5 Awesome Destinations in Athens, Greece May 12, 2017 by Nicole (Awesome Escape Blogger)

Widely regarded as the “cradle of Western civilization,” Athens is a full of historical wonders. Although famous for its monuments and ruins, this is a bustling city that is a center for sports, nightlife, and culture. Take your time to explore the friendly city. With that said, there are five amazing places everyone should put on their list when vacationing in Athens.

The Erechtheum

Also known as the Erechtheion, this stunning temple was constructed of Pentelic marble and is located on the Acropolis. When the earlier temple dedicated to Athena was destroyed by the Persians, construction began on the Erechtheum. This is a temple that found itself dedicated to Poseidon, Erechtheus ad Athena Polias. The shrine to Athena can be accessed via the portico on the east. You are certain to be impressed by the collection of the female statues supporting the entablature, called caryatids.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus

This is the largest temple in Greece. It took close to seven centuries to build the temple due to many breaks in construction, wars, and political upheavals. The Temple of Olympian Zeus stands tall as a reminder of the rich history and triumph of Greece. Do note that out of the temple’s original 104 columns, only 15 remain, but they reach a full 57 feet into the air.

The Plaka District

This is one of the most popular attractions in Athens. The district is under the Acropolis and extends to Syntagma. Plake is a virtual island within Athens and an ideal way to experience contemporary Greek life and culture. The scenery is unique, and the area is home to cafes, boutiques, museums and taverns. The foods available are exquisite as well as iconic for the area.

Ancient Agora

Ancient Agora is located northwest of the Acropolis. It was once a civic center as well as a marketplace. Ancient citizens would gather in Agora to discuss current events, business, nature, politics, and the nature of the universe. The views from there are stunning as it rests on an elevated portion of the Agoraios Kolonas Hill. Also, while visiting the Ancient Agora, be certain to tour the Temple of Hephaistos; which was built in a similar fashion to the Parthenon.

Acropolis Museum

Atop a hill that overlooks Athens, you will find the Parthenon perched. This is the temple that was built in dedication to Athena as a “thank you” for her protection during the Persian Wars. The temple was designed by sculptor Phidias and it, originally, held ancient treasures including a massive gold statue of the goddess. Then head down to the Acropolis Museum to discover some of the recovered treasures, artifacts, and ancient archaeological sites.

Athens has an abundance to offer. There are more attractions to take in and explore throughout the city and surrounding areas. Keep in mind that Athens is no sleepy, dusty town. It is a vibrant, unique blending of modern and ancient. You will be able to take in history and culture while enjoying modern conveniences and nightlife. Just imagine an epic vacation where Western civilization began.

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