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6 Underrated Athens Sights Value Visiting

Interested by touring to Athens anytime quickly? Take a look at our information to vital however underrated Athens sights.

Athens is a vacationer vacation spot with monuments of worldwide cultural and historic significance. Who doesn’t know the Acropolis? Regardless of this, there are a number of monuments unknown to its guests that performed an vital position in its historical past.

Though these Athens sights are underrated, a go to to them may help you kind a extra full image of Athens and its historical past.

Associated learn: A Information to Athens, Greece

Take a look at these underrated Athens sights

Athens is a metropolis filled with historic sights. Whereas it’s vital to incorporate the standard listing of issues to do in Athens in your itinerary, make certain to additionally take a look at a number of of those underrated Athens sights as nicely.

Meton’s Photo voltaic Clock

Greek mathematician, astronomer, geometer, and engineer Meton lived in Athens within the fifth century BC and is understood for his invention of the Meton’s Photo voltaic Clock. Historical historians declare that Meton constructed the primary Helioscope (photo voltaic clock) of Athens. Its foundations can nonetheless be seen instantly above the rostrum of Pnyx. Based mostly on the exact location of the Helioscope, Meton calculated the instances of the equinoxes and solstices.

The base of Meton's Solar Clock in Athens
The bottom of Meton’s Photo voltaic Clock

From this vantage level, the summer time solstice dawn will be seen from the summit of Lycabettus Hill. Additionally, the winter solstice dawn will be seen from the summit of Mount Hymettus. The 60° arc that’s shaped by the solar’s annual obvious motion on the horizon is bisected by the Acropolis’ rock.

On this approach, the daylight on the equinoxes coincides with the rock of the Acropolis. The summer time solstice was vital to the traditional Athenians because it signaled the beginning of a brand new 12 months. And Meton’s calculations helped to determine the Attic Calendar.

The Antikythera Mechanism, constructed within the second century BC, is the world’s earliest recognized astronomical laptop and makes use of the Metonic circle to conduct computations. Yearly, 1000’s of vacationers come to Pnyx, however hardly any of them are conscious of the importance of this modest construction over the primary podium.

Location: Pnyx, Thissio

The view from Meton's Solar Clock - an underrated Athens attraction
The view from Meton’s Photo voltaic Clock

Socrates’ Jail

Many archaeologists imagine {that a} cave-like construction on the base of Phillopappos Hill and some metres from Herodium, was the place Socrates was imprisoned earlier than he was poisoned. In accordance with historic research, it’s difficult to attach the archaeological website with the jail in historic Athens.

Nevertheless, there’s some proof that concurs with the descriptions of the jail in Plato’s Dialogues that helps this concept. The information that it was constructed in the course of the fifth century BC, confronted a serious street, and was in a pit that contained bathhouses level to that conclusion. Additionally, a small battered statue of Socrates was one of many gadgets discovered within the constructing’s stays.

Socrates' Prison exterior in Athens
Socrates’ Jail exterior

The carved development was probably a part of a formidable two- or three-story constructing, which some researchers imagine to be a portion of a home. The Nationwide Archaeological Museum used these caves as a storage facility for artifacts throughout World Conflict II.

The museum buried lots of its artifacts there to stop theft by the Nazi occupation troops. Whether or not it’s the famed thinker’s jail or not, this can be a actually attention-grabbing location that’s typically ignored by guests to the close by Acropolis and is seldom recognized to locals.

Location: Philopappos Hill

Socrates' Prison interior - an underrated Athens attraction
Socrates’ Jail inside

Aristotle’s Lyceum

In a really central a part of town a vital archaeological website of worldwide significance was found in 1996. It’s the stays of the palaestra of one of many first gymnasiums of historic Athens, that of Aristotle’s Lyceum. In accordance with the traditional testimonies, the Lyceum was an idyllic, verdant location to the east of Athens.

The palaestra was a big constructing with a longitudinal axis from north to south that was based within the second half of the 4th century BC. The constructing consists of an interior courtyard surrounded by arcades behind which symmetrically develop spacious, rectangular rooms. In later years, a chilly tub tank for the athletes was constructed on the north aspect of the courtyard, with arched, slender sides.

Aristotle’s Lyceum in Athens
Aristotle’s Lyceum

Aristotle’s Lyceum was and is in the end some of the vital locations on the planet for the historical past of the human spirit. It was the embodiment of Aristotle’s philosophy of an academic establishment for the younger based mostly on the thought of “kalos kagathos”.

Additionally, Aristotle himself taught on the Lyceum for 12 years, spreading his philosophy, which strongly influenced all subsequent historic thought. The monumental mental edifice of Aristotle and his college summed up all of the philosophical and scientific pursuits of the traditional world. Parts of Aristotle’s philosophy exist in Christianity and in addition within the Renaissance.

Location: Rigillis 11, Syntagma

Aristotle’s Lyceum in Athens
Aristotle’s Lyceum


Vatrachonisi (which implies “Frog Island”) was situated within the Ilissos River in Athens beneath Zappeion, the place the present Agia Fotini church now stands. Between the 2 sides of the Ilissos River lay a lush, open tract of land. The 2 streams of the river converged right here, creating somewhat islet with waterfalls on both aspect.

The holy spring of Kalliroi was on the small island, and the realm was often known as Neraidotopos (actually, “residence of fairies”). When King Otto was in energy, the realm was first settled by “cafe-sandan” companies. These venues hosted cabaret acts and different like reveals, and in addition acted as a gathering place for illicit {couples}.

Agia Fotini church at Vatrachonisi
Agia Fotini church at Vatrachonisi

One of many river’s two branches was grounded throughout a devastating flood on the finish of 1896. Now, a small, inactive part of an uncovered riverbed is preserved subsequent to the church of Agia Fotini and has been labeled as an archaeological website. A 3-arched stone bridge that was lastly constructed over the river in the course of the reign of King Otto.

The bridge now hid beneath the intersection of Ardittou and Athanassiou Diakou streets. The realm of Vatrachonisi is the proper place for a calming stroll within the metropolis centre.

Location: Athanassiou Diakou and Ardittou Avenue Intersection, Mets

King Otto's stone bridge at Vatrachonisi
King Otto’s stone bridge at Vatrachonisi

Agios Nicholas Rangavas

This Byzantine church within the busy Plaka is likely one of the most historic church buildings in Athens. Sadly, few of town’s guests realize it. It was probably constructed within the eleventh century AD within the centre of essentially the most aristocratic neighbourhood of Byzantine Athens. It was constructed by the rich household of Rangavas, initially from Constantinople.

The significance and radiance of the temple in mediaeval Athens had been such that it gave its title to the encircling space and the close by entrance to the defensive wall of Athens. It was visited by members of the imperial household and the distinguished residents of town.

Agios Nicholas Rangavas in Athens
Agios Nicholas Rangavas

As a result of some historic constructing supplies had been utilized in its development, it’s apparent that it was constructed on prime of an previous temple. In 1687 AD, in the course of the siege of town of Athens by Morozini, a shell hit the Holy Altar of the temple. Additionally, within the second half of the nineteenth century, vital demolition and growth works had been carried out on the church. These works had the impact of altering the unique Byzantine components of the church. Within the Nineteen Eighties, nonetheless, archaeologists restored a lot of the church to its authentic kind.

That is the picture of the church that we admire right this moment, and the weather that had been added later are evident. The obvious are the excessive bell tower and the doorway with the ladies’s quarter. The church is vital for another reason. It was its bell that rang in the course of the liberation of town from the Turks. And this bell is stored contained in the church to at the present time.

Location: Prytaneiou 1, Plaka

Agios Nicholas Rangavas in Athens
Agios Nicholas Rangavas

Korai 4

When you occur to cross Korai Avenue, you may discover the distinctive signal that reads “Memorial Sight 1941-1944”. That is the Korai 4 – Kommandantur incarceration establishment. It’s the place, 1000’s of Greek resistance fighters had been tortured along with some German dissidents, in the course of the Nazi occupation.

The basements, which had been constructed as an anti-aircraft shelter, housed the cells. The story of the placement has been pieced collectively utilizing the remnant inscriptions, names inscribed on the partitions, little artifacts, personal notes and pages from German diaries, for the reason that Nazis left no information.

Korai 4 entrance
Korai 4 entrance

A lot of the engraved notes left by the detainees vanished on account of the Germans’ frequent portray of the cell partitions. Nevertheless, a number of the writings on the partitions within the second basement, relationship again to 1944, seem to have survived. In all probability as a result of Nazis needed to flee shortly after their defeat within the struggle. A go to to those historic basements will fill you with feelings and ideas. On the identical time you’ll get to know an vital piece of the current historical past of town.

Location: Korai Avenue, Syntagma Sq.

Each metropolis, other than its well-known sights, additionally hides secrets and techniques that the customer deserves to find. Many instances, they’re in entrance of our eyes with out our figuring out their true that means. These six sights, though underrated, are six features of the historical past of Athens that need to be found.

  • Antonis Tsapepas

    Travelling is a solution to escape, be taught, uncover unforgettable locations, meet attention-grabbing folks, and take a look at distinctive gastronomy. After many journeys to Europe and Greece as a gaggle of pals, we determined with our web site Meals and Journey (byfoodandtravel.com) to share our journey and gastronomic experiences with others. We wish to method in style locations otherwise and uncover new unexplored locations.

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