Top Architectural Sites to Visit in Athens
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Athens is a city that has many layers. On the one hand, it is a place with a rich history. On the other, it is also a modern and cosmopolitan city. Observing the stunning architecture throughout the city can give you a taste of the many layers of the city! You should definitely make a point to visit these five architectural masterpieces while visiting Athens, Greece.
Here’s a look at some of the top architectural sites to visit while in Athens, Greece:
Considered to be one of the city’s more modern buildings, the National Museum of Contemporary Art has been open since 2000 and houses some of the finest Greek and international modern artworks. The mostly white building with red accents gives off a clean and refined look that’s intended to make each visitor who tours the museum feel at ease.
Inside the museum, visitors are given the opportunity to see paintings, sculptures and other intricate art pieces that were created by celebrated contemporary artists such as Stephen Antonakos, Ilya Kabakov and Gary Hill. Several escalators are located throughout the building to take guests to the upper floors.
Situated atop ancient ruins that date back to the Roman and Byzantine empires, the Acropolis Museum focuses on artifacts found at the Acropolis of Athens. The museum’s design theme was inspired by the concepts of light, movement and natural changes of the earth. Another interesting architectural feature of the building is the rectangular hall that was made with a sloping floor to simulate the climb to the rock on which the Acropolis of Athens is located on a smaller scale.
This is not only a building with great architecture, but there are some fascinating artworks and artifacts to see here. These give visitors further insight into the significance of the Acropolis of Athens along with more details about the city’s ancient history. A glass floor allows guests the chance to see excavations of the historic ruins that lie beneath the museum.
This ancient Roman theater was carved from stone and finished around 161 AD. Herodes Atticus, a notable Roman-Greco politician, commissioned the construction of the theater to honor his late wife Aspasia Annia Regilla. The tiered seating, center stage and ancient backdrop still stand in their glory. After surviving through many centuries along with the turmoil of World War II, the theater underwent extensive renovations in 1950 to preserve it for more generations to come. In modern times, the theater has been used regularly to host music concerts along with the Athens Festival. The theater can be accessed from the slope of the Acropolis of Athens.
Along with being the only stadium in the world to be constructed entirely of marble, the Panathenaic Stadium is famous for being a venue of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and then again in 2004. Originally built in ancient times, the stadium was abandoned at the end of the 4th century and remained in a state of ruins until it was revitalized in the 19th century. With a capacity of 45,000, the stadium still draws large crowds who gather to watch the finish of the Athens Marathon each November. A long oval-shaped track in the center of the stadium is sometimes used for other athletics competitions, and the venue also hosts music concerts on occasion.
Built to honor the Greek god and goddess Poseidon and Athena, this temple was built in 406 BC and is another fascinating building on the Acropolis of Athens. Despite its missing roof, columns and statues help visitors realize what the temple may have looked like when it was complete. The Porch of the Caryatids is a notable feature of the temple and is flanked with six maiden statues and a series of columns. The location of the temple is also one of the best places to see stunning panoramic views of Athens and the surrounding mountains.
These landmarks are just a few examples of the stunning architecture that people can see while visiting Athens. Along with their beauty and significance, these landmarks can teach visitors more about the history and culture of Greece.
This post was written by Greek Boston