Athens...this name is followed by the train of myths and fairytales, legends about heroes and gods where courage and passion blend to make the ineffable flavor of mystery.
The historical sites and the modern attractions in Athens create a perfect atmosphere for eager travelers. The city has been the capital of Greece for over two centuries and now it gives home to more than one-third of the Greece's population. Thousands of years of the city history and mythology are still abundantly evident throughout what is now a vibrant modern metropolis. The city has so much to offer to a visitor that there is always a question: How many places to visit? There are people, who try to visit ten places in one day. But if you want to feel the spirit of the place and to let it stay in your heart, would not it be better to think over your choice thoroughly and choose one or two things to your preference?
If you go to Athens, it may be a good idea to begin with the Acropolis, which is considered to be the heart of the history and the best of the modern attractions in Athens. Originally, Athens was built at the base of the Acropolis, which is now a part of the city, one of the most popular tourists' attractions in Athens, the greatest treasure and the international symbol of the country. The Acropolis is a collection of monuments and each of them commemorates a part of the spiritual history of the country.
The Parthenon is the most important and characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization, which still remains its international symbol. It was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of Athens. The Parthenon retained its religious character throughout the centuries, being converted into a Byzantine church, a Latin church and a Muslim mosque.
The Temple of Athena Nikae is built in the Ionic order with its characteristic amphiprostyle with a row of four columns in front of each of its narrow sides. The relief frieze on the upper section of the walls depicts the conference of gods on the east side and the scenes from battles on the other three. A marble parapet, decorated with the relief representation of Nikae (Victories), protected the edge of the Bastion on which the temple was erected.
Another landmark of the Acropolis is Eleusinion, which apparently was the sanctuary of Demeter, the Goddess, whose mysteries were celebrated at Eleusis. It was the starting point of the official precession taking place during the celebration of the Great Mysteries and leading to the Telesterion in Eleusis via the "Sacred Way".
The gigantic statue of Athena Promachos (7m high on top of a 2m base), which is visible from the sea by the travelers, was one of the first works of the great sculptor Phidias. It was constructed as a tribute to Athena, the goddess, who had "fought for (pro-machos in Greek)" Athens after the naval victory of Eurymedon over the Persian fleet in 466 B. C. and who paid with the spoils from that victory. It was one of the most famous statues of the antiquity.
The attractions in Athens are almost innumerable; the choice is so wide that it is possible to get lost in the maze of myths and truth. Nevertheless, whatever you choose, you are likely to encounter unexpected mysteries and indescribable beauty, which will make a long-lasting impact on you.