The Acropolis - Athens, Greece

Sightseeing in Athens in Greece.

The Acropolis of Athens - The Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike and Erechtheion.

There is only one way into the Acropolis itself and that is on it's western side - and getting up to it involves a fair bit of climbing up steps and walkways. When we visited it one side of the Parthenon was covered in scafolding and also had a huge crane alongside - although there did not seem to be any work actually going on. Additionally other parts of the area were closed off to the public - but you can still get a pretty good idea of what it all must have once looked like. The views of the sprawling city of Athens spread out below are excellent.
The Parthenon - Acropolis, Athens Athens - The Parthenon The Temple of Athena Nike, Athens The Erechtheion, Athens

Theatre of Herodes Atticus, Stoa of Eumenes and Theatre of Dionysos.

These are located just outside of The Acropolis and can be seen on the way up to the Parthenon. The Theatre of Herodes Atticus is named after it's builder - who was a Roman Consul - and was constructed between 161 and 174 AD in memory of his wife Aspasia Annia Regilla. Originally constructed of wood and earth The Theatre of Dionysos was later re-built by Lykourgos and was the first threatre to be built of stone. The Romans enlarged the theatre so that it could seat 17000 or so people and then used it for their gladiators.
The Stoa of Eumenes - Athens The Theatre of Herodes Atticus, Athens The Theatre of Dionysos, Athens Athens sightseeing - Theatre of Dionysos

The Ancient Agora (Market Place) in Athens.

The Ancient Agora is situated beneath the walls of the Acropolis. Originally it was a self-contained centre for just about all activity - with shops, temples, libraries, schools, law courts, pottery shops and factories - and the city mint. The only buildings to remain today are the Temple of Hephaisteion (also known as The Temple of Hephaestus and Athena Ergane) which was built around 440 BC and the Stoa of Attalos (which has been re-built and now contains a museum).
Temple of Hephaestus and Athena Ergane, Athens Temple of Hephaisteion - Athens, Ancient Agora The Stoa of Attalos, Athens Beautifully shaped church - name unknown - at the Ancient Agora, Athens

The following ancient sites including the Roman Agora are within the Monastiraki area of Athens so easily reached by Metro.

Also in the area are several markets, lots of shops and of course plenty of tavernas and cafes.
Pantanassa Church (Little Monastery) , Athens

Pantanassa Church - Monastiraki - Little Monastery. This beautifully shaped church and monastery gave it's name to this area of Athens. It is located opposite the metro station at Plateia Monastirakiou and was built during the 10th century.



Athens - Tsistaraki Mosque
Tsistaraki Mosque.
Originally constructed by the Turkish Governor Tsistaraki in 1759 several of the columns from the Temple of Olympian Zeus were crushed to make lime for the brickwork. This was somewhat unpopular as turkish law did not allow the destruction of ancient monuments and ultimately led to his downfall. The mosque was restored in 1981 following an earthquake and now contains the Kyriazopoulos Folk Ceramic Museum.


Hadrian's Library, Athens
Hadrian's Library.
Located in the same part of Monastiraki as the above two buildings Hadrian's Library was built in 132 AD> The almost square building (it measures 120 metres x 80 metres) was mostly built from limestone although the front/main entrance is of marble as are the columns. The square inside had gardens and a pool and was surrounded by more marble columns.

Roman Agora, Athens Roman Agora Gate - Athens Ruins within the Roman Agora, Athens The Roman Agora. The Roman Agora became the commercial and administrative centre of Athens after Athens was partially destroyed in 267 AD by the Heruli tribe who were in the pay of the Romans. During Athen's Byzantine period and also when the Ottomans were in occupation workshops, houses and churches were constructed within the Agora - including the domed Fethiye Mosque.

Tower of the Winds, Roman Agora, Athens
Tower of Winds (or Horologion of Kyrrhestos).
Situated within the Roman Agora, the octagonal Tower of Winds is 12 metres high, has a diameter of 8 metres and was built by the astronomer Andronikos. The tower was a combination of weather vane and internal water clock (the water clock was used for time calculations during cloudy days). Each of it's eight sides represents a different wind.


Fethiye Mosque - Athens The lovely Fethiye Mosque - Roman Agora, Athens

The Fethiye Mosque (Mosque of the Conqueror). The Mosque is beleived to have been built in the late 17th century by the Ottomans.

Keramikos Cemetery. Located a little to the northwest of the Acropolis near to Thiseio Metro station this quite extensive ancient Athens cemetery - it has been a burial ground since at least the 12th century BC - also has a small but very interesting museum (The Oberlander) which contains several statues, various toys which had been discovered in the graves and a lot of pottery. The Sacred Way (Eleusinian) was one of the most ancient roads in Athens - it went from The Acropolis then through the Ancient Agora and Kerameikos and on to Eleusis - a distance of around 20 kilometres - and was used for the procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The bed of a small river called The Eridanos still runs through the site - so there are lots of flowers and reeds (plus attendant wildlife) around. The Eridanos starts in the Lykabettos foothills and runs through the The Agora and Roman Baths and on into Kerameikos. It is easy to spend a couple of hours wandering around the peace and quiet found at Keramikos Cemetery.
Remains of the Temple of Zeus, Athens, GreeceTemple of Olympian Zeus.
This is located to the south of the National Gardens in the Plaka area of Athens the Temple of Olympian Zeus is the largest temple in Greece. Originally started by the tyrant Peisistratos the temple took over 600 years to complete - finally being finsihed by the Roman Emporer Hadrian who dedicated it to Zeus.
There are only 15 collonades still standing - originally there were 104 of them - however you still get a good idea of just how impressive the original structure would have looked.

Athens - Temple of Olympian Zeus The Temple of Zeus, Athens Collonade carving on the Temple of Zeus, Athens Collonades - Temple of Olympian Zeus
Roman baths - AthensHadrian's Arch, Athens, Greece Within the site there are extensive remains of Roman Baths, several mosaics to look at as well as the water systems which were built by the Romans to move water around the area. Just outside of the Temple area is Hadrian's Arch which was constructed between 131 - 132 AD as a triumphal arch in honour of the Roman Emporer Hadrian. Standing 18 metres high and 13.5 metres wide the monument was placed on the road which linked the city with Llissian sanctuaries and marked the boundary between the old and new cities. (During 1778 the arch was converted into a Gate and named Vasilopoula's Gate or Kamaroporta.)

These are just a few other photos from around Athens.
Athens, Greece Athens church Excellent dome Athens Church Athens - Ayioi Theodoroi

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