Greece is more than a summer destination. As the birthplace of Democracy, western theatre, and culture, it attracts countless history enthusiasts every year.
10 Historical Places in Greece:
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Located on the south-western slope of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was once considered the center of the world – “the naval of the Earth” or “o ομφαλός της Γης” as the Greeks called it. Delphi is now an archaeological site that includes the Temple of Apollo, a theatre, and a stadium, among other landmarks, but also a museum that displays many of the findings. In the 6th Century BC, Delphi was a place of tremendous importance, due to the Oracle of Apollo that offered prophecies to those who sought divine guidance. The priestess of the temple was called “Pythia”; she was named after the gigantic serpent, Python, that was believed to have been killed by Apollo on that very spot. Pythia was the one giving the prophetic advice in a trans-like state. She would act as a medium between the gods and humans and, as many believed, her words were those of god Apollo. The breathtaking landscape, with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and olive groves, adds to the mystical atmosphere of Delphi. Today, visitors can explore the archaeological site and visit the Delphi Archaeological Museum to appreciate the historical significance and natural beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
Situated in the Peloponnese, Olympia is known for the organization of the Olympic Games in Classical antiquity. The archaeological site of Olympia preserves the remnants of the Panhellenic religious sanctuary, which includes the Temple of Zeus. There, the renowned statue of the king of Olympus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, once stood.
Visitors can explore the ancient stadium, the gymnasium, and the Palaestra. Additionally, the Olympia Archaeological Museum displays various artifacts, such as ancient sculptures and athletic equipment, offering further insights into the Olympic Games.
Nestled in the Argolis region of the Peloponnese, Mycenae was once the epicenter of the Mycenaean civilization in ancient Greece. Its peak was in 1350BC and its architecture is a great example of the so-called Cyclopean masonry. The name derives from the Cyclops, the gigantic humans that were believed to be the builders of ancient stonework.
Visitors can explore the ancient city’s remains, including the royal palace, the treasury of Atreus (also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon), and the tholos tombs. It is another UNESCO World Heritage site.
Situated on the northeastern coast of the Peloponnese, Epidavros is renowned for its ancient theater and sanctuary. The Theater of Epidavros was built in the 4th century BCE and is one of the best-preserved ancient Greek theaters. It is known around the world for its exceptional acoustics. The site also features the Sanctuary of Asklepios, the god of medicine, where ancient Greeks sought divine intervention for their diseases. Visitors can explore the theater and attend performances during the annual Epidavros Festival.
Located in the eastern Aegean Sea, Rhodes is the largest island of the Dodecanese archipelago and home to a rich history. The island’s capital contains a well-preserved medieval city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Old Town features the impressive Palace of the Grand Master, medieval fortifications, narrow alleys, and a vibrant atmosphere that evokes a sense of time travelling. In Rhodes, a lover of history can find ancient wonders, such as the Acropolis of Rhodes with its Temple of Apollo and the Ancient City of Kamiros.
Perched upon a rocky island off the southeastern coast of the Peloponnese, Monemvasia is a medieval fortress town that offers a glimpse to Greece’s Byzantine era. Explore its cobblestone streets, ancient walls, and Byzantine churches. The upper town, known as the Kastro, offers breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Without a doubt, Monemvasia is a hidden gem that captivates visitors with its timeless beauty.
Situated just a short distance from Athens, Eleusis (also known as Elefsina) holds great mythological and archaeological significance. It was the site of the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries, a secretive and highly revered religious ritual in ancient Greece. The ruins of the Sanctuary of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, and the Telesterion, the main hall where the initiations took place, can still be explored. Additionally, the Archaeological Museum of Eleusis displays a collection of artifacts found in the area. Eleusis offers a captivating glimpse into the religious practices and beliefs of ancient Greece.
The capital city of Greece, Athens, is a vibrant metropolis with a rich historical heritage. It is famous for its ancient landmarks, including the Acropolis Hill, where the temple of Athena, the Parthenon, stands as a symbol of classical Greek architecture. The Ancient Agora, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the Theatre of Dionysus are just a few of the numerous archaeological sites scattered throughout the city. Athens is also home to world-class museums, such as the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum, which house invaluable collections of ancient artifacts. All of the above make Athens a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and culture seekers.
These were some historical sites to visit in Greece. Now, you may be interested in watching some other videos on this YouTube channel or you may want to read some articles at helinika.com on the Greek language, history, and culture. Lastly, your Udemy discount awaits you in the description and, for the month of June, you can purchase “Stories to Learn Greek” at a discounted price.
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