerameikos

The oldest and largest cemetery in Ancient Athens, Kerameikos is located to the west of the Acropolis, outside the boundaries of the city. See the impressive tomb sculptures and stelae. Discover in the center of the archeological site the two most famous Gates of ancient Athens, Dipylon and Iera Pyli, and pay attention to the river bed of the Iridanos River!

Archaeological Site of Vravron

A few kilometres from Spata lies the Sanctuary of Goddess Artemis and the Archaeological Museum, which presents an extensive and important collection of finds from the site throughout its period of use.

Archaeological Site of Marathon

Marathon is well worth a visit with an archaeological site and museum that houses five thematic exhibition rooms, a patio and a large storage basement. Its collections come directly from excavations in the surrounding area and include items from the Neolithic period to the late Roman era, the most famous being from the Tomb of the Athenians and the prehistoric burial grounds that you can visit in the nearby area. Apart from the battlefield and the tomb, you can see the replica of the tropaion (trophy) erected by the Athenians following the victorious battle.

The archaeological site of Ramnous

Ramnous is a site near Marathon that includes the ruins of two temples, both from the 5th century BC. The one is dedicated to Nemesis, goddess of Retribution, while the second is dedicated to Themida, goddess of Justice. There are also scattered ruins of a fortress, a theatre, and tombs, while the site offers spectacular
views of Evia Island and Evoikos Gulf.

Archaeological Site of Amphiareion of Oropos

According to mythology, Amfiaraos was not born but just sprung out of a spring, close to his Temple in Oropos. Today you can visit the beautiful Archaeological Site with the Temple of Amfiaraos (4th century BC), an ancient theatre and many ruins that date back to the 6th century B.C.

Archaeological Site of Elefsina

Elefsina is one of the most important sites in Greece, where the Eleusinian Mysteries were held. You can visit the sacred court, the Greater and lesser Propylea, the Telesterion, the triumphal arches, the Callichoron Well, the Ploutoneion, and the Mycenaean Megaron. For a more holistic approach to these mysteries, it’s worth a visit to Elefsina’s nearby Archaeological Museum.

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