Athens is you (and you don’t know it-yet)
Athens is completely unknown to most of us, even though we all strongly feel that we are aware of Acropolis and Parthenon and that’s it. Here are some Athens-facts in order to know about what kind of place Athens is.
Plaka is continually being inhabited since Neolithic times, so this is why it’s streets are considered to be the most ancient city in Europe. Its center is Lysikratous square, from where you can see Hadrian’s Arch, exactly on the same ancient street it was built.
Athens is built onto 7 hills – and Acropolis is one of them- and is surrounded by 4 mountains and 2 lakes.
In Athens it was not just Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, but Epicurus, Diogenes, Zeno and so many who shaped the city of mythical goddess Athena to be the center of Philosophy until 529 AD. Roman Julian the Apostate, who tried to bring again ancient religion, was a schoolmate with Basil of Ceasarea and Gregory the Nazianzen in Athens, before becoming an emperor. So during Byzantine times and Christianity, Athens was declining steadily.
Apostle Paul came to Athens (51 AD) and he left, since Athenians were not willing to listen to his teachings. He was probably rather disappointed with that. Byzantine emperors Christianized Greece completely and pagan (ancient) religion remained in Greek tradition and customs. Christian and byzantine Athens have many to tell today….
Athens passed 12 historical destruction phases from foreign raids and at least 5 wall-building phases.
Celebrities on Acropolis
Sigmund Freud visited Athens and had a disturbance of memory incident, since he saw what his school books were describing. Hans Christian Andersen visited Athens, as well as Carl Jung did.
Excavations in Athens keep going since 1881, with the foundation of American Classical School, one of the 17 institutions that exist today in Athens, excavated around Greece.
40 museums exist in Athens today, some of them are located in Plaka.
Today Olympic Flame is handgiven to the host city of modern Olympics, that is Japan 2020, with a ritual that takes place in Olympia. Panthenaic Stadium is the place to visit to feel that part of Athens today.
Marathon was born in Attica and still keeps the historic route (42km) of Pheidippides , the first real Marathon runner (and hero), who died from exhaustion as he reached the city’s walls, after the famous battle with the Persians.
What else could anybody add for Athens? A unique city with a unique history, where you are more than welcome.