ATHENA - THE CAPITAL
Athens is located on the Attica peninsula, near the shores of the Aegean Sea between the hills of the Acropolis and Lycabettus Sea that dominate the city. Athens stands out from all the cities of Greece, as one of the most touristic destinations. Its architecture is characterized by the coexistence of great monuments of antiquity, the Byzantine period and the houses of the older and modern era. Athens, especially its historic center, is full of sights, museums, and archeological sites. Syntagma Square is a landmark square of Athens, in front of the Greek Parliament. The attraction of the square is the characteristic Change of Guard in front of the Monument of the Unknown Soldier by the Presidential Guard every hour with the synchronized movements of the guards, called Evzones.
The Acropolis of Athens, the so-called "sacred rock", is the most important archaeological site in Greece and is located on a hill in the center of Athens. The Propylaea is the first building you encounter entering the Acropolis. The road to the Acropolis passed through the main hall of the Propylaea while the other spaces served as a gallery, the first in the world. The Parthenon is the most famous monument of the city with the top of the Holy Rock of the Acropolis impressing the visitor with its unique architecture. The Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patron saint of the city of Athens. It was built by the architects Iktinos and Kallikrates under the supervision of Athenian sculptor Pheidias. The temple of Athena Nike (Apteros Nike) was built on the south side of the Propylaea in 420 BC. in which in prehistoric times there was a sanctuary.
The Erechtheion is one of the most peculiar temples of Greek antiquity that was dedicated to the worship of the two main deities Athena and Poseidon. The Areopagus , dedicated to the god Mars during the time of the aristocratic oligarchy, was the seat of the Court and ruled the city. One of the imposing sights is the Kallimarmaro Stadium that dominates the city center. It is built of white marble and in antiquity it was used for the Panathinaikos games where they honored the goddess Athena. It also hosted the first Olympic Games in 1896 and a total of three Olympic Games were held at the stadium. The temple of Olympian Zeus is the largest ancient temple in Greece. The beginning of its construction dates back to the 6th century and lasted 700 years. It is dedicated to Zeus and consists of Pentelic marble and today 14 of its 104 columns survive.
The Mosque outside the metro station hosts the branch of the Museum of Greek Folk Art. It was built in 1759 by the bey of Athens while some of the columns that support it come from the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The Ancient Agora of Athens is one of the main monuments which in antiquity was an administrative, economic, educational and philosophical center and includes the temple of Hephaestus (Thissio) and the altar of the 12 gods. In Zappeion is the National Garden, with an area of 160 acres on the south side of which is the Zappeion Palace from 1874 - 1888 next to which we find the building of the Presidential Palace. The hill of Philopappos, with its cobbled streets and the Roman monument of the same name, is the place where the ancient Athenian citizens used to gather in order to exercise their democratic duties.
Sounio is an important strategic point from where the city of Athens controlled the sea passage to the Aegean and Piraeus. In Sounio the Athenians built a sanctuary surrounded by a wall that included temples dedicated to the gods. The main temple was dedicated to Poseidon, the god of the sea, it is a temple of Doric style and is the only temple that has survived to this day. The most beautiful square of Athens, Monastiraki, is a district that owes its name to the old monastery and is its perfect miniature. In the square is the former catholic church while to the south of the square there is the Mosque and the ruins of the Library of Hadrian. Monastiraki is offered for walks in the small shops and in the stalls of the small sellers that transport the visitor to another era.
Athens has some of the most important museums in the world, such as the brand new Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum. The Benaki Museum is also the oldest museum organization operating in Greece as an Institution of Private Law with extensive sections of exhibits from many periods. From Omonia Square begins Patision Street, a busy street with beautiful buildings, such as the National Technical University of Athens and the National Archaeological Museum, among the best in the world, as it houses rare archaeological finds. The Herodes Atticus Theater is one of the most important ancient theaters and the most important in Athens with a capacity of 5,000 spectators with marble stands with unique acoustics. The most beautiful neighborhood of Athens is the Mets with its beautiful parks and colorful neoclassical buildings on small sidewalks overlooking the Acropolis.
Kerameikos is also of great history and is a burial place of prominent Athenians of 40 acres. The alleys of Plaka to the rock of the Acropolis, with the island neighborhood of Anafiotika, the blooming bougainvilleas, and the shops with tourist items enchant the visitors. The historic flea market, also known as Yusurum, is located in Abyssinia Square, specifically on Hephaestus Street. The neoclassical buildings of the City Hall of Athens and the Varvakeio Agora, as well as the large and beautiful Kotzia Square are places worth visiting. The area of Psyrri, a picturesque, neoclassical Athenian neighborhood, has developed into one of the most popular hangouts in the city, with a vibrant nightlife. Kolonaki is one of the most majestic streets with beautiful neoclassical, important museums that is considered the most aristocratic district of Center.
The area of Exarcheia, a charming and lively neighborhood, is a popular hangout and meeting place but also a place of residence for many students and artists. Gazi is a district since 1857 between Iera Odos and Piraeus Street that owes its name to the gas installations. A registered point is Technopolis, which currently operates as a multifaceted cultural center. Glyfada is a coastal suburb on the southern coast of the Athens basin. During the summer months, the area receives thousands of visitors who enjoy relaxing moments at sea. It is offered for coffee and food while in the evening the fun satisfies every desire. Elegant villas, stylish shops, famous restaurants and luxury hotels compose the image, giving guests unforgettable experiences. At the Golf Club of Glyfada, one can enjoy a game of golf on a field of international standards.
The area of Voula is another jewel of the Athenian Riviera with two wonderful beaches. It is an ideal place for swimming and water sports, as it has excellent facilities and suitable infrastructure for water skiing, beach volley etc. The beach "A Voulas" has been awarded with a blue flag, which makes it ideal for families. Vouliagmeni is a suburb, with lush vegetation and beautiful beaches, some of the best and most luxurious hotels in Attica. The beach of "Asteras", which has been awarded with a blue flag, offers a beautiful natural landscape while it has wonderful restaurants that offer unique flavors and nightclubs that compensate even the most demanding visitors. Lake Vouliagmeni is a natural lake located in the homonymous area at a distance of 21 km from Athens.
According to research, water has healing properties and cures gynecology, rheumatism and sports injuries. Of particular interest to scientists is the cave and the largest underground tunnel in the world. The Lake is included in the National Catalog NATURA 2000 and has been designated as a Place of Special Natural Beauty. The hill of Faskomilia with a path that starts just above the lake, is ideal for a walk with magnificent views. Faliro with the marina of Floisvou is a special suburb, which is a favorite destination overlooking the Saronic Gulf. It has a marina, a trademark of the cosmopolitan character of the area, while the park of Floisvos is suitable for walks. Varkiza is one of the most popular tourist resorts on the coast, with beautiful coves and wonderful geophysical landscape with crystal clear waters and water sports.
Attica has proposals for everyone, is full of contradictions and always has something new to present. It is a prime theatrical capital as it has more theaters than London. Parnitha Casino is located at the top of Parnitha on the premises of the Regency Mont Parnes Hotel. You can go to the Parnitha casino by car continuing to the top or you can use the new cable car. As the cable car approaches the top of 1050 meters, especially at night with the illuminated Athens stretching the view is unique. Cafés, clubs, bars, tsipouro restaurants, taverns, restaurants, koutouki, pizza places, bouzoukia are some of the entertainment options. Do not forget to enjoy fresh fish and unique seafood delicacies in the traditional beach taverns and ouzo.
Attica has a number of products offered by the land of invaluable nutritional value. Some of them are wine, peanuts, figs, olive oil, citrus fruits, dairy products but also marine fishery and fish products. Thanks to the vineyards and wineries of great historical value, Attica produces wine in varieties such as retsina, semi-sweet, rosé, brusco and retsina which is its special wine. Sweets, wine, tsipouro, folk art items, silverware, various types of cheese, sausages and many other products stand out in Attica, giving unique flavors to the gastronomy of the prefecture.