Athens, Past and Present Beauty!
The area that is presently the home of Athens, Greece owns a tremendous history. Continuously inhabited since 7000 BC, Athens is a modern metropolis with deep roots and an unbreakable bond with its past. A visit to Athens gives you the opportunity to see, first hand, the home of modern democracy, a widely diverse collection of ancient art and architecture, and picturesque surroundings that will take your breath away.; this ensures there is something for everyone to see.
On your visit to Athens, experience the rich history of the ancient city by visiting the outstanding museums. The cultural variety of Athens’ past includes the Greek
, and Ottoman Empires
so history enthusiasts can enjoy numerous points of interest.
• The Acropolis Museum
- This 25,000m² masterpiece is home to roughly 4,000 pieces. Its establishment sprang from an effort to protect the artifacts from looting, vandalism, and effects of weather.
• Athens City Museum
- The historic Old Palace, former home of King Otto and Queen Amalia, the museum is now a home to important works from the 18th to 20th centuries.
• Byzantine and Christian Museum
- Officially opened in 1924; the museum is home to 25,000 textiles, sculptures, paintings, and other types of artwork. This extensive collection takes you from the early Christian era through the post-Byzantine period of art in Greece.
• Benaki Museum
- The collections of Antonis Benaki are the heart of this outstanding private museum, which is often called the finest private museum in the world. The Benaki Museum features a remarkable compilation of Islamic art dating back to the 8th century. Must see landmarks in Athens
• The Ancient Agora
• The Parthenon
• Monastery of Daphni
• Hadrian's Arch
• Temple of Olympian Zeus
• Roman Agora
• Theater of Dionysos
• The Acropolis
• Panathenaic Stadium
• Temple of Hephaestus
All of the past glory of Athens melds with its present beauty to create a vacation you will never forget.
Tours and activities listed below are carefully selected by our Concierges.
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Focus on: Parthenon in Athens
When you visit Athens, Greece
, you will not want to miss touring the Parthenon
. Located on the Acropolis of Athens
, the Parthenon is one of many ancient ruins in Athens. Although the area is home to a vast array of magnificent architectural wonders, the Parthenon is the apex as well as the most enduring symbols of the city of Athens. During the Parthenon’s 2,5000 plus years, it functioned as a Greek temple, a treasury house, a fortress, a church, a mosque, and a munitions storage facility. It is no surprise that this incredible structure receives an estimated 7 million visitors each year.
A Brief History of the Parthenon
Athenians began construction of the Parthenon in 447 BC. They created it to honor the city’s patron goddess and namesake, Athena Parthenos
(more commonly known as Athena) and celebrate the end of the Persian Wars. The temple took roughly nine years to complete, and many of the Parthenon’s decorative features arrived later. The plans of the Parthenon were so precise that even now it is considered the finest example of a Doric temple ever created.
As embellishment continued, exceptional bas-relief frieze, two intricately sculpted narrative pediments, and other valued works graced the Parthenon. Around the same time, the Delian League (a formal alliance of Greek City-States) moved their treasury to the Parthenon. For more than one-thousand years the Parthenon stood as the Greek religion’s most important site.
The ravages of time, functional manipulation, and plundering took a toll on the Parthenon. The ancient temple suffered excessive damage during an attack by the Venetians in 1687. Left in a state of ruin, the Parthenon remained unused.
In the 1800’s tourists interest in the Parthenon led to renovations and restorations. These continue to this day, as the government of Greece seeks safe return of many statues and artifacts taken from the Parthenon and housed in various foreign museums.
To honor the goddess Athena, the sculptor Pheidias
created a monumental statue of the goddess known as the Athena Parthenos. The statue stood approximately 40 feet tall. It began as a hollow wooden base that supported a masterfully designed rendering of the goddess Athena decorated in ivory and gold. The figure served as the focus of the temple; situated to display a dramatic reflection in a pool of water located on the floor in front of the statue.
In the 5th century AD, the Romans removed the massive figure and moved it to Constantinople. The last account of the Athena Parthenos was in the 10th century AD. Historians presume that the sculpture was stripped of the gold and ivory then destroyed. Many detailed reports, as well as smaller replicas, exist to facilitate replication.
Best ways to see the Parthenon
While visitors to the Acropolis can pay their admission to the Parthenon and wander on self-guided excursions, seeking out a reputable tour group, or arranging a more personal private tour is the best way to see this amazing architectural feat. You will find the tour offers listed above. Regardless of how you visit the Parthenon, it is an unforgettable step back in time that you will be glad you explored.