A few assorted photos of Athens, Greece

This will be the last post of Athens photos. Phew! I bet you are relieved!

The Panathenaic Stadium (also known as the Kallimármaro, meaning the "beautifully marbled"), is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens. The Stadium hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble (from Mount Penteli) and is one of the oldest in the world.
The Panathenaic Stadium (also known as the Kallimármaro, meaning the “beautifully marbled”), is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens. It hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium, the Panathenaic is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble (from Mount Penteli) and is one of the oldest in the world.
This was the pedestrian walkway, along one side of the foot of the Acropolis hill. I'm sure in the summer there are lots of street performers.
This was taken on the pedestrian walkway, along one side of the foot of the Acropolis hill. I’m sure in the summer there are lots of street performers.
Orange and lemon trees were in fruit and they are everywhere. Even some olives were still on the trees along the Acropolis hill.
Orange and lemon trees were in fruit and they are everywhere. Even some olives were still on the trees along the Acropolis hill.
This photo doesn't do the church justice. It's actually quite lovely. Just at the entrance of Plaka, are the remains of the Church of St. Nicodemus, a Russian Orthodox church since it was purchased by the Tsar of Russia in 1852. This church is the largest remaining medieval building in Athens and was founded by Stefan Likodemou in 1030 AD. It has been damaged both by earthquake andshellfire several times and rebuilt. There was no way to enter the structure, but Inside are on display Russian embroideries and well known female religious chanters practice here often.
This photo doesn’t do the church justice. It’s actually quite lovely. Just at the entrance of Plaka are the remains of the Church of St. Nicodemus. It’s been a Russian Orthodox church since it was purchased by the Tsar of Russia in 1852. This church is the largest remaining medieval building in Athens and was founded by Stefan Likodemou in 1030 AD. It has been damaged by earthquakes and shellfire several times and rebuilt.
There was no way to enter the structure but inside are are Russian embroideries and well known female religious chanters practice here often.
Under the St. Nikodemos square are remains of Roman baths (circa 2nd Cent. AD). Perhaps these bodies are at least clean?
Under the St. Nikodemos Square are remains of Roman baths (circa 2nd Cent. AD). Perhaps these bodies are quite clean?
St. Nikodemos or Aghia Triada, detached belfry was a late 19 century addition and the gift of Tsar Alexander II.
St. Nikodemos, is also known as Aghia Triada. Its detached belfry was a late 19 century addition and the gift of Tsar Alexander II.
This Anglican church is just a block from St. Nikodemos. Saint Pauls in Athens was one of the earliest foreign churches in Greece, it serves English speaking residents. Consecrated on Palm Sunday in 1843, it is located close to the Acropolis. It's also about fifteen minutes' walking distance from the Areopagus, the place where St. Paul spoke with the Athenians of his day. There are many memorials at the church, but one of the most interesting is a human heart. Frank Abney Hastings has his heart immured in the church and is commemorated with a plaque. His ship the Karteria was the 1st steam ship to take part in a naval battle and helped defeat the Turks in 1827 at the Battle of Itea.
This Anglican church is just a block from St. Nikodemos. Saint Paul’s in Athens was one of the earliest foreign churches in Greece, it serves English speaking residents. Consecrated on Palm Sunday in 1843, it is located close to the Acropolis. It’s also about fifteen minutes’ walking distance from the Areopagus, the place where St. Paul spoke with the Athenians of his day.
There are many memorials at the church, but one of the most interesting is a human heart. The heart of Frank Abney Hastings was immured in the church and is commemorated with a plaque. His ship, the Karteria, was the 1st steam ship to take part in a naval battle and helped defeat the Turks in 1827 at the Battle of Itea.
The Botanical Garden, or The National Garden, was formerly the Royal Gardens. This public park of 15.5 hectares (38 acres) is in in the center of Athens. It is located directly behind the Greek Parliament building, once The Old Palace. The grounds continue to the Zappeion and across from the Panathenaiko Olympic Stadium of the 1896 Games. Notice the orange trees in the background.
The Botanical Garden, or The National Garden, was formerly the Royal Gardens. This public park of 15.5 hectares (38 acres) is in in the heart of Athens. It is located directly behind the Greek Parliament building, which was once the Palace. The grounds continue to the Zappeion and across from the Panathenaiko Olympic Stadium, home of the 1896 Games. Notice the orange trees in the background.
The Zappeion, located in the National Gardens, was the first building to be erected specifically for the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern world. Unfortunately, its benefactor, Evangelis Zappas, did not live long enough to see it built. The Zappeion was used during the 1896 Summer Olympics as the main fencing hall. A decade later, at the 1906 Intercalated Games, it was used as the Olympic Village. Today, it is used for meetings and ceremonies, both official and private.
The Zappeion, located in the National Gardens, was the first building to be erected specifically for the revival of the Olympic Games in the modern world. Unfortunately, its benefactor, Evangelis Zappas, did not live to see it built. The Zappeion was used during the 1896 Summer Olympics as the main fencing hall. A decade later, at the 1906 Intercalated Games, it was the site of the Olympic Village.
Today, it is used for meetings and ceremonies, both official and private.
National Gardens
National Gardens
National Gardens
National Gardens
National Gardens
National Gardens
National Gardens
National Gardens
Did I mention oranges? Everywhere!
Did I mention oranges? Everywhere!

Hadrian’s Gate and the Temple of Zeus, Athens

Hadrian's Gate (or the Arch of Adrian) is just off the sidewalk of a major street in Athens, so it's easy to see up close. This monumental gateway resembles a Roman triumphal arch. It once spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, to the complex of structures that includes the Temple of Olympian Zeus. It was erected around 131 A.D. and made of Pentelic marble, from Mt. Pentelikon, 18km away. Pentelic marble was used for the Parthenon and many other notable structures in Athens. It is 18m tall. Through the arch, you can see the sacred hill of the Acropolis.
Hadrian’s Gate (or the Arch of Hadrian) is just off the sidewalk of a major street in Athens, so it’s easy to see up close. This monumental gateway resembles a Roman triumphal arch. It once spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, to the complex of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
It was erected around 131 A.D. and made of Pentelic marble, from Mt. Pentelikon, located 18km away. Pentelic marble was used for the Parthenon and many other notable structures in Athens. The gate is 18m tall. Through the arch, you can see the sacred hill of the Acropolis.
This colossal ruined temple in the center of Athens was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants. It was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, some 600 years later.During the Roman period it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. Nothing remains of the statue.
This colossal ruined temple in the center of Athens was dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants. The plan was to build the largest temple in the world on the site of an existing site honoring Zeus. The building was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, some 600 years later. During the Roman period, the Temple of Zeus was renowned as the biggest in Greece and also had one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. Nothing remains of the statue.
It's hard to get an idea of how large this structure is without standing beside it. The Corinthian columns stand 17m (55.5 feet) high and 2m (6.5 ft) in diameter. The temple fell into disuse after being pillaged in a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD. It was probably never repaired. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, it was extensively quarried for building materials for projects elsewhere in the city. Despite this, a substantial part of the temple remains today. It is an inexpensive and popular tourist attraction.
It’s hard to get an idea of how large this structure is without standing beside it. The Corinthian columns stand 17m (55.5 feet) high and 2m (6.5 ft) in diameter. Massive!
The temple fell into disuse after being pillaged in a barbarian invasion in the 3rd century AD. It was probably never repaired. In the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire, the temple was extensively quarried for building materials for projects elsewhere in the city. Despite this, a substantial part of the temple remains today. It is an inexpensive and popular tourist attraction. You can drive right by it and it borders the Botanical Gardens.
And the worshipers of Zeus are not dead! On 21 January 2007, a group of Hellenic neopagans held a ceremony honoring Zeus on the grounds of the temple. The event was organized by Ellinais, an organization which won a court battle to obtain recognition for Ancient Greek religious practices in the fall of 2006.
The worshipers of Zeus are not dead! On 21 January 2007, a group of Hellenic neo-pagans held a ceremony honoring Zeus on the grounds of the temple. The event was organized by Ellinais, an organization which won a court battle to obtain recognition for Ancient Greek religious practices in the fall of 2006.
There were clearly other buildings and burial sites surrounding the temple. Some have been excavated.
There were clearly other buildings and burial sites surrounding the temple. Some have been excavated.
There is little signage to explain what we are looking at here, but you can see that there were several buildings. This site is enclosed by fencing, but almost all of it can be seen through the fence without paying the 2Euro to enter. While I did pay to enter, I wouldn't do it a second time.
There is little signage to explain what we are looking at here, but you can see that there were several buildings. This site is enclosed by fencing, but almost all of it can be seen through the fence without paying the 2Euro to enter. While I did pay to enter, I wouldn’t do it a second time.

A day cruise of Greek Islands

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While in Athens, I signed on for a day cruise of three Greek islands: Poros, Hydra and Aegina. The day started badly. The bus was almost an hour late picking me up. I was given no explanation, though I’d gotten up ridiculously early just to sit and wait for them. Then as soon as we stepped outside the hotel, a police officer began yelling at me! Since I don’t speak Greek, I have no idea what he was saying. The tour guide did little to protect me, and the officer finally realized I didn’t understand him and apparently I wasn’t the person he thought I was anyway. When I asked the guide, she just said, “mistake.”

When we got to the boat, there was a problem with my reservation. I had all my paperwork, but was the last to board the ship. I walked up the gangplank, quickly as they almost removed it before I’d crossed. Angry eyes were on me as we left the port late, as though it were my fault!  The day got better, but it was an hour before I could mentally leave the morning behind.

I was able to get some good photos, though.

DSC_0394

DSC_0398DSC_0401According to the trip brochure:

Poros: The smallest of the three islands, separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strait and offering a most enchanting view of Poros Town.

Hydra: The islands’ (sic) amphitheater shape once served as a safe shelter for Saronic Pirates. As soon as you disembark, it’s all there: the small narrow stone-paved streets waiting to be explored on foot or by the island’s traditional “vehicle” the saddled donkey. Captivating walks along the old seaside promenade, crystal clear waters and radiant traditional fine-craft shops.

Aegina: Aegina is the largest of the three islands. Apart from its harbor there are numerous interesting sites to discover on the island….[including] the Temple of Aphaia which is the best preserved temple in Greece.DSC_0404 DSC_0414 DSC_0415 DSC_0419 DSC_0420 DSC_0436 DSC_0442 DSC_0443 DSC_0445 DSC_0448 DSC_0451 DSC_0456 DSC_0462

The Acropolis–Athens, Greece

The "sacred rock" is in the middle of the city and visible rising above most of it. It's also under construction, which doesn't seem to be moving too quickly. I saw a lot of scaffolding and a big crane, but no movement and not a single worker in the week I was there.
The “sacred rock” is in the middle of the city and visible rising above most of it. It’s also under construction, which doesn’t seem to be moving too quickly. I saw a lot of scaffolding and a big crane, but no movement and not a single worker in the week I was there.

I’ve made it safely back from Greece! I took about 500 photos, so it’s taken me a few days to sort through them. I’m also battling my usual after-trip-virus, so I’m moving slowly. This is the first of my Greece photos and I’m starting with the best known ancient feature of the city.

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high 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.

It's actually a pretty good climb to get to this gate, though it's fairly gradual. Once you hit this point it's a steep staircase. The ancients had good knees! the gate is part of the protective wall on the west slope, built in the 3rd century, A.D.
It’s actually a pretty good climb to get to this gate, though it’s fairly gradual. Once you hit this point it’s a steep staircase. The ancients had good knees! the gate is part of the protective wall on the west slope, built in the 3rd century, A.D.
Did I mention it's a hill? This a view below of the old Agora.
Did I mention it’s a hill? This a view below of the old Agora.
Once you enter the gate, it's all steep stairs. Pace yourself!
Once you enter the gate, it’s all steep stairs. Pace yourself!
The Propylaia is the monumental entrance to the sanctuary of the Acropolis. In the 6th century, this door and the adjoining structure became was transformed into a single aisle Christian basilica. In Medieval times, it became a palace for the Frankish and Florentine rulers. During the Ottoman Occupation in 1640, a cannonball struck the castle and blew up the gunpowder stored here, causing extensive damage. Medieval and later remains have been removed to restore the buildings to the Classical period.
The Propylaia is the monumental entrance to the sanctuary of the Acropolis. In the 6th century, this door and the adjoining structure became was transformed into a single aisle Christian basilica. In Medieval times, it became a palace for the Frankish and Florentine rulers. During the Ottoman Occupation in 1640, a cannonball struck the castle and blew up the gunpowder stored here, causing extensive damage. Medieval and later remains have been removed to restore the buildings to the Classical period.
The Propylaia from the top of the hill.
The Propylaia from the top of the hill.
My first view of the Parthenon. Pretty sure the scaffolding and crane and NOT from the Classical Period.
My first view of the Parthenon. Pretty sure the scaffolding and crane and NOT from the Classical Period.
This temple was dedicated to Athena Polias, the patron deity of the city of Athens. This temple was build around 500B.C.E. but replaced an even earlier one from the 7th century. These are the famous Caryatidesis, carved stone columns that resemble the beautiful women of Caryae.
This temple was dedicated to Athena Polias, the patron deity of the city of Athens. This temple was build around 500B.C.E. but replaced an even earlier one from the 7th century. These are the famous Caryatids, carved stone columns that resemble the beautiful women of Caryae.
Not a lot remains of the temple, though it once housed the wooden cult statue of the goddess Athena. According to legend, Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Athena offered gifts to the city in exchange for becoming the city patron. Poseidon gave a horse (or a salt water spring, stories vary). Athena gave the olive tree and won the day and the hearts of Athenians.
Not much remains of the temple, though it once housed the wooden cult statue of the goddess Athena. According to legend, Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Athena offered gifts to the city in exchange for becoming the city patron. Poseidon gave a horse (or a salt water spring, stories vary). Athena gave the olive tree and won the day and the hearts of Athenians.
It's quite rocky and uneven ground.
It’s quite rocky and uneven ground.

Acropolis & Parthenon, Athens, Gree ce, Feb 201611 Acropolis & Parthenon, Athens, Gree ce, Feb 201612

I was disappointed that I couldn't actually enter the Parthenon.
I was disappointed that I couldn’t actually enter the Parthenon.
The sides of this huge hill are studded with ancient buildings. This is an old theater, with seats built into the side of the hill, as you see in most ancient Greek (and later) in Roman cities.
The sides of this huge hill are studded with ancient buildings. This is an old theater, with seats built into the side of the hill, as you see in most ancient Greek and ( later) in Roman cities.
Another open air theater, this one more elaborate. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens.
Another open air theater, this one more elaborate. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens.
Always cats!
Always cats!
Even the "new" Acropolis museum is built on top of ancient ruins--everything is! I couldn't take photos inside the museum.
Even the “new” Acropolis museum is built on top of ancient ruins–everything is! I couldn’t take photos inside the museum.
This is a view of the Acropolis from the cafeteria deck of the New Acropolis Museum.
This is a view of the Acropolis from the cafeteria deck of the New Acropolis Museum.