The Acropolis of Athens Greece: The Sacred Rock, the Acropolis of Athens, is thought to be the symbol of the ancient Greek culture. It is also considered to be one of the most significant ancient monuments in Europe. Both the Acropolis and the Parthenon, the imposing temple that was dedicated to the goddess Athena, are visible from almost every spot in Athens.
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The Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens: Built at the base of the Acropolis, the ancient amphitheatre of Herodeion, also known as the Odeon of Herodus Atticus, is today one of the best places to experience a live classical theatre performance. This ancient theater was built in the Roman times, in about 161 A.D. by the Roman philosopher, teacher and politician Herodes Atticus. It was built in the memory of his wife Aspasia Regilla who died in 160 AD.
Kerameikos, the cemetery of ancient Athens: Kerameikos is one of the most important but least visited archaeological sights in Athens. This was actually the cemetery of ancient Athens and was continuously in use from the 9th century BC until the Roman times. The area took its name from “keramos”, which means pottery in Greek, from the numerous pottery workshops that existed in the area before it was turned into a cemetery. Another explanation is that the area took its name from the local hero Keramos, son of Dionysus and Ariadne.
The Hill and Monument of Filopappou in Athens: Filopappou (or Philopappou) Hill is a green area to the southwest of the Acropolis. It is a favorite promenade of the Athenians and there you can have great views of the Acropolis, the whole city of Athens and the Aegean Sea that surrounds Attica. In 115 AD, a monument dedicated to the exiled Roman Prince Gaius Julius Antichus Philopappos of Commagene (a region in ancient Armenia) was erected on top of the hill.
he Ancient Agora of Athens: The Ancient Agora, one of the most important sites of the Greek capital, is located on the northwest of the Acropolis, between the neighborhoods of Thission and Monastiraki. A large area with ancient ruins and much greenery, the Ancient Agora was the center of Athens in the antiquity, the place where political gatherings and juries would take place.
The Stoa of Attalos Museum in Athens Greece: The Stoa of Attalos is an impressive building in the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora in Athens. Originally constructed from 159 BC till 138 BC, this building was donated to the Athenians by Attalus II, king of Pergamus, and his wife, as stated in a sign outside the Stoa. The building had two floors and two lines of marbles columns on the ground floor.
The Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, Attica: The Temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved ancient temple in Greece. It was dedicated to Hephaestus, the ancient god of fire and Athena, goddess of pottery and crafts. According to the archeologists, the temple was built around 450 B.C. at the western edge of the city, on top of Agoreos Koronos hill, and it is a classic example of Dorian architecture. The temple was designed by Iktinus, one of the talented architects who also worked on Parthenon, However, many other craftsmen worked at this fantastic temple.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus took 700 years to be built and is the larger that was ever created. The work was completed by Emperor Hadrian in 131 AD. The huge Temple is composed of 104 Corinthian columns of 17 m high. Very little is left of his greatness today since only 17 columns are still standing.
The Panathenaic (Roman) Stadium was built in the 4th century BC. It was hosting the Panathenaic Athletic contests. Herodes Atticus inaugurated the stadium when he rebuilds the seats with Pentelic marble. The stadium was strangely abandoned for centuries. It was finally restored in order to welcome the first modern Olympic Games of 1896.
The Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, the southernmost spot of Attica, was built in the 5th century B.C. and a part of it survives till today. This is one of the most famous ancient sites in Athens.
The Roman Agora is located in Monastiraki and was actually a shopping place. The Tower of Winds, an octagonal structure made of Pentelic marble, is the most known monuments of the Agora. It was built in the 1st century by astronomer Andronicus and was used as a sundial, a weather vane, a water clock, and even a compass. Its relief decoration represents the god of winds, hence the name of the tower.
The Arch of Hadrian was built by Emperor Hadrian in 132 AD in order to mark the limit between Ancient Athens and his new city. It is also a commemoration of the consecration of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It is located at the end of Amalias Avenue.
The Library of Hadrian was located in the north of Roman Agora and housed books, music and lectures rooms.
The theatre of Dionysus is the oldest theatre in Athens. It is located on the south-eastern slope of the Acropolis. There once used to be an older theatre from the 6th century BC that was located at the same place which had welcomed the Festival of the Great Dionysia. The festival was of great cultural importance and welcomed great play writers such as Sophocles or Euripides. The theatre was later renovated with marble with a capacity of 17.000 seats. There is nevertheless nothing much left for us to admire today.
The Monument of Lysicrates is located on Lysicrates Square in Plaka and it was erected by the choregos (sponsor) Lysicrates to commemorate the first prize in one of the performances he had sponsored.
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