The birthplace of history, philosophy, democracy and traditions such as the Olympics, Greece has been a melting pot of cultures and ideas for over 4,000 years. Located on the tip of the Balkan Peninsula and hugging the Aegean Sea with its coasts; Greece sits between the east and the west at the crossroad of three continents: Europe to the North, Asia to the east and Africa to the south.
Traveling to Greece can be a life changing experience. Greece’s capital, Athens, is a vivid example of a city that brings culture, antiquity, and modernity together in a mystifying mixture of its past, as well as its recent heritage. Athens is comprised by numerous suburbs which play a key role in the unfolding of its uniqueness as a historical city, but as well as a major modern actor in areas varying from science to trade. Athenian architecture can bewilder even the most experienced eye, with buildings representing eras such as the Greco-Roman, Neo-Classical and modern periods of Greek history. The growth of this ancient culture ever present in the landscape.
The most notable attraction the Greece is the Acropolis, one of the most important ancient sites in the Western world. Crowned by the Parthenon at it’s peak, it stands overlooking Athens, visible from almost everywhere within the city. One of the greatest and finest sanctuaries of both modern and ancient Athens is dedicated primarily to Athens’s patron, the goddess Athena.First inhabited in Neolithic times 4000–3000 BC, the ancient city of Pericles spared no expense.
The monuments of the Acropolis, literally translated into “the edge of the city”, stand in complete harmony with their natural setting.
Another must see stop on the tour of Ancient City of Athens is the stunning open-air theatre, Odeon of Herodes Atticus. This large amphitheater was built in AD 161 by wealthy Roman Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife Regilla. It was excavated in 1857–58 and completely restored from 1950–61. The Athens & Epidaurus Festival holds stunning dramas, music and dance performances here in summertime and a breathtaking view of the city year round.
A final great stop in the city of Athens is easily the Temple of Olympian Zeus. This half-ruined and never completed temple is dedicated to the Greek God Zeus, the chief of the Olympian Gods. It stands within a walking distance from the Athens centre, south east of the Acropolis The construction of this temple started in the 6th century BC and its designs were appointed to the architects Antistates, Callaeschrus, Antimachides and Porinus. However, the works stopped in 510 BC due to political disorders, when the tyrant Hippias was exiled from Athens. The temple remained incomplete for the next 336 years. In fact in 174 BC, the king Antiochus IV Epiphanes tried to start the reconstruction of the temple again, replacing the building material from limestone to the high-quality Pentelic marble but following the dominance of Christianity, the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II prohibited the cult of ancient Greek and Roman gods in the temple and construction was never completed. Over the next hundred year the weather and wars of man would wear on this ancient temple even further and today only 16 of 100+ columns remain.
For those who have visited Greece, the memories will live on for a lifetime. For those interested in visiting Greece, you must prepare to immerse yourself in the ancient and timeless monuments and history that have cultivated the people that live there today.