Athens: the magnificent capital of Greece
Athens is the capital of Greece. The country I come back to most often during my summer trips. This time I decided to visit the magnificent capital of this country. Visiting the capital of Greece, one of the oldest cities in Europe, the cradle of civilization, philosophy, and art, should be treated as a duty.
I visited Athens with a guided tour and it has its advantages and disadvantages. On that day it was promising to be a hot day, as it was in Greece. But very hot. That’s why I appreciated the air-conditioned bus, which brought us to the capital efficiently and imposed the rhythm of sightseeing. This is the plan. In the beginning, we went to the Acropolis, a holy hill. Important note – I recommend a visit in the morning or late afternoon. In the event of heat, the hill is closed. The second is to take your headgear and plenty of drinking water with you. A camera or a smartphone, not to mention a camera.
Monumental Props, Parthenon and Erechtejon still impress millions of tourists with their beauty, elegance, and perfection. The power of thought of the ancient Greeks is really within reach. There is a lot of movement on the hill and there are slippery stones – so be careful. Wandering to the hill is tiring – but the monuments and views are worth a few drops of sweat saved from your own
The Athens Acropolis is a limestone hill with a relative height of 90 m (157 m above sea level). It was a fortified hill on which a citadel had already been built in the Mykno era. Later, the Acropolis became a place of worship. Temples built in the archaic period were destroyed during Persian wars.
During the reconstruction initiated by Pericles, a complex of temples was built here: Parthenon, Erechtejon, Apteros, the sanctuary of Artemida Brauronia and Propyleje. Destroyed sculptures and elements of older buildings were used to widen the terrace in a southerly direction (they were found during archaeological works started in the seventies of the 18th century, in the so-called “Persian rubble”). Pericles entrusted Fidiah with the reconstruction of the Acropolis. Other great Greek architects participated in the work: Iktinos, Mnesikles, and Kallikrates. At present, the reconstruction of the Parthenon, the temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patron saint of the city, is still in progress. Inside the temple stood a gigantic statue of the goddess of Athens made of gold and ivory, most probably carved himself in front of Fidiah. The reconstruction of the Parthenon has been going on since the 1980s and there is still no end to it.
Erechtejon is one of the most interesting architectural solutions. It is the pinnacle of Ionian architecture in Attica. The terrain was shaped by the four-level layout of the temple. The whole temple consists of three interconnected solids, built on a rectangular plan. Each of them had its own entrance. The main central building is a church with a façade facing east. In front of the façade, there are six Ionic columns.
Then I went to Kalimarmaro. In this place, I had a shortstop, where an ancient stadium, the arena of the first modern Olympic Games, is located. There was no time to visit the small museum right next to the stadium, but it was difficult.
Then I went towards Syntagma Square. It is the main square of Athens, also called the Constitution Square. It is here that Parliament and the monument to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are located. A ceremonial parade of the presidential guard takes place daily at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This elite unit, dressed in ceremonial costumes, is called the Emblems. Each element of their outfit is a certain symbol.
They are dressed in plaited short skirts, so-called fustanellas, pressed in 400 folds to commemorate 400 years of Turkish captivity. They wear red fringed hats on their heads in the style of Turkish fringes. They have white ghettos on their feet with pompoms attached behind their knees. The pumps are also decorated with couches, undercut red viscera. Wide leather straps are an important part of their clothing. They remind that in the mountains the belt was a symbol of masculinity, at the same time it served as a money storage, a saber was attached to it and guns were plugged in for it. According to tradition, fustanellas with metal sheets sewn into them once served as elastic armoring. At the same time, they did not obstruct movements in the mountain environment. Such military clothing and equipment weighed about 30 kg at that time.