Visit These Top Archaeological Sites in Athens
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Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world with a history that spans over 3000 years. Given that, it’s no surprise that the city is filled with remnants from the past, many of which have become popular landmarks for tourists to visit. In fact, new archaeological sites are turning up all the time, especially as new buildings are being built.Much of the new city of Athens is built on top of some of the older sites.
Here’s a list of some of the archaeological sites that are either in Athens or a comfortable driving distance that you absolutely must see during your stay:
The Parthenon, one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Greece, is at the heart of the Plaka, an ancient neighborhood in Athens. Originally dedicated to Athena, the city’s patron goddess, the temple has suffered much damage over the centuries. Even still, much of the original structure is intact.
In Ancient Greece, the marketplace, or agora, was the central hub of the city. The Agora in Athens is a wonderful example of a traditional agora and is also the site of the Temple of Hephaestus. While walking through the marketplace, try to imagine it filled with people selling their wares haggling with the people who want to buy them.
If you have a car, are willing to brave public transportation, or have the money to take a taxi, the Temple of Poseidon is well worth the trek. Not only is the temple remarkably intact, it has a prime location and boasts incredible views. Plan to arrive about an hour before sunset. Not only will the sunset add to the area’s beauty, you’ll also get some memorable photos to add to your collection.
When Athens hosted the Olympics, they overhauled the entire metro system. Because the city is so old, they kept unearthing ancient buildings underground. When the Syntagma Metro Station was being build, the area first had to be excavated. This turned out to be the biggest archaeological dig the city ever experienced. Rather than hide the ancient city once the excavation was complete, it was worked into the overall design. Much of the old city is contained behind glass walls and visitors can read the plaques to find an explanation of what they’re looking at.
In Ancient Greece, the cities were structured in a certain way. Inside city walls, people were intent on living their lives. This is where you find the homes, marketplaces, and temples that were a big part of their daily lives. Outside the city, however, was a completely different story. This is where the people buried their dead, honored deceased war heroes, and even sought out brothels. While in Athens, visit the Kerameikos to see what happened outside the city walls in Ancient Greece.
The entire country of Greece is rich in history and this is reflected in the numerous archaeological and historical sites that can be found throughout the country. Athens has a particularly large concentration of these places, and each of them is worth visiting.
This post was written by Greek Boston