Ancient ruins

Mycenae/Μυκήνες

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The entrance to the ‘tholos’ beehive tomb.

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The beehive tomb also called ‘The Treasury of Atreus’ or more famously ‘The Tomb of Agamemnon’

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The beehive-like structure with its megalithic stones was built between 1350 and 1250 B.C

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The entrance to a smaller room. That has been blocked to due falling rocks.

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A few photographs from on site museum of Mycenae.

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A view of the Mycenaean ruins from outside the ‘Tomb of Agamemnon’

“The Mycenaean rulers had the seat of their power and activity in a luxurious palace, built on a hill (acropolis) which was surrounded by imposing fortifications that were constructed during the 14th and 13th Century B.C. The walls surpassed 12 metres high and 7 metres in length. The area covers 30,000 sq meters with a total length of 900 metres.”

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The beautiful landscape of Argos from the ancient ruins.

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The entrance to the ‘Lion Tholos Tomb’. Dates back to the 15th Century B.C

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The tholos (beehive) has not survived, but it is estimated to have been about 15 metres high.

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The ‘Lion Gate’ is the main entrance to the citadel of Mycenae

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The gate was closed by a double door, secured by a sliding bar. It dates to 1240 B.C

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The relief of  the lions is the oldest monumental relief in Europe. The heads of the lions did not survive and were made from steatite (soapstone).

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The Northeast extension of the citadel which secured the water supply.

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The underground cistern.

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They received water from the natural spring. Has a depth of 18 meters.

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The Mycenaean civilization flourished in the time span of 1600-1100 B.C.  It was the first advanced Greek civilization. The Mycenaean period was the setting of Greek mythology and the historical setting of the Trojan Epic Cycle (poems written about the Trojan war).

I visited the archaeological site of Mycenae for the first time in late October. It was unseasonably hot and crowded with tourists. I was told not to come here in the summer and I so glad that I didn’t. It’s a bit of a climb to the top, but the view of Argos is fantastic.

Poseidon Adventure

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Many names are carved into the marble from the 19th century. The scandalous Lord Byron left carved his name here.

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The Doric style innovative columns.

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side view

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Next to the temple is the lesser known Temple of Athena.

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Let it flare!

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The Temple of Poseidon is located at the southernmost point of  the Athenian peninsula at Cape Sounio. It is an hour and a half away from Athens’ center. The long drive there is gorgeous and worth it. The temple is dedicated to Poseidon the Greek God of the sea. It was rebuilt by order of Pericles in the 5th century B.C. over an older temple from the Archaic period. This site has been continually inhabited since prehistoric times.

This is my second time at the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio. I can’t get enough of the temple and views here. I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The task of organizing them was a bit of a chore, but I finally got around to publishing them. I have more of the pictures of the views of the ocean that I will be posting soon.

For more information about the temple and 3D view of how it used to look in ancient times head on over to this site: http://www.ancientathens3d.com/sounio-history/

Heraion/Ηραιον

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The ruins of the sanctuary of Hera Akraia Limenia, is located at a beautiful cove with a magestic view of the gulf of Corinth. ‘Akraia’ means ‘great height’ and ‘Limenia’ means ‘of the harbour’.  Akraia was also the name of the naiad or water nymph associated with Hera. The site had an L shaped stoa, temple, hearth and sacred pool where visitors would cleanse themselves before entering the temple. There was a dining area that was exclusive to the wealthy. Sailors would stop by the harbour to come on the harbour  to pray, give offerings and make sacrifices to the goddess for their safe travels.

 

Κράτα το

Temple of Apollo/Ο Ναος του Απολλωνα

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The temple of Apollo is built with Doric style columns.

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There were 38 columns, now there are only 7 left.

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Korinthian columns from another building on the site.

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Ancient settlement with ‘Acrokorinthos’ (a fort on the mountain top) at the distance

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Temple of Apollo from a distance.

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The Agora

The temple of Apollo, Greek and Roman God of music and light,  is located at the base of  ‘Akrokorinthos’ the fortress overlooking Corinthos. The temple was built in 540 B.C. there was an earlier temple built on this site in the 7th Century B.C. It was a wealthy trading city in its prime, but it not have a good reputation. Loose morals were a problem something that St. Paul addressed in his letters to the Corinthinas as it was still a problem in his time.

Ο ναός του Απόλλωνα, ο ελληνικός και ρωμαϊκός Θεός της μουσικής και του φωτός, βρίσκεται στη βάση του Ακροκορινθίου το φρούριο με θέα την Κόρινθο. Ο ναός χτίστηκε το 540 π.Χ. υπήρχε ένας προγενέστερος ναός χτισμένος σε αυτό το χώρο στον 7ο αιώνα π.Χ. Ήταν μια πλούσια πόλη εμπορικών συναλλαγών στην ακμή της, αλλά δεν είχε καλή φήμη. Τα χαλαρά ηθικά ήταν ένα πρόβλημα που ο Άγιος Παύλος απάντησε στις επιστολές του προς τους Κορινθίνους, καθώς ήταν ακόμα ένα πρόβλημα στην εποχή του.

 

Akrokorinthos/Ακροκόρινθος

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Akrokorinthos is a cliff that is 575 meters in height with a fort and medieval settlement situated on top. It is a bit of a climb up to the top but the climb is well worth it, as beautiful panoramic views of the Corinthian valley are revealed. This mountain top fort is located at a strategic location in Corinth. The fort over looks land and sea and one can see why so many invaders such as the Romans, Ottomans, and Venetians took control over the site. In the 17th century, when the Ottomans had control over the site, Christians and Muslims lived together. There were churches and mosques at the site as well. The people felt safe on the site as they could defend themselves more easily against pirates that entered from sea nearby.

Athens By Night

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Roman Agora under the moonlight

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Entrance to the theatre of Herodes Atticus

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Photography exhibition outside of the theatre

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Greek Parliament

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The Evzones at Syndagma

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Hotel Grande Bretagne

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Water fountain at Syndagma square

Some night shots of Athens when I went downtown for the full moon festivities on the 9th of August. Most of the archaeological sites and museums were open and entrance was free. There was a huge crowd below the Acropolis enjoying the music and checking out the ancient artifacts and admiring the August full moon.

The Athens Mini Tour

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A few lucky foreign students get a tour of the Acropolis.

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Hadrians’ Library

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The Roman Agora

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In the distance is the ‘The Tower of the Winds’ below the Parthenon.

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A mosque built by the Ottomans below the Parthenon. Now it is a museum.

It’s always fun to go downtown at the beginning of tourist season when the weather  is warmer and the sun is shining. It makes my camera very happy. I think I took 100 photos! So many things to capture, from the people enjoying their stroll or the others at the coffee shops or restaurants, to the old buildings and the much older temples, nothing escapes my eye.

Ancient Cemetery/Αρχαίο Νεκροταφείο

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cemetarytext3It is not unusual, in an ancient city like Athens, to come across a cemetery  with open tombs. This ancient cemetery is  located in one of the most beautiful squares in downtown Athens called ‘Plateia Kotzia’ (Πλατεία Κοτζιά). The buildings at the square are neoclassical from the 19th Century and they are a wonderful contrast to the ancient grave site.

Ancient Healing

The site of Aesculapius at Epidaurus in Peloponnese was the most important healing center in the ancient Greek and Roman world. The site’s beautiful nature and the therapeutic springs attracted many people from afar and were thought be helpful in healing the patients of their ailments.  There were many temples that were considered  masterpieces and where medicine was practiced. One of the temples was dedicated to Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, and another was dedicated to Aesclipius, the Greek god of medicine. The temples since that time have been devastated by many earthquakes and invaders so like Ancient Olympia there are only a few columns still standing. However, the ancient Epidaurus theatre just a few feet away and is in great condition, so it is still a great place to visit.  I would have love to have seen how it was originally it must have been an incredible place to visit.