In the company of your state-licensed "Insider" guide you will retrace historical footsteps and lose yourself in the richness of the age-old Greek civilization. Your day will be dedicated to the exploration of Athens’ most impressive sites; the Acropolis, the country’s most famous monument and the ancient Agora, which was the heart of ancient Athens.
Your insight into the ancient democratic values will be enriched with a visit to the Pnyx Hill, the meeting place of the Ecclesia tou Dimou, the famous Athenian assembly of citizens, where important decisions were made for the City.
Return to your hotel OR continue your exploration of the city. Feel free to ask your guide for recommendations in order to perfect your day in Athens.
Acropolis is the world famous ancient site of Athens, symbolizing democracy and regarded as the most important representation of ancient Greek civilization. High on its rocky outcrop, as its name akro polis (highest point of city) designates, it stands guard over the city. The monument of the Parthenon, visible from almost everywhere, and the other main buildings were built in the 5th century BC by the order of the general and statesman Pericles to commemorate the cultural and political achievements of the city of Athens. The site includes the Propylae, the imposing entrance to the site, the Parthenon, the Erechthion and the Temple of Athena Nike.
One of the most well-known monuments in the world and symbol of ancient Greece, the Parthenon was built between 447-432 BC as a dedication to the Goddess Athina. The shrine inside once housed a 12 meter high wooden statue of the goddess, adorned with ivory and gold. Designed by the sculptor Phidias and constructed by the architects Iktinos and Kallicrates, the marble temple consists of 46 outer and 19 inner tapered Doric columns, and contains no straight lines or angles, a feat of Greek architecture. During its long and varied history, it was alternatively used as a temple, treasury, church, mosque and a gunpowder storage facility.
The Propylaea was the monumental entrance to Acropolis, built between 437-432 BC by the architect Mnesicles. A steep inclining ramp lead up to the Propylaea which was comprised of a central building and two lateral wings. The north wing had wall paintings and was referred to as the Pinakotheke, while the smaller south wing lay adjacent to the Temple of Athina Nike. There were actually 5 entrances, 4 for pedestrians and a larger central one for vehicles. The coffered roof interior had designs in gold stars on a blue background. Over the centuries, the building served as a Byzantine bishop’s palace, a Florentine palazzo and a Turkish governor’s residence.
The Temple of Nike Athena
To the right of the Propylaea lies the Temple of the Victory of Athena, built around 420 BC by Kallikrates to commemorate the Athenians’ victory over the Persians. There was a wooden cult statue of the goddess who held a helmet in one hand (war) and a pomegranate branch (peace) in the other. The smallest temple of the Acropolis, Nike Athena is of the Ionic order and has 4 monolithic columns at both the front and rear but not at the sides. As with the other buildings at the site, it was converted into a church in 5th century AD, only to be totally dismantled in the 17th century by the Ottomans to build a fortification. After Greek Independence, it was restored, dismantled and rebuilt again.
The temple was built between 421-406 BC by Mnesicles and Phidias, and was dedicated to the goddess Athena and the god Poseidon who both contested the city of Athens. It is the site of the ‘Sacred Tokens’ which were the marks made by Poseidon with his trident to bring up water and the olive tree of Athena, who finally won the coveted title. On the north side is the famous ‘Porch of the Maidens’ where the 6 figures of the Caryatides stood. The one was stolen by Lord Elgin and the other 5 have been replaced by replicas, with the originals moved to the Acropolis Museum. The Erechthion was also converted into a church, palace, harem and was bombed during the Greek War of Independence.
The Ancient Agora
Situated in the heart of Athens and north-west of Acropolis, the Ancient Agora was a public square or open place of assembly where, in the 6th century BC, free-born citizens gathered to discuss politics, philosophy, hear civic announcements, debate laws and deliberate on the future of their city. It was also a place of worship as the Temple of Hephaestus attests, a market place, and a center for shows and festivals. With subsequent invasions, it was destroyed, abandoned and rebuilt as a residential area. From 1831 onward, extensive excavations on the site necessitated the demolition of 400 buildings to uncover the remains of the Agora. Artifacts from the site are exhibited in the Museum of the Ancient Agora which is housed in the restored Stoa of Attalus.
Notes & Clarifications
- Prices vary according to group size
- Keep in mind that this is a private tour and it is possible to customize it to meet your desires. Should you want to change the itinerary please do not hesitate to contact us by sending us a request through the inquiry form
- Since this is a walking tour you will need to be wearing comfortable shoes, a hat and sun-block
- Don’t forget to bring a water bottle and lots of energy!
What makes us different?
- We offer only private tours. No mixed groups
- We are absolutely flexible. Our tours can be customized to your wishes
- Special requests are always welcome. We love to tailor holidays
- All of our tours are designed and operated by our company
- Our state-licensed “Insider” guides are thoroughly selected and trained, each one of them expert in his field
- We always select the most suitable state-licensed “Insider” guide who matches your profile and interests
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