Monday, June 25, 2007

what to see and do in Athens

The Acropolis
This is the original site of Athens, a limestone plateau supporting the Parthenon, the all-marble temple dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos (literally virgin Athens). A landmark visible from many parts of the modern city. In the same section are the Museum of the Acropolis (re-opened after renovation - a newer and bigger museum is on the cards), the Erechtheion with its six stone Karyatides maidens holding one side of the temple .The site includes the Parthenon, the museum, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Nike (Wingless Victory) and the Aeropagus, the rocky hill that served as the first high court.
Acropolis site - Open: daily 08.00-19.30 (until 31 October - in winter it closes earlier)
Acropolis museum - Monday: 11.00-15.00, Tuesday to Sunday: 08.00-17.00 (holidays: until 15.00).
Admission: 12/6 euros **

Special Admission Rates and "closed" dates for Sites/Museums
**Acropolis special ticket package: 12/6 euros
There is now a special ticket package that includes admission to sites at walkable distance: Acropolis site and museum, Ancient Agora and Thission, South slope and Dionysos Theatre, Roman Agora, Kerameikos, Olympieion (Temple of Zeus)
Free Admission to All: Sundays between November 1st and March 31st, first Sunday of every month except July-August-September and: March 6, April 18, May 18, June 5, last weekend of September.
CLOSED: Jan 1, March 25, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, May 1, October 28, December 25 & 26.
Free admission: people under 18 years, Greek and EU students, tour guides and journalists.
Reduced rate: (approximately half the full rate) students from counties outside the EU, EU citizens over 65 years.

More about the museums and what they offer can be found in the Culture Ministry's site:

South slope of Acropolis
The entrance to the south slope is separate, on Dionysiou Areopagitou. The south slope of the Acropolis played a significant role in the artistic, spiritual and religious activity of ancient Athens. Important public buildings were erected in the area: the Odeion of Perikles, the sanctuary and theatre of Dionysos the choregic monuments, the Asklepieion, the stoa of Eumenes and the Odeion of Herodes Atticus .
Admission: (included in Acropolis ticket). Open: daily 08.00-19:30.

The Ancient Agora of Athens
The market of the city, which was the center of public life. Most impressive is the Thission, the doric Temple of Hephaestus. The frieze depicts the exploits and adventures of Thiseus (the hero who in mythology killed the Minotaur of Crete). Constructed in the 5th century BC by Ictinos (the architect of the Parthenon), it is probably the best-preserved Greek temple with its 34 columns almost intact. In the Agora area, the restored Stoa of Attalus, which is part of this visit, houses a fascinating small museum, with everyday artifacts found in the area. In the middle of Agora is also the Agioi Apostoloi church, built in the 2nd century AD, with Byzantine frescoes and wall paintings.
Admission: (included in Acropolis ticket). Open: daily 08.00-19:30.

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