Ancient ruins

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.

 

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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.

The Temple of Poseidon/Ο Ναος του Ποσειδωνα

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There is a lot of graffiti from over a century ago. If you zoom in you at the top you can see Lord Byron’s’ name.

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touriststextThe temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio is a beautiful spot at the southern tip of Attica. It has one the greatest views of the sea I have seen in Greece. It is no wonder then that it was such a significant strategic point for the ancient Athenians who, from this point, could control the sea passage to the Aegean sea and Piraeus and Lavrion Peninsula.  Poseidon, the God of the sea, protected the ships in the Mediterranean. Seafarers would come to the temple and make animal sacrifices or give gifts in exchange for a safe sea voyage.

The Tower of the Winds /Ο πύργος των ανέμων

The Wind Tower

The Wind TowerThe tower of the winds or the ‘Horologion (timepiece) of  Andronikos of Kyrrhos’ was built by Macedonian Astronomer Andronikos in 50 B.C.  There are eight figures carved out on each side,  and each figure represents the eight different wind gods. The North wind is ‘Boreas’, the Northeast ‘Kaikias’, the Southeast ‘Apeliotes’, the East is ‘Eurus’, the South is ‘Notus’, the Southwest is ‘Livas’, the West is ‘Zephyros’, and the Northwest is ‘Skiron’. The octagonal structure has a sundial on the outside and a water clock on the inside.  In ancient times, there was a bronze statue of Triton holding a rod in his hand. Triton is a Greek god and messenger of the sea, and he is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite – the god and goddess of the sea.  Triton would move in different directions from the wind. This is where the idea for weather vanes came from. The tower  had various uses over time and is one of the best preserved structures in the area.

Ο πύργος των ανέμων ή το «Ωρολόγιον (ρολόι) του Ανδρόνικου του Kyrrhos» χτίστηκε από τον Μακεδονικό αστρονόμο Ανδρόνικο το 50 π.Χ. Υπάρχουν οκτώ στοιχεία σε κάθε πλευρά, και κάθε εικόνα αντιπροσωπεύει τις οκτώ διαφορετικούς θεούς του ανέμου. Ο Βοριάς είναι ο ‘Βορέας’, ο Βορειοανατολικά ο ‘Καικίας’, η Νοτιοανατολική ο ‘Apeliotes’, η Ανατολή είναι ο ‘Εύρος’, ο Νότος, η ΝΔ είναι ο Λίβας, η Δύση είναι ο ‘Ζέφυρος’ και η Βορειοδυτικά είναι ο ‘Σκίρων’. Η οκταγωνική δομή έχει ένα ηλιακό ρολόι στο εξωτερικό και ένα ρολόι ύδατος στο εσωτερικό. Στην αρχαιότητα, υπήρχε ενα χάλκινο άγαλμα του Τρίτωνα κρατώντας μια ράβδο στο χέρι του. Ο Τρίτωνας είναι ένας Έλληνας θεός και ο αγγελιοφόρος της θάλασσας, και είναι ο γιος του Ποσειδώνα και Ἀμφιτρίτη- το θεό και θεά της θάλασσας. Ο Τρίτωνας  κινούταν σε διαφορετικές κατευθύνσεις από τον άνεμο. Η σύγχρονη πτερύγια καιρού προήλθε από αυτή την ιδέα. Ο πύργος είχε διάφορες χρήσεις με τη πάροδο του χρόνου και είναι ένα από τα καλύτερα διατηρημένα κτίσματα στην περιοχή.

The Ancient Ruins of Olympia

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Archaeologists at work close to the entrance of the site.

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Archaeologists uncovered a gymnasium 186 meters in length dating back to the 3rd & 4th Century A.D

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The many tourists at the archaeological site

The many tourists at the archaeological site

The Entrance to the Stadium for the Athletes

The Entrance to the Stadium for the Athletes

The Ancient Stadium. The judges sat on the right.

The Ancient Stadium. The judges sat on the right where the stones are.

This is the first time that I visited the archaeological site (Altis) at ancient Olympia. I have driven by the site many times to visit my mothers’ village. I even went to the museum, but I did not have the opportunity to visit the site where the gymnasiums were. This was where the athletes would train for the games.  I remember back in the summer of 2004, when Athens was hosting the Olympic games, and sitting on the grass of the ancient stadium with other spectators from around the world. We were waiting for the priestess to light the torch in the gymnasium area. It was a cloudy morning and all of a sudden the sun came out and the torch was lit. It was an experience that I will never forget.

Walking through the site I was a bit disheartening to see everything in ruins. It’s hard to imagine how the site looked like back then. Despite being in ruins the site was very beautiful and tranquil.