Day time in Athens
Culture and Archeology interests
The city of Athens is widely known for its rich heritage in the formation of modern civilization; the great Ancient Greek philosophers, politicians, judicials and scientists have Athens as their nominal birth place and their remnants of their lecturing sound from every corner of the Acropolis. Literally meaning ‘the edge of the city’, Acropolis is hill which was ordained as a Holy Rock by Pericles’ order during the Golden Age around 5thcentury B.C, and can be seen from the roof tops of Athenian homes. It is prevalent and imposing. It also has strategic significance in addition to its cultural interest.
Gracing the Acropolis, is its most prominent monument, the Parthenon, dedicated to ancient goddess of wisdom, Athena. The Acropolis is a definite visit; it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the World! You can soak in the intellectual air, see the impeccable marbles for your selves, and learn about the role of the Acropolis in Ancient Greece. If you feel that the small hike up some stairs is too much, you can also enjoy its panoramic view from the restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Acropolis museum which opened in 2009. It’s only 5 euros to enter, and there are 3 floors of exhibits. The main thing in its design that makes it a must see is the transparent glass floor/ceilings, that allow light to flow effortlessly through the entire building, further emphasizing your experience. There is an ample amount of items you can feast your eyes on, spanning from small scaled amphorae, jewelry, toys, trinkets and utensils, to large statues and marble slabs depicting Ancient Greek culture. It should be noted that on the 3rd floor a-true-to-life display of the Parthenon marble slabs is featured, with real size gaps left in between which would be the location of the Elgin marbles, that are currently in the British museum, making their absence all the more poignant. If this is your cup of tea, examining ancient ruins and getting high on ancient culture, then allow a good 3 hours to scan the museum, and have a light lunch or coffee. This is surely the most central,newest, and most talked about museum, but you can also visit any of the following: the National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine Museum.
If you want to delve deeper into Athenian / Greek more modern culture then there are some thematic museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the War Museum. There are a number of galleries as well, namely the National Gallery, as well as other private ones, and also foundations such as the B & M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music, which hosts visual arts exhibitions and other seasonal exhibits of artists all over the world. This is very centrally located, next to the Parliament in Syntagma. Walking around the city centre close to Acropolis, you will come across various monuments, and locations of interest. Areas of Thiseio, Monastiraki and Plaka are considered the old city centre, you can tell from the picturesque streets and some touristic shops and you thus come across some ancient ruins of previous civilisations dug up, and partitioned on display.
Other monuments worth mentioning are the Ancient Agora and its extension, the Roman Agora, as well as the Odeon of Herodes which is ancient theater used even today for prestigious musical shows.