Old Athenian Hangouts Take a Modern Twist

Ancient Athens’ golden glory may be the reason why the city’s vibrant present is often overlooked by visitors. Its inhabitants, though, don’t like to dwell on the past. Well, sort of.. It’s been a few years now that the city’s modest old neighbourhoods, like the once unwelcoming industrial Gazi (Gas in English), have been given a new lease of life courtesy of a vast choice of modern restos ... Read Full Article

Anafiotika: The Hidden Village under the Acropolis

The great city of Athens, Greece is made up of numerous small villages that have melded together over the years. Plaka is the most ancient, original part of the city where most of the archaeological sites are located. Just up on the hill above Plaka, under the flank of the Acropolis (“the high city”) there is the tiny village of Anafiotika, unique because of how it came to be. In 1841, King ... Read Full Article

Walking in the Footsteps of the Philosophers in Athens

If you are wandering the ancient agora in Athens, at the junction of the SW corner near the Boundary Stone that marked the sacred precinct of the square, you will find a row of dwellings or shops. A cache of hobnails and a black glazed cup bearing the name “Simon” was discovered here and the site is marked “The Shop of the Cobbler Simon.”  This is apparently where the philosopher Socrates spent ... Read Full Article

The Jewish Museum of Athens: Recalling the Past

Ethnic Costumes - Jewish Museum in Athens

In a small, privately owned building just at the edge of Athen’s old Plaka district, all that is left of Greece’s Jewish heritage is displayed with artifacts that have been collected and restored since the 1970’s by tireless museum curators and volunteers. It is because of their dedication that the Jewish Museum of Greece now ranks among the top Jewish Museums in Europe. The idea of a ... Read Full Article

Uncovering the Past in Athens’ Metro Stations

Athens Metro Syntagma Station

Along the rail track near Monastiraki train station in Athens, a team of young archaeology students are digging for treasures. I was told they had discovered a ‘painted stoa’, a popular meeting place during the time of Plato and Socrates. I stand by the fence and watch in fascination as they dust, scrape, and carefully handle pieces of the ancient agora. Finding treasures like these in Athens is ... Read Full Article

Heinrich Schliemann’s House in Athens

interior hallway Schliemann House

I’m sitting in a beautiful garden surrounded by classical sculptures and exotic foliage. Brazilian jazz is playing as I sip my glass of sangria. Who could imagine I am in the middle of downtown Athens or that this garden is at the former home of the explorer Heinrich Schliemann. This “Garden of the Muses” is part of what was the Schliemann estate, located just a few blocks from Syntagma ... Read Full Article

Greece: Hadrian’s Athens

Hadrian's library

The Roman Emperor Hadrian is best known for building Hadrian’s Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. He also rebuilt the Parthenon and constructed the Temple of Venus in Rome. In addition to these contributions to Rome, Hadrian built several important structures in the city of Athens. Hadrian was an ardent philhellene and lived for several years in Greece. He was archon of ... Read Full Article

Athens Acropolis Museum Combines Ancient and Modern Worlds

Acropolis Museum, Athens

The Acropolis Museum, next to one of the most important historical sites in the world, holds a stunning collection of artifacts from ancient Greece. Thousands of statues and sculptures, temple carvings and household goods are displayed on three levels of the modern glass-and-marble building, which opened in 2009. If you visit the museum before walking up the sacred hill, the Acropolis, to ... Read Full Article

Dining Al Fresco in Athens

It is said that the gods fought over Athens. Ocean god Poseidon and his niece Athena, goddess of wisdom, both desired patronage over the city. The residents of the metropolis asked each deity to give them a gift; whoever gave the best gift would gain the city. Poseidon struck his trident into the ground, and a salty spring bubbled up – an impressive feat.  Athena, however, merely planted a ... Read Full Article

The Little Byzantine Churches of Athens

Athens is a city that interplays both east and west. From the deluxe hotels and modern office buildings, to the bazaars that hint of the Orient, Athens is a fast moving, modern capital. It’s hard to believe that once it was considered to be an unimportant provincial town. Seeking out the Byzantine churches of Athens is a great way to learn about and understand life in Byzantine Athens. During ... Read Full Article