Travel in time
Time travelling was always a human desire. Athens was the home of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and many more who dedicated their life to knowledge. Travelling to Athens is a knowledge experience, and that occurred to many intellectuals who came here, from Sigmund Freud to Jung and Christian Andersen. The city has a glove related to light that means education and practice, depicted on the city’s eternal symbol: the owl and wisdom. Today Athens has a huge number of museums, more than 40, that can fulfill everyone’s dreams and passion for learning.
Walking around Plaka’s streets, meeting randomly people inside museums, galleries, churches, you gain social experience. Knowing the basic of the historical facts related to Athens, mythological, historical, even geological and anthropological, someone definitely approaches the base of the human evolution and progress of the mind.
Greece is History. There could be numerous pages being written about that, but since you are in this page, you either are or will be in Athens. Even that Rome is considered the Eternal city, Athens is the millenium one.
In order to fulfill our intellectual needs, we manage this website, so as Plaka guest learn about the destination he is wondering around. We narrate Athens’ history in 10 phases.
1. Mythical Athens. Greek ethnic identity was created around 8th century BC, with Hesiod and Homer. Their works created the present of the ancient Athenians, after the Dark Ages (11th-8th BC).
2. Pre- democratic Athens. After the colonies that Greeks made around Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the trade flourished and wealth was gathered to some ship owners. They decided to take power in many city-states. In Athens they were stopped, and Solon created the basis for what we now call democracy.
3. Classic Athens. From 600-400 BC, the miracle of Athenian Hegemony was born and died. The Peloponnesian War ended the Athenian supremacy, at least at a point. Greek city states fought until Alexander the Great conquered today Pakistan. His tutor Aristotle was financed to make his own School here, where you can visit it today, Lycaeum. After three centuries of continuous civil wars, Greece was occupied by Romans.
4. Roman Athens. We have to be honest, Rome was either very good or very bad with Athens. During Emperor Hadrian, the city gained much of its past. After Sylla’s invasion, most of the city was sucked and destroyed.
5. Early- Christian Athens. Saint Paul arrived in Athens, where he had a famous speech at Areopagus hill.
6. Byzantine- Medieval Athens. Athens was not an important city during Byzantine times, it was a village. The famous schools closed in the 6th century and Parthenon was made an Orthodox church. After 1204 the city passed to Latins. A Frankish tower that was built in Acropolis was demolished after Athens’ independence. Today it is visible in photos.
7. Ottoman Athens. After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Athens was occupied a little later. Parthenon was a mosque and some mosques were built around the city.
8. Independent Athens. Acropolis was a fortress and a hard to conquer. But the city was liberated and joined the new born state, but not as the capital.
9. Neoclassical Athens. The birth of the new state inspired all intellectuals across Europe and the world. Neoclassicism was a movement that affected many architects globally.
10. WWII Athens. Athens had heavy casualties during WWII, but also during the civil war that followed.
Athens stands for Learning
Athens is continually learning and growing -and we are all doing the same. Even its brand- the owl- connects our thought to learning (since owl can move her head around her body). An emblem that was used thousand of years ago is still being used, this time as a memoir…
So, what had started from Theseus and passed to Solon, gave Cleisthenes
and Themistocles the power to maximise democracy, bringing it through Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Alexander the Great to the rest of the world. Is democracy still in Athens? Yes it is on the Acropolis and Parthenon and Plaka streets today.
Parthenon is being admired because the ideals of the mankind were managed in order to be depicted in one image: temple of Athena, at her city, Athens.
Why it is so important? Because only one this happened in global history. Mathematics, art, philosophy and aesthetics and wealth gave this result. Today Athens is trying to follow this example. More than 40 museums, 17 foreign archaeological schools, foundations, hills, churches, mountains, archaeological sites and monuments of every historical period, medieval towers, caves, surrounded by sea and special places for children, students, weirdos, everyone!
Plaka, keeping its name from Ottoman period, meaning old town, is waiting for visitors to start their Athens walk from there. Travelling in time was never that accessible.
Besides, this city was, is and will be for everyone. Who can resist satisfying the natural desire of curiosity, learning and experiencing? Nobody, so keep learning.