Best Places to Experience History in Greece
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Greece is one of those countries that is absolutely ideal for its visitors. People flock here to experience some of the best the country has to offer, such as the beautiful sunshine, stunning scenery, and amazing food and nightlife. While these things can certainly be a huge draw, there is another aspect of the country that makes this a unique destination.
Greece has a rich history that spans thousands of years, and this is evidenced in some of the many archaeological sites that are located throughout the country. How do you know which destinations you should focus on? Here’s a look at some of the best places to experience the Ancient History of Greece:
Ancient Athens is sometimes referred to as the Cradle of Civilization because the intellectual thought that came out from here formed the basis of many of the things we hold dear to today, such as the concept of a Democratic government. Most of this activity was concentrated at the Acropolis of Athens. While here you can visit important sites such as the Parthenon, Agora (Marketplace), and the ancient theater. There’s also an Archaeological Museum here that showcases some of the top artifacts from the area.
Karameikos is another important archaeological and historical site and is located near the Acropolis. The place is so named because it is an area where the potters used to do their work, the individuals who worked clay into valuable cookware and storage vessels in Ancient Greece. We get our modern word, ceramics, from this area. Karameikos is also known for housing a sizable ancient cemetery.
The Mycenaeans were a Bronze Age civilization that took place in Greece roughly from 1600 B.C. to 1100 B.C. This period of Ancient Greece was considered to be a golden age and the people thrived and prospered. When this civilization fell, it pushed the Greeks into a dark age. Many of the myths and legends concerning the Greek heroes, such as Jason and the Argonauts, were thought to originate here. Mycenae is located on mainland Greece and you can visit here to see some of the ruins.
The Minoans came before the Mycenaeans and overlapped some of their time period. However, they took place in different parts of Greece. While Mycenae was on mainland Greece, the Minoans were centered on the Greek island of Crete. There is some evidence that the two civilizations had contact with one another. The most famous of the Minoan palaces is the one located at Knossos, but there are several throughout the island that you can visit.
Ancient Olympia is the site of the first Olympic Games and is absolutely worth a visit. This is a simple day trip to do from Athens, especially if you rent a car or join a guided group tour. There are several sites here to see, including the ancient stadium where some of the games were held and a museum where some of the artifacts were housed.
Cape Sounion is also an easy day trip from Athens. You can easily take a taxi here, and you can even pay the driver a little extra to wait for you if all you want to do is catch a glimpse of its most famous historical site, the Temple of Poseidon. For an extra special trip, try to time your visit for sunset. The views are stunning.
The island of Santorini is filled with remnants of the past, as evidenced by the very shape of the island. A cataclysmic volcanic eruption, referred to as the Minoan Eruption, took place here. However, the past can also be showcased in ancient villages such as Akrotiri are also prime examples of the way life was like on this island in a bygone era.
While on your vacation, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit at least some of these amazing historical sites from Ancient Greece.
Categorized in: Greek Travel Guide
This post was written by Greek Boston