Excursion tour in Athens. Top architecture - monuments, castles, temples and palaces

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Let’s continue our virtual walk in Athens and its most prominent architecture monuments. This time, we will focus on such breath-taking sights as Temple of Hephaestus, Zappeion, Church of the Holy Apostles, Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, Panathenaic Stadium and many others. For many people, the cultural and historical vibe of these monuments defines the atmosphere of not only Athens, but also Greece in general. We will make a virtual 3D tour to every monument, look at it from a bird’s eye view, and browse the most interesting facts that have defined the history of Athens. The photo gallery and maps are the cherry on the cake!

Temple of Hephaestus, Athens

Location on the map:   Facts:
» The Temple of Hephaestus is one of the best preserved ancient temples in Athens. It was built in 449-415 BC and was dedicated to the god Hephaestus. Hephaestus is the Greek god of fire, volcanoes and metal.
» Construction of the temple of Hephaestus was begun in 449 BC.
»  Temple of Hephaestus in Athens was the first temple built of marble.
»  In the 7th century AD Orthodox priests converted the temple of Hephaestus to the Church of St. George.
» The length of the temple is almost 32 meters, and width is almost 14 meters. Not only all 34 columns of the Temple, but the roof has survived miraculously.

Zappeion, Athens

Location on the map:   Facts:
» Zappeion is the building in Athens constructed in classical style by Austrian architect Theophil von Hansen.
» The building is named after Evangelisa Zappasa, Greek millionaire and philanthropist that organized the first Olympia, predecessors of the modern Olympic Games.
» Construction of the building lasted for about 14 years and was completed in 1888. Consecration Zappeion was timed to the opening of the fourth Olympia in Greece.
»  The building has repeatedly hosted trade fairs, exhibitions, congresses, conferences and scientific symposia, as well as music events.
» In 1896, during the first Olympic Games, Zappeion was used for sports competition; during the Olympic Games in 1906 there was the Olympic Village.
» In World War II Zappeion served as the Greek military hospital.

Church of the Holy Apostles, Athens

Location on the map:   Facts:
» The Church of the Holy Apostles is one of the oldest Christian churches in Athens built in the 10th century.
» The Church of the Holy Apostles has paramount importance as it's the only monument of the Athenian agora (town square of Athens), which remained completely in its original form.
» The Church of the Holy Apostles consists of four columns supporting the dome over the cruciform building. Apart from the main temple, the church has two of the porch completed later making the shape of the church almost U-shaped.
» The northern narthex houses a sarcophagus, where the patron of the parish was probably buried; following the Byzantine tradition he and his relatives had the right to be buried in the temple.
» Other burials were found by archaeologists in the vestibule and on the yard of the church.

Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, Athens

Location on the map:   Facts:
» The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates is the monument erected in 334 BC close to the Acropolis.
» The monument was erected by wealthy Athenian Lysicrates, who was the sponsor of many theatrical performances in the Theater of Dionysus, to commemorate the award-winning play that he had sponsored.
» The monument is mounted on a six-meter high rotunda pedestal with Corinthian columns. Above the columns there is the frieze with scene from Dionysus’s life, the transformation of the pirates who kidnapped the god into dolphins.
» The 6-meter high monument is crowned by a stone flower, on which stood a bronze tripod, an award of the theater festival of Dionysus.
» Even though the tripod was connected to the flower by bronze chains, it hasn't survived to our days.

Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

Location on the map:   Facts:
» In ancient times, the Panathenaic Stadium was the venue for the Panathenaic Games, dedicated to the city patroness Athena.
» The stadium was built of marble in 329 BC.
» A feature of this stadium is that it's the only stadium in the world built of white marble.
» The first Olympic Games were held there in 1896.
» In 2004, the Panathinaikos Stadium was one of the sites taking the Athens Olympics and was the venue for the competitions on shooting.

St. George Chapel, Athens

Location on the map:   Facts:
» The Byzantine St. George Chapel is at the top of the Lycabettus Mountain located in the center of Athens. The mountain has a height of about 300 meters above sea level.
» The Chapel was built in the 11-12th century to commemorate power of the Byzantine Empire and Christianity in that period.
» The white shrine is a small single-nave church with a dome and the bell given by Queen Olga (wife of King George of Greece I); she has taken the church under her wing.
» In 1930, the church building has been severely damaged by fire, but a year later the church was restored and reopened for parishioners.
» The church can be reached on foot or by cable car.
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Plan your own tour over Athens on the monuments map

More to see in Athens
Athens is so rich in various attractions that choosing the most interesting among them is not so simple. You should definitely visit Tower of the Winds, which was built approximately two thousand years ago. This is one of the oldest meteorological sites of the world. The tower is built from marble, and its height reaches 12 meters, diameter - 8 meters. The top of the tower is decorated with amazing frieze, which depicts eight winds. You will also see the majestic Lycabettus Mount in the center of the city. A beautiful medieval church and many other notable buildings are located on this mountain. Temple of Hephaestus is, without a doubt, the most famous monument of antiquity. The one of the biggest and greatest archaeological museums in Greece is located in the walls of the temple. Fans of exciting excursions should definitely see the exhibits in Acropolis Museum. You will find here a rich collection of unique and precious historical artifacts. Among the religious sites of this place Kesariani Monastery certainly deserves special attention. There are several springs on its territory; local buildings and the old cathedral always strike visitors by their unique architecture and unusual decoration of premises. You can see a collection of ancient frescoes in the cathedral. These frescoes were donated to the monastery in the beginning of the 17th century. Plaka district is surely the most beautiful and interesting from the historical point of view. All historical buildings … Read further

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