Athens is the capital and the largest city of Greece and through this post will show you all the must see Athens Monuments. Traces of human inhabitation of the city can be dated as long back as the 11th millennium B.C. With the city having such a long and storied history it is only natural that it is world-famous for its sites and monuments.
It was named after the Athena who was the goddess of wisdom and warfare. Currently, it has transformed itself into a global city, serving as a tourist attraction owing both to its historical significance and modern lifestyle. It has immense financial importance and its port Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe and the 2nd largest in the world. In this article, we will indulge in the grandeur of Athens’ monuments and historical sites.
Acropolis of Athens
Acropolis is in essence a fortress. It includes the entire area on the hillside and is one of the must see Athens Monuments. The temple Parthenon which is designated for the worship of goddess Athena is also a part of it. When one has reached the summit of this temple, the entire city and the neighboring Attica landscape can be enjoyed in all its glory. The musically inclined theatres of Herodion and Dionysus, the sanctuary of Zeus Polieus also form a major part of its attraction.
Roman emperor Hadrian’s influence can still be felt by the presence of the Hadrian library. It is situated in close proximity to the Monastiraki square. Although books are not present any longer but one can find and locate the areas where once the reading and lecture rooms were present. The library is certainly proof of the fact that learning and education was always a big part of the Athenian’s lives. As times went by, there were three Byzantine churches too at the site which demolished over time.
Temple of Olympian Zeus – Athens Monuments
This temple once was the site where the statue of the Greek god and head of the Olympians, Zeus, was constructed. The temple consists of well over a hundred columns but now only 16 remain. It was finished during emperor Hadrian’s reign. It is located between the neighborhoods of Acropolis and Syntagma.
Lyceum of Aristotle can be found whilst passing the national gardens and heading towards the parliament. Next to it is present the Byzantine museum. Aristotle is as we all know was one of the greatest scholars of ancient times, who greatly influenced the Western mindset and was the teacher of Alexander the Great. At the peak of its powers, it consisted of a teaching area, a library, a public lecture area, and a sports training facility, before everything was destroyed to ruins by the all-conquering Romans.
This historical site is located in the downtown parts of the city of Athens. It was named in recognition of the potters who plied their trade there. In historical terms, it is a very recent discovery as it was discovered by archaeologists only in 1861. In addition, the site includes the remains of a city wall that must have been built around 480 B.C. and the remains of a road that is believed to have been used in the Panathenaic Procession.
This site was constructed during the Roman period and restored for modern use by the 1950s. This site best reflects the tradition of open-air theatres which were so prevalent in those times. This splendidly steep and open space continues to hold great significance and has a current capacity to hold an audience in excess of 5,000 people.
The large building in which Plato initially established his school was also once the site for an ancient olive grove. Some historians claim that it was also dedicated to the worship of goddess Athena. It was as is the case with most ancient Athenian monuments, destroyed by the might of the Roman empire. For anyone with even a slight, passing interest in philosophy this area is like a holy grail for this is the birthplace of organized Western philosophy.
This temple was originally designated for the god of metalworking and fire, Hephaestus, and later on served as an orthodox church until 1834. It is among the best-preserved temples in Greece. Another benefit of visiting this is that it stands close to the Agora of Athens, another historical site.
Temple of Athena Nike
The temple of Athena Nike was initially dedicated to the goddess of victory. It was built around 420 B.C. In tribute to the feminine elements of the goddess, the graceful columns contain ridged grooves. It is a beautiful example of great and visionary architecture and designs from the High Classical period.
This temple is designated to the God of the sea, Poseidon. It was a very noteworthy site of worship for the Greeks. It is located about 67 kilometers away from the center of the city of Athens.
Agios Georgios Church
This church is located on the top of the Lycabettus hill. Standing at the pinnacle of it, the entire city can be viewed in all its majesty. The church that stands erected today was built in the 18th century. Remains of a temple dedicated to Zeus and a byzantine church dedicated to Prophet Elias have been found at the site.
This stadium hosted athletic competition as long ago as 565 B.C. At that time, it was a site for a racecourse. It is situated behind the national gardens and is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble. It was rebuilt in 1896 and was the host of the first modern Olympic games.
All in all, Athens is home to numerous worth watching historical and cultural sites. Each of these Athens Monuments speaks volumes about the centuries gone by and the imprint human beings before us have left on the modern-day world. Everyone who gets to visit them will feel enriched and rejuvenated.