Athens is a place of real poetry, Plaka is art.
During the ages, many of the monuments that used to be around the city were destroyed. Athens was destroyed so many times, that is is quite difficult to present all of them, but still, there are some remains. Here is a list of them.
1 The Golden Statue of Athena at Parthenon (Athena Parthenos)
The statue was transferred at 435 AD at the new Roman capital of Constantinople (Byzantium), along with many other statues from ancient Greek cities and temples, in order to decorate the new established capital.
2 Pericles’ Odeon
During Pericles era, the most famous building of its time, next to Dionysus’ theatre today.
3 Areopagus establishments
Areopagus is a small hill, may also looks quite “empty” today, but during Mycenean and prehistoric times there was a cemetery there, probably of the settlers on Acropolis rock. Afterwards, newer establishments were built, but also built down during the ancient Agora excavations (as with Vryssaki area). There were more buildings as a cistern during Hellenistic times, houses during Roman and Byzantine times, but in 1962 excavations a church was discovered, that was as well mentioned to Pope Innocent III Bull of 1208. It was a larger church than that of Monastiraki that someone can visit today. The church of Saint Dionysius Areopagus was dated around 7th century. There were found also some tombs around the area.
4 Illisus Christian Vassilika church
During Early Christian years, Athens’ Bishop Leonidas became a martyr as well as thousands of people (during Emperor Decius at 250 AD) as most of the early Christians did. His memory was honored at an early christian church Illisos Vasilika, built somewhere around 5th century, probably with the aid of Athenian Empress Eudokia. The temple was destroyed and its ruins were embedded in Haseki’s Wall phase, at 1778. Remains can be found on site, but also at Athens Byzantine Museum. You can combine a walk before visiting Panathenaic Stadium and Agia Fotini church.
5. Demeter’s temple, next to Illisus
From ancient temple to the Goddess Demeter, it became an orthodox church to Virgin Mary. After the Catholics made a liturgy in 1674, it was not considered proper for the Orthodox, so it was abandoned. It was demolished at 1778, along with many other building during Haseki.
6 Lord Byron’s house at Psyrri
When Lord Byron arrived in Athens, he stayed at a building- hotel- residence, of a Lady. Today this building does not exist, since someone burned it…. accidentally or not, nobody knows. A statue of him was placed next to Zappeion and Vyronas municipality is named after him. Some of his personal belongings are kept at Old Parliament– today museum.
7 Lord Elgin’s clock at Old Agora Square
A part of story dated back to Ottoman history, Lord Elgin after stealing Parthenon marbles, tried to regain Athenians’ public trust by donating them a clock, that was placed near the Old Agora square.
The clock can be found in many pictures. The area that was demolished after Great fire of 1884, is the modern Athens agora, excavated by American archeologists after 1931. The demolished area reaches Kolettis house, that stayed intact.
8 Vryssaki Area
Even that destroying monuments is not something the human race should be proud of, we think that there should be mentioned as well monuments that were destroyed, but there are some evidence that can make us imagine them. Except the lost areas of Vryssaki and Rizokastro, here is a list of them.
Vryssaki area was excavated from the American Archeological School of Athens, in order to walk at Agora today.
Both Adrianou, Thiseio and Plaka are at its borders.
9 Frankish tower of Acropolis
After the Turks left Athens, Greeks wanted to vanish everything not related to ancient Greek on Acropolis. It was Schliemann who funded the projects, today of course everyone would regret it.
10 Ottoman Medreses
The Ottoman- Muslim university was existing in Athens and you can see its door today, opposite Tower of Winds.
More parts can be seen in Byzantine museum today.