Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ATHENS: ACROPOLIS, PLAKA AND MONASTIRAKI

The acropolis in Athens was a military fortress during the Neolithic period, due to its position which offers a great view of the land and the sea.

During the Mycenaean times, it became a religious centre, dedicated to the worship of the goddess Athena. It is said that the place was declared a province only to the gods by an oracle, and therefore stopped being inhabited by the people.



Map of the Acropolis of Athens
Map of the Acropolis of Athens


The three temples of major importance, the Parthenon, the Erechteion and the Temple of Nike, were erected during the classical period (450-330 B.C.) on the remains of earlier temples. All three of them are dedicated to different aspects of the Goddess Athena.


Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens
Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens


The Persians destroyed the Acropolis during the battle of Salamina in 480 B.C. The founder of the Athenian democracy, Pericles, was the one who rebuilt it under the form it has kept until today.



In Athens we visited the following places of the Acropolis and the districts of Monastiraki and Plaka:

  • Theatre of Dionysos
  • Theatre of Herodes Atticus
  • The Propylea
  • Erectheion
  • Parthenon
  • Viewpoint of the Acropolis
  • Temple of Athena Nike
  • Ancient Agora
  • Hadrian's Library
  • Arch of Hadrian
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Panathenaic or Kallimarmaro Stadium
  • Monastiraki
  • Roman Agora
  • Plaka



Theatre of Dionysos



Theatre of Dionysos in Athens
Theatre of Dionysos beside the Acropolis of Athens


Theatre of Herodes Atticus



Theatre of Herodes Atticus in Athens
Theatre of Herodes Atticus is located on the southern slope of the Acropolis



The Propylea



The Propylea is on the same line as the Parthenon, and is the monumental gateway to the Acropolis in Athens.


 

The Propylea of the Acropolis in Athens
The Propylea is the gateway to the Acropolis


Erectheion


Erectheion in the Acropolis
The Erectheion is an amazing example of the Ionic architecture, composed by three different basic parts which are the main temple, the northern and the southern porches


The Caryatids in the Erectheion
A closer view of the Caryatids in the Erectheion, one of the three most important temples in the Acropolis of Athens


Erectheion in the Acropolis
Overview of the Erectheion in the Acropolis


Parthenon




This monument is the symbol of the Ancient Greek civilization. It is the most important monument until today. It was dedicated to the patron goddess of the city, Athena, since Parthenon means also the apartment of the virgin. Athena was the goddess of wisdom, war and also a virgin.



The Parthenon is located on the top of the Acropolis hill. It was created at the time of Pericles golden age, by the architect Iktinos and with the help of Kallikrates.






Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens
The Parthenon is a fine example of the Doric architectural style, and is made of 8 Doric columns on each of the narrow sides and 17 columns on each of the long side



Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens
The famous Athenian sculptor Phedias was the supervisor of the construction of the Parthenon


Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens

The central part of the Parthenon used to have a pool of water and to shelter a 40 feet high statue of Athena, made of gold and ivory




Parthenon and Erectheion in the Acropolis
From this point of the Acropolis you can see, on the left, the Parthenon and, on the right, the Erectheion



Viewpoint of the Acropolis


Ancient Agora in Athens
The Ancient Agora from the Acropolis in Athens


Lycabettus Hill in Athens
Lycabettus Hill in Athens from the Acropolis


Temple of the Olympian Zeus in Athens
Temple of the Olympian Zeus in Athens from the viewpoint of the Acropolis


Temple of Athena Nike



Temple of Athena Nike in the Acropolis
Temple of Athena Nike in the Acropolis of Athens


Arios Pagos hill near the Acropolis in Athens
Arios Pagos hill near the Acropolis in Athens




Acropolis in Athens from Arios Pagos Hill
Acropolis in Athens from Arios Pagos Hill




Ancient Agora



Ancient Agora in Athens
Ancient Agora in Athens from the Acropolis


Acropolis from the Ancient Agora in Athens
Acropolis from the Ancient Agora in Athens


Temple of Hephaistos in the Ancient Agora of Athens
Temple of Hephaistos in the Ancient Agora of Athens


Map of the Ancient Agora in Athens
Map of the Ancient Agora in Athens where the Hadrian's Library and the Roman Agora appear too



Monastiraki district in Athens
After leaving the Ancient Agora we had lunch in this street of Monastiraki



We had lunch at a restaurant in Monastiraki beside the exit of the Agora, and after eating, we walked through this neighborhood of Athens and visited the library of Hadrian.





Library of Hadrian in Athens



Library of Hadrian in Athens
Hadran's Library in Athens



We left  to visit the remains of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Panathenaic Stadium, which was restored for the Olympic Games. 

Arch of Hadrian



Arch of Hadrian in Athens
The Acropolis of Athens through the Arch of Hadrian


Temple of Olympian Zeus



Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens
Some of the remaining columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens


Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens
Overview of the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens



Panathenaic or Kallimarmaro Stadium



Panathenaic Stadium in Athens
Panathenaic Stadium in Athens



Panathenaic Stadium is called Kallimarmaro Stadium too



Monastiraki


Monastiraki is a picturesque neighbourhood in the heart of Athens. It is famous for its Neoclassical houses, the ancient sites and the open market with souvenirs and antique shops.


Monastiraki square in Athens
Monastiraki square is a really lively place in Athens



Monastiraki square in Athens
From Monastiraki square you can see the Acropolis of Athens


Monastiraki in Athens
One of the pedestrian streets of Monastiraki in Athens



Roman Agora



Roman Agora in Athens
Roman Agora in Plaka



Plaka



Plaka is the most picturesque quarter in the heart of Athens. Paved streets, Neoclassical houses and gift shops distinguish this relaxing neighbourhood.



Plaka district in Athens
Restaurant in Erotokritou street in Plaka district in Athens



Plaka district in Athens
Lisiou street is probably the best known place in Plaka district in Athens


Plaka district in Athens
We had lunch in this old taverna in Mnisikleous street in Plaka



Mnisikleous street in Plaka
Mnisikleous street is a typical street of Plaka district in Athens


Adrianou street in Plaka
Adrianou street in Plaka district in Athens



From here we took the tram and then the metro back to our hotel, where we had dinner again with fantastic views of the Acropolis.


Acropolis lit at night




Acropolis in Athens
Acropolis from the top of Stanley Hotel in Athens



This was our trip route from Crete and the Greek Islands to Athens:



Day 1 - Crete: Chania

  • Beach of Agios Apostoli
  • Venetian Port
  • Splantzia (Turquish Quarter)
  • Jewish Quarter


Day 2 - Crete




Day 3 - Crete: Rethymnon and Heraklion

  • Venetian Port in Rethymnon
  • Loggia, Rimondi fountain and streets of the old town of Rethymnon
  • Fortress of Rethymnon
  • Venetian Port of Heraklion


Day 4 - Crete




Day 5 - Santorini

  • Hellenic Seaways ferry from Heraklion to Santorini
  • Sunset in Oia


Day 6 - Santorini




Day 7 - Santorini



Day 8 - Mykonos

  • Hellenic Seaways ferry from Santorini to Mykonos
  • Mykonos Town
  • Windmills and Little Venice


Day 9 - Mykonos

  • Delos Island
  • Paraportiani Church in Mykonos Town
  • Beach of Agios Ioannis
  • Little Venice


Day 10 - Mykonos



Day 11 - Mykonos Town



Day 12 - Athens

  • Acropolis
  • Ancient Agora
  • Hadrian's Library
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Panathenaic Stadium
  • Monastiraki District

Day 13 - Athens


  • Roman Agora
  • Plaka District


Other countries and cities I have already visited are:




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