6 PRE-CHRIST HISTORICAL SITES IN ATHENS
You can find many capital cities surrounded by historical buildings, museums or sites but it is very rare to find a city lives with its before Christ founded sites even in the center of the city. You can discover many cafes with their unique views of the Ancient Greek sites that allows you to enter time travel in Ancient Greek history while sipping your coffee or wine. Let’s have a generic and quick overview of pre-Christ historical sites in Athens center.
|1- Temple of Hephaestus 2- The Acropolis: Parthenon, Athena Nike and the Erechtheion Temples 3- Kerameikos Cemetery 4- Temple of Olympian Zeus 5- Panathenaic Stadium 6- Roman Agora|
1- Temple of Hephaestus
The Temple of Hephaestus, one of the most forgotten temples in Athens, was built by Ictinus and constructed using marble from Mount Penteli in the 5th century BC. Sitting near the Athens Agora, it is one of the least damaged Ancient Greek temples. Originally dedicated to Hephaestus, the god of fire and metalworking, the temple served as a 7th century Orthodox church.
2- The Acropolis: Parthenon, Athena Nike and the Erechtheion Temples
Acropolis means the high city, and each city may have its own acropolis, but for Athens, it is acknowledged when we say the Acropolis. In devotion to the goddess Athena, the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis was built between 447BC and 432BC. The Temple of Athena Nike, dedicated to the goddess of victory, is a smaller temple on the Acropolis and was built in 420BC. Founded between 421BC and 407BC, the Erechtheion is situated on the north side of the Acropolis in Athens.
3- Kerameikos Cemetery
Kerameikos cemetery is a historical spot worth to visit, situated in downtown Athens, a short walk away from the Acropolis. The area was named for the potters who originally lived in the area until it was converted into a graveyard, but when archeologists excavated around the area, the ancient site was only discovered in 1861.
4- Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Olympian Zeus, the largest temple in Greece, was built in the 6th century BC, although it was completed approximately 640 years after the reign of Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. The temple included 104 great columns during the Roman period, of which 16 still stand today. The temple is about 0.5 km southeast of the Acropolis and guarded by the Gate of Hadrian.
5- Panathenaic Stadium
The site of the Panathenaic Stadium, the only stadium in the world constructed entirely of marble, after a hippodrome was completed in the city, the city hosted athletic competitions as early as 566-565BC. Located behind the National Gardens, Herodes Atticus, an Athenian Roman senator, reconstructed the stadium in marble about 144AD for the Panathenian Games, but it was largely abandoned in the 4th century. The stadium or the Kalimarmara (beautiful marble) hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
6- Roman Agora
Established during the rulers of Julius Caesar and Caesar Augustus in the 1st century BC, the Roman Agora resides east of the Ancient Agora of Athens. The Roman Agora was a public marketplace, while the Ancient Agora acted mainly as a venue for political gatherings. Under Byzantine and Ottoman governance, there was a considerable population in the site that stems from the houses, places of worship and workshops around the site, including Fethiye Mosque. Currently, this 17th-century Ottoman mosque is used for cultural exhibitions. Look out for the Tower of the Winds while visiting the Roman Agora. This octagonal marble clocktower, considered to be the first meteorological station in the world, was designed with a gnomon and a weathercock.