Acropolis of Athens + Other Ruins

“The Acropolis and the surrounding archeologically sites, the heart of ancient Athens is the place where the most essential aspects of the Europe identical emerged; democracy, philosophy, theatre, sciences, arts. It features on the European unions list of Europe heritage sites because of the significant role it has played in the history and cultural of Europe.”

So it turns out that we have been following heat wave around Europe and it hasn’t left the mid to high 30’s for like the last 2 weeks! Arriving into Athens just after midnight and then trying to find the hostel with public transport was one of the worst ideas we have ever decided. We finally arrived at 3am!

Athens is located around the world famous Acropolis (a foritifed area most likely on a hill above a city). The sacred rock on where the acropolis is located was a place of worship for Athena, the city’s patron goddess. When tourist go to Athens this the attraction that the majority of them will visit, us included. But, and a big but, you cannot buy tickets online! So during the day the lines are massive, sometimes 300m or longer. The tickets are not that cheap €20 each, just to walk up a hill and see the Parthenon. There is multi ticket for € 30 that included six other archeologically sites and museums. The silly thing is that there is hardly any information amount tickets online or an official website so we had no idea about a student and under 18 discount!

My advice go early in the morning when it opens at 8am or get the multi ticket at one other sites to avoid the lines.

The other sites of the multi ticket are Ancient Agora (and the museum of the Stoa of Attalos), Roman Agora, the Library of Hadrain, Olympieion or The Temple of Olympian Zeus, Kerameikos (and the museum in the site), Lykeion of Aristotle.

We also learnt the meaning of Agora, a public open space used for assemblies and markets. The ancient agora of Athens was a large square on the northwest slope of the Acropolis where social and religious activities, commerce, outdoor theatrical performances and athletic contests were held. In other words the heart of the city.

The Roman Agora was built in the 1st century as a gift from Julius Caesar and Augustus to house Athens commercial activities.

IMG_2597
When the heat gets to you!

Olympieion or The Temple of Olympian Zeus is one of the most important ancient sanctuaries in Athens. The temple, one of the largest in the ancient world had two rows of 20 columns on the side and three rows of 8 at the ends. It measures 110,35m long by 43,68m wide. Of the 104 columns of the temple, sixteen survived until 1852. In that year one of then was toppled by a terrible storm and has been lying there ever since. Nearby is Hadrian’s Gate in honour of the Emperor Hadrian. Build in 131-132AD the triumphal arch was built on the road linking the city with the Ilissian sanctuaries, marking the boundary between the old and new city.

Kerameikos is the largest and oldest Attica cemetery extended outside the walls on the northwest outskirts of Ancient Athens. A small onsite museum houses important finds from the century.

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