Access to ancient cultural ruins

Access to ancient cultural ruins

Athens is home to splendid monuments which are 1000’s of years old such as Temple of Olympian Zeus, The Parthenon, The Acropolis, Mount Olympus and in Thessaloniki the by Byzantine City Walls, the Heptapyrgion Cast, the Ottoman White Tower and many more.

ancient cultural ruins

The Temple of Olympian Zeus also known as the Olympieion or Columns of the Olympian Zeus, is a former colossal temple at the centre of the Greek capital Athens. It was dedicated to “Olympian” Zeus,

a name originating from his position as head of the Olympian Gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, some 638 years after the project had begun. During the Roman period the temple -that included 104 colossal columns- was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.

The temple’s glory was short-lived, as it fell into disuse after being pillaged during a barbarian invasion in 267 AD, just about a century after its completion. It was probably never repaired and was reduced to ruins thereafter. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, it was extensively quarried for building materials to supply building projects elsewhere in the city. Despite this, a substantial part of the temple remains today, notably sixteen of the original gigantic columns, and it continues to be part of a very important archaeological site of Greece

The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece dedicated to the Goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron. Construction began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the peak of its power. It was completed in 438 BC, although decoration of the building continued until 432 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered the zenith of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek Art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece, Athenian democracy and Western Civilisation and one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. To the Athenians who built it, the Parthenon and other Periclean monuments of the Acropolis were seen fundamentally as a celebration of Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders and as a thanksgiving to the gods for that victory.

The Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, that was destroyed in the Persion invasion of 480 BC. The temple is archaeoastronomically aligned to the Hyades. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon served a practical purpose as the city treasury. For a time, it served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the final decade of the 6th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

After the Ottoman conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. From 1800 to 1803, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles, with the alleged permission of the Turks of the Ottoman Empire.

Since 1975 numerous large-scale restoration projects have been undertaken; the latest is expected to finish in 2020.

ancient cultural ruins

Photo credit Evan Wise

ancient cultural ruins

Photo credit Spencer Davis

Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word Acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, “highest point, extremity”) and πόλις (polis, “city”).Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropolis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as “The Acropolis” without qualification. During ancient times it was known also more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpen-man, Cecrops, the supposed first Athenian king.

While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495–429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important present remains including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were damaged seriously during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon was hit by a cannonball and exploded.

Mount Olympusis the highest mountain in Greece. It is located in the Olympus Range on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, between the regional units of Pieria and Larissa, about 80 km (50 mi) southwest from Thessaloniki. Mount Olympus has 52 peaks, deep gorges. The highest peak, Mytikas, meaning “nose”, rises to 2,917 metres (9,570 ft). It is one of the highest peaks in Europe in terms of topographic prominence. Olympus is notable in Greek Mythology as the home of the Greek Gods, , on Mytikas peak. It is also noted for its exceptional biodiversity and rich flora. It has been a National Park, the first in Greece, since 1938. It is also a World Biosphere Reserve.

Every year, thousands of visitors admire its fauna and flora, tour its slopes, and climb its peaks. Organized mountain refuges and various mountaineering and climbing routes are available. The usual starting point for climbing Olympus is the town of Litochoro, on the eastern foothills of the mountain, 100 km (62 mi) from Thessaloniki.

ancient cultural ruins
ancient cultural ruins

The Casts Museum occupies two rooms in the basement of the new building of the School of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Central Macedonia, Greece. The museum houses a collection of plaster casts, replicas and original archaeological artifacts. The collection dates from the time of the University’s founding and is due to K. Romaio, Professor of CLassicL Archaeology.

The collection of plaster casts of marble and clay originals and replicas of works of art in metal is the finest in Greece. It brings Archaeological Department students into contact with the ancient Greek and Roman art of statue production, as well as ceramics and small-scale art.

Room A holds replicas of works from archaic and classical times. Room B exhibits works from Hellenistic and Roman times. Among the most notable works are copies of the Parthenon Frieze, votive reliefs and funerary pillars, statues (youths and maidens), plaques from Athena Niki’s armour, coins, decorative corner roof tiles, funeral urns and masks.

The Walls of Thessaloniki are the city walls surrounding the city of Thessaloniki during the Middle Ages and until the late 19th century, when large parts of the walls, including the entire seaward section, were demolished as part of the Ottoman authorities’ restructuring of Thessaloniki’s urban fabric. The city was fortified from its establishment in the late 4th century BC, but the present walls date from the early Byzantine period, ca. 390, and incorporate parts of an earlier, late 3rd-century wall. The walls consist of the typical late Roman mixed construction of ashlar masonry alternating with bands of brick. The northern part of the walls adjoins the Acropolis of the city, which formed a separate fortified enceinte, and within it lies another citadel, the Heptapyrgion (Seven Towers), popularly known by the Ottoman translation of the name, Yedi Kule.

ancient cultural ruins
ancient cultural ruins

Photo credit Provocolate.com

The White Tower of Thessaloniki is a monument and museum on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki, capital of the region of Macedonian in northern Greece. The present tower replaced an old Byzantine fortification, known to have been mentioned around the 12th century, that the Ottoman Empire reconstructed to fortify the city’s harbour sometime after Sultan Murad II captured Thessaloniki in 1430. The tower became a notorious prison and scene of mass executions during the period of Ottoman rule.

The White Tower was substantially remodelled and its exterior was whitewashed after Greece gained control of the city in 1912. It has been adopted as the symbol of the city.

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Due to its geographical location, the overall climate in Greece is warm. Greece has 250 days of sun on average, with some islands recording 300 days of sun per year!

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Greece retains the second spot in the inaugural 2018 Blue Flag quality award list, a voluntary eco-label awarded to sustainable beaches across in the world.

Access to ancient cultural ruins

Athens is home to splendid monuments which are 1000’s of years old such as Temple of Olympian Zeus, The Parthenon, The Acropolis, Mount Olympus, and in Thessaloniki, you can visit he Byzantine city walls, the Heptapyrgion castle, the Ottoman White Tower, and many more.

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The Greek diet is regarded as one of the healthiest in the world because it’s based largely around fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, fish, and a small amount of cheese and yoghurt. Non-meat protein sources in the form of beans and legumes such as fava, split peas, and lentils are also a popular staple, usually used in soups, stews and salads.

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Public healthcare system is completely free for residents (and very low cost for foreigners). The doctors and other staff in public hospitals are generally competent and experienced.

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