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Athens in the winter

Zorba the Greek

Wspomnienia Ateny

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Everything comes from Greek

książki o Grecji

Athens lesser known

the greatest monuments of Athens part 1

the greatest monuments of Athens part 2

greek mythology

around Athens

Greek hits

history of Athens

Greek food

cheap food in Athens

memories of Zeus

souvenir from Greece

Athens with a teenager

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map of Athens

Athens guidebook [pdf]

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information on:

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  • other important monuments in and around Athens

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28. South West Square


Heading from Agora towards the Pnyx district, the inhabitants of Athens had their own apartments and workshops. They made metal products, terracotta figurines, as well as marble and stone sculptures. They were small buildings whose walls, placed on stone foundations, were made of sun-dried mud. The floors were mostly clay, only some were decorated with mosaics. One larger building was discovered here, whose long corridor was surrounded by small, square rooms, and at the back was a small yard. It is believed that it was a prison for convicts for political crimes. However, there is no evidence for this supposition.







22. Altar of the Twelve Gods


It was the central place of ancient Athens. It was from this point that all distances were measured. The monument was partially discovered in 1891 during the construction of a underground line. It was not supposed how great this discovery was. Only excavations in 1994 allowed to find a greater part of the altar and identify it. The dispute about the possibility of further work is the subject of ongoing disputes because it would stop the renovation of the railway line, which is a very important means of communication.

20. Stoa of Zeus


The building was rised as a vote of thanksgiving for winning the war with the Persians at Platejas in 479 B.C.E. Stoa of Freedom was named Zeus. It does not resemble a temple, but a Stoa, building with a portico, i.e. a roof with a row of columns.

21. Temple of Apollo Patroos


The Apollo Temple was founded in the second half of the 4th century BC The temple was dedicated to Apollo Patroos, which means fatherly. A statue of Apollo stood inside the building.

19. Royal Stoa


The Royal Stoa building was built in the 6th century BC and was the main building of King Archon and the Areopagus Council, which was responsible for religious affairs and crime. In front of the Royal Stoa building stood the Themis monument, which represented justice.







14. Tholos 


Tholos belongs to one of the state administration buildings. Built around 470 B.C.E. Round shape concealed, six internal columns supporting the conical roof. Walls were not found inside, which means that there was one round room here. It is presumed that the Greek custom of lying down eating was not possible here. There were only benches for officials, which forced them to eat in a sitting position. Nevertheless, the building was very important for the Athenian community, here could Council of Five hundred (the so-called Bule) met. These officials were elected once a year. Blue worked on the conclusions of the People's Assembly, but the Assembly made final decisions. The College of 50 Prytans was elected from the Council of Five Hundred, who managed the work of the Council for a month. Once a day, the chairman, Prytan, was elected as the head of state. In Tholos, senators performed clerical work. Even at night, 17 people stayed here so that they could cope with emergency situations.

18. The Temple of Hephaestus in Agora, Athens


Hephaisteion stands out all over Agora, it is visible especially at night when beautifully lit can be seen especially from the hills around the Acropolis. The temple in honor of Hephaestus and Athena is the best-preserved example of a Doric temple. It was built in the second half of the 6th century BC The fact that it remaind in good condition to this day is primarily due to the fact that when Christianity and the general building of churches associated with it, which used elements of the temples of pagan gods as building material, Hephaisteion was transformed into a Christian temple.

17. Monument to the Heroes on Ancient Agora


When around 508 B.C.E. democracy was created, the Athenians were divided into 10 newly created pranites. Each of them had a non-accidental name. Well, the names of 100 heroes were sent to the Delphi oracle, from which oracle was asked to choose ten. The citizens of Athens were divided into 10 tribes, the holidays of each of them were held in honor of the hero. The division and point "Monument to the heroes" were extremely important. Well, in the age when there was no computer and television, it was here that information was posted for a given part of citizens.

16. New Bouleterion on the Athenian Agora


The new Bouleterion was created instead of the old one. It took its name from Bule, the Council of Five hundred. Every year, new policy citizens held clerical and decision-making functions for a year. They met in this building every day to deliberate. The exceptions were public holidays and preparations for them.

15.  Matroon


Official state letters were kept in Metroon. It also had a different purpose, it was devoted to the Mother of God. Its uprising is accepted in the middle of the 2nd century AD. The remains of the previous building that served as the Old Bouleuterion were found here.


















Athenian Democracy


At this point, when it comes to Agora, the place of courts and public gatherings, it is worth mentioning the Athenian democracy, which in common opinion is the prototype of democracy.
At first Athens was ruled by a king whose power was inherited. It is known, however, that this has its drawbacks. Over time, the king's power gave way to an aristocratic oligarchy, then tyrants. However, each form continued to restrict the freedom of the citizens.
Finally, in the sixth century B.C.E. social change and reform led to the birth of democracy. Adult men decided about the fate of policies (cities). However, slavery still existed, and women could not take active part in political life. The most important decisions were made by men during the People's Assembly. Meetings were held 40 times a year, first in Agora, when the city began to populate heavily, in Pnyx, and later in the theater of Dionysus.
Men in Athens had the right to hold public office under the so-called Council of five hundred. The Council adopted the agenda of the People's Assembly and prepared proposals for resolutions which were later put to the vote. It also had the power to control the city's offices and finances. The term of office lasted one year and you could be in it only once. Members were not elected, but randomly selected. The work of the Council was managed by changing rectors. This rule eliminated any corruption.
People's courts consisted of 6,000 members drawn for an annual term of office. Of these, specific people were drawn for a specific case. The tribunals were numerous, consisting of 501 judges or, for example, 1501 judges. This ruled out corruption. The most important hearings were conducted by the Areopag Council.

Athenian Ancient Agora


In the second half of the 19th century, archaeologists discovered the remains of ancient buildings during excavations. They quickly proved that it was the heart of democracy and public life in the 6th century BC.
The place chosen by the ancient Athenians for Ancient Agora was not accidental. The population needed an area where they could meet and discuss. Moreover, the rapidly developing civilization required space for libraries, courts, shops, organizing political debates, election of officials or their deliberations. The vast square nearness to the Acropolis, with a slight slope enabling the free flow of rainwater, turned out to be hitting the bull's-eye. Today,
Hephaisteion and Stoa of Attalos delight tourist. There is practically nothing left of the former splendor of this place. From the ground level, it barely protrudes, so it takes a lot of imagination and time to understand and recreate the specificity of the place.

1. Church of Saint Apostles


In the tenth century CE a church was built here on the foundations of an ancient temple of nymphs. This is one of the oldest churches in Athens. It was built on a Greek cross plan. Each of the arms ended with an apse. The small dome, because the church is small, is based on a round drum with narrow windows. This design solution was first used here, which was later copied many times. Inside are interesting fragments of frescoes from the 17th and 18th centuries, today heavily damaged, but still attracting attention.

6. Eastern building 


In the eastern part of the building there was a long hall with a marble floor and stone slabs, to which wooden furniture was attached. It is believed that bankers were here. In the western part there were four rooms and a staircase leading to the lower level.

Only stone slabs remained after the building,

to which bankers' tables were attached

5. Southern Stoa II in Agora, Athens


Built in the second half of the 2nd century BC. It replaced the South Table I. It was characterized by simplicity, with a single limestone colonnade in the Doric style. The only decoration of the building was a small fountain in the back wall.

23. Temple of Ares


The foundations found in here come from the early Roman times. The building itself, however, dates to the 5th century BC. This shows that the Old Greek temple has been moved and rised here on "new" foundations.

12. Simon Machete's house


In the 4th century BC in Athens, teached Socrates, considered the greatest philosopher of antiquity. He had many students during his lifetime, often very young. Agora, on the other hand, was only available to adult men. The teacher was meeting young students at the shoemaker's house named Simon. It is argued that informal classrooms were found here.

13. Agora's border


Agora had very formal boundaries. This was important because only adult men were allowed here and not convicted for some crimes, e.g. for mistreatment of parents, absence from military service, or ungodliness. In addition, the border marked a public territory whose lands could not be sold to private individuals.

27. Stoa of Attalos in Agora, Athens


Built in the years 159 - 138 BCE. thanks to King Pergamon, Attalos II. On two floors there is a double colonnade. Further on, there were 21 store rooms on each floor. The building was destroyed during the Herul invasion in 267. The preserved rear wall then became part of the city wall. The ruins were discovered in the years 1931-1953. Later, the building was reconstructed thanks to American donations. Currently, it houses the Agora Museum.

26. Courthouse


In 594 B.C.E. Solon, thanks to reforms, introduced democracy in Athens. Then the People's Court was established - Heliaja, as one of the most important organs of the state. It gathered in the square under the open sky (with time it gained a building). It was an appeal court because it allowed appeals against officials' decisions. Over time, the competence of the people's court expanded, as it became the highest instance in Athens. The most famous process was associated with Socrates. The philosopher was tried here for not worshiping the gods and calling young people to sexual abstinence. Although he had the option of taking the punishing, which was to be exiled for 10 years, but Socrates did not agree to this punishment. As a result, during the next trial he was sentenced to death by drinking a sikuta.

25. Panatenai Road leading from Keramejkos to the Acropolis


Many roads ran through Agora, but one of them was very important, called Dromod or Panathenaic. It was the Holy Road, the beginning of which started in Kerameikos, specifically in the gate called Dipylon, and which ended at the Acropolis. This was the parade during the Great Panatenai (every four years) or Little Panatenai (every year) christmas. The end of the road, where the steep slope of the Acropolis begins, was paved with large stone slabs. The street was also used for chariot races or as a training ground for young recruits of Athenian cavalry. Open, stone gutters probably provided water for animals.

24. Agepae's Odeon of Athenian Agora


Around 15 B.C.E. Marek Agryppa put Agrippaean on Agora - Odeon, it was supposed to be a gift for the inhabitants of Athens. The building was a vast, two-level complex with a lecture, concert and theater room. The orchestra was lined with marble, the stage was raised, and the semi-circle auditorium housed 1,000 people in 19 rows. Unfortunately, the audience 25 m wide, without intermediate supports, turned out to be too big. Around 150 CE. the roof collapsed destroying the building. By rebuilding, the audience was reduced by half. The entrance was based on huge, carved pillars. It is believed that the loss of such a huge concert hall meant that on the slope of the Acropolis, Herod Attica put the famous Odeon Hadrian.

10. A building with a fountain in Ancient Agora


In the 4th century there was a fountain here. The building was L-shaped. The double colonnade formed a portico in which one could hide from the sun. Further, the low window sill separated only from the fountain. Water was provided by channels arranged on the wall thickness. It was the largest fountain in the city at that time.

9. Aiakeion - Agora 


At the beginning of the 5th century CE a 30 m long building was rised here. Grain was stored here. The building was dedicated to Aiak, the mythological king of the island of Aegina.

11. Central Stoa


In the second century Agora was heavily rebuilt. One of the ventures was the incorporation of Aiakeion and the fountain next to the newly formed Central Stoa. The Southern Stoa was destroyed as the area was used for a new complex. In this way, the largest building on Agora was created, 150 m long, with colonnades.

8. Pantainos Library in Agora


Around 100 A.D. A Roman, Titus Flavius Pantainos, son of a philosophical school, founded a library. He dedicated it to the god Athena, ruling here Emperor Trajan and the Athenian people. The building was the cultural and educational center of Athens as the main Roman university city. Above the entrance to the library was the inscription: "Do not take the book because the library should remain to be open from one to six". This means that the books were not borrowed, you had to spend time here reading, thinking and discussing.

 7. Defensive wall in Agora


In 267, the Herul invaded Athens, plundering them completely. So the Romans rised defensive walls that began at the Acropolis, ran through Stoa of Attalos, further turning into the Hadrian's Library. The old Greek Agora was completely omitted. The Romans thus marked a new city. The wall was not entirely made of one material; rised two walls of marble blocks, parts of columns, monuments that were destroyed by the Herul, and the interior was filled with rubble remaining after the war damage.

4. Southern Stoa on Ancient Agora


Built in the 5th century BC, outside the center of Agora. Stoa was a building 80 m long, with a portico with double columns. There were 16 rooms here. Judges and civil servants probably lived here. At the entrance to one of the rooms, there was a sign saying that an official responsible for state finances lives here. Numerous coins have been found here that confirm the commercialism of the building. In the 2nd century BC the building was demolished because a more modern one was rised next to it.

3. Well


A terracotta pipeline was discovered in this place, which dates back to the 6th century BC. Archaeologists supposed that there was a room that could accommodate a large number of people. This was important because buyers came to Ancient Agora from very far away. They could refresh here, especially when the heat was hot.

2. Mint on Ancient Agora


Built in the 4th century BC the building was intended for a mint in which bronze coins were minted until the second century BC. Unfortunately, practically nothing remains to this day. More than that, a large part of it is located under the Church of the Holy Apostles.

  15. Metroon


   Nie wyobrażam sobie wyjazdu, w jakiekolwiek miejsce Grecji, bez towarzystwa greckiej muzyki. Przyznam, że nie rozumiem dlaczego w hotelach słychać największe światowe przeboje, a pomijane są szlagiery miejscowe. Jedynie będąc na Samos, może dzięki temu, że był to mały hotelik, zapoczątkowaliśmy puszczanie greckich przebojów. Gdy pytaliśmy animatorów czy barmanów dlaczego tak jest, usłyszeliśmy, że turystów interesują aktualne przeboje ze światowych list przebojów a nie ich, miejscowe. Wiadomo, hotelowi zależy by klient był zadowolony... 
   Dziś nie rozumiem dlaczego długo zwlekałam z wyjazdem na wyspę Rodos. Oprócz zalet opisanych na zakładce "Rodos", zachwycił mnie tam fakt, że wszędzie słyszałam greckie przeboje, także w hotelu, w którym mieszkałam. Czasem przechodząc obok sklepiku czy tawerny, podałam głośno który to wykonawca. Zachwyt Greka był ogromny. Gdy w dodatku odezwał się mój mąż który, ucząc się od trzech lat greckiego, zna język całkiem dobrze, byliśmy goszczeni na specjalnych warunkach. W sklepiku, w którym zakupiłam nową płytkę, Greczynka opowiadała, jak Grecja płakała w lutym 2015, gdy w wypadku samochodowym zginął Padelis Padelidis. Faktycznie, jeszcze latem 2017 roku, wszędzie słyszałam na wyspie tego wykonawcę. 
   Zachęcam do zainteresowania się greckimi przebojami. Oczywiście najsłynniejsza piosenka to ta z filmu "Grek Zorba", jednak zapewniam, że choć jest dla nas najbardziej rozpoznawalna, nie jest jedynym greckim przebojem, i z całą pewnością nie najczęściej, przez Greków, słuchanym.
   Młode Greczynki zachwycone są piosenkarzem - Andonis Remos. Właśnie jego płytę kupiłam sobie ostatnio. Sprzedawczyni dosłownie rozpływała się opowiadając jak go uwielbia :)