Athens, Greece: Syntagma Square, Pláka, Acropolis

Parthenon

Parthenon at sunset.
Parthenon at sunset. | Source

Traveling to Greece

While living and working in Stockholm, Sweden several years ago, my boyfriend and I went on a 10-day vacation to Greece. We split our time between the islands in the Cycladic archipelago and Athens, the capital of Greece since 1854. While in Athens, we went on a day trip to central Greece to view the site of the Oracle of Delphi.

Visiting Athens, Birthplace of European Civilization

Athens, the birthplace of European civilization, has been inhabited for more than 7000 years. An entire book would be needed in order to tell you all there is to know about Athens.

I’m going to concentrate on just three areas of the city — Syntagma Square, Pláka, and the Acropolis. Syntagma Square and the Pláka area are very close to each other.

We walked from our Pláka hotel to the Acropolis, but some people staying in this area might prefer to take a taxi.

Athens, Greece

show route and directions
A markerSyntagma Square -
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B markerPláka Area -
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C markerAcropolis Greece -
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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

An evzone (soldier) in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Solder, at the base of the Parliament Building in Syntagma Square.
An evzone (soldier) in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Solder, at the base of the Parliament Building in Syntagma Square. | Source

Syntagma (Constitution) Square

When we were in Athens, we stayed a short walk from Syntagma (Constitution) Square. Syntagma is both the city’s transportation hub and its most important square.

The Hellenic (Greek) Parliament Building is located on the square’s eastern side. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is at the building’s base.

The building and the tomb are guarded by soldiers wearing the most unusual uniforms I have ever seen. The soldiers, whose average height is around 6’3’’, are called evzones.

Their uniform consists of kilts and shiny black shoes with a very large pompom in the front.

Tower of the Winds

The Tower of the Winds was built by Syrian astronomer Andronikos Kyrrestes in the second century BC.
The Tower of the Winds was built by Syrian astronomer Andronikos Kyrrestes in the second century BC. | Source

Pláka

Pláka is the oldest continually inhabited area of Athens. The name of this section of the city comes from the Albanian word pliaka—old. It was used by Albanian soldiers in the service of the Turks who settled in Athens in the 16th century to describe the area.

The marble Tower of the Winds, in the far western section of Pláka, is on the grounds of the Roman Agora. It was built by Syrian astronomer Andronikos Kyrrestes in the second century BC as a weather vane and water clock.

One of the eight mythologcial winds is depicted on each of the sides of the octogon-shaped tower. My boyfriend was especially interested is seeing the tower since one of his master's degrees is in astronomy.

Theater of Herodes Atticus

The Theater (Odeion) of Herodes Atticus was built in 161 AD and restored in 1955. The site is used today for outdoor concerts.
The Theater (Odeion) of Herodes Atticus was built in 161 AD and restored in 1955. The site is used today for outdoor concerts. | Source

Acropolis

Pericles (495-429 BC) was an Athenian statesman, orator, and general who persuaded the people of Athens to begin a huge building project.

Financed by Pericles' own money, a rock in Athens known as the Acropolis became a showcase of the political and cultural achievements in Greece.

Three temples were built on the top of the rock—the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Two theaters were built at the base—the Theater of Herodes Atticus and the Theater of Dionysos.

Parthenon

For as long as I can remember, I had seen photographs of the Parthenon. I found it difficult to comprehend that one September morning several years ago, we were standing on the Acropolis rock gazing at this magnificent structure.

Pericles commissioned the building of the Parthenon as part of his Athens redevelopment plan. He wanted the sculptor Pheidias to supervise the building of a Doric temple to Athena, the patron goddess of the city. The building of the Parthenon was begun in 447 BC and was completed nine years later. The temple was dedicated in 438 BC at the Great Panathenaia festival.

A photograph of the Parthenon is at the beginning of this article. Other images can be seen in the video.

What is a Caryatid?

A caryatid is a sculpted, draped figure of a woman used in place of a column in a structure. The most famous caryatids are those created for the Erechtheoin, but they're not the only examples. The figures can be found in other parts of Greece and in Rome, Italy.

Erechtheion

The Erechtheion, an Ionic temple built between 421 BC and 406 BC, was named in honor of Erechtheus, a mythical Athenian king. The Erechtheion was used by several cults as a place of worship, and at one time was used as a church.

The temple has three porches. One of these is very recognizable Porch of the Caryatids. There were originally six sculptures. One of the carytids was removed from the Erechtheion in the early part of the 19th century by Lord Elgin. It is now displayed in the British Museum in London, England. The five other carytids are in the Acropolis Museum. Casts of the five statues were made. The replicas stand in the place of the originals at the temple. The pedestal on which the sixth caryatid stood remains empty.

Porch of the Caryatids

Porch of the Caryatids at the Erechtheion, Acropolis Rock, Athens, Greece,
Porch of the Caryatids at the Erechtheion, Acropolis Rock, Athens, Greece, | Source

Have you ever visited Athens, Greece?

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Comments 38 comments

Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

I should have read this to refresh my memory before attempting the quiz! I was being cocky. Great hub- nice accompanying pics too.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Mohan (Docmo),

You can take the quiz again. I'll never tell.

If your score is higher the second time, I mught be persuaded to delete your comment containing the lower score.


kidscrafts profile image

kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

This brought back beautiful memories. Thanks!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

kidscrafts,

It's nice to see you again. I'm glad you enjoyed viewing my article and that you've recalled some pleasant memories.

I've published two other Greek video Hubs and a quiz which covers all three. Have you seen those?


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, I love all you greek hubs, I would love to live in Greece if I had the money, I just feel so at home over there. I have never visited Athens, only the islands, kos, corfu and cyprus. My son is going to cyprus next week, I tried fitting in the suitcase but it didn't work! lol!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Nell,

Thanks for reading all of my Greece Hubs and viewing the videos. I'm glad you liked them.

I hope you get to mainland Greece some day. I know that you would enjoy visiting Athens and the Oracle of Delphi.

Can't your son purchase a larger suitcase for his Cyprus trip?


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Daisy, Great hub, I must have missed it! I studies ancient Athens as part of my degree and I had to study Pericles speeches (as observed and written down by Thucydides) and Thucydides (hard to say and write) tells all about how powerful Pericles was and it is easy to imagine the crowds gathered to hear him and the Acropolis is certainly a very powerful symbol of his talents as a politician. Great photos too!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Julie (Jules99),

Thanks for reading and commenting in another of my Hubs. I appreciate your continued support. I'm glad you enjoyed my article and photos.

I published three Hubs about Greece within a few days of each other...this Hub, one about the Oracle of Delphi, and one about the Cycladic islands of Mýkonos and Delos. With the Hubs being published so soon after each other, I can see someone having missed one of them.

After I published the three articles, I created a quiz which had questions relating to all three Hubs. I hope you get a chance to take the quiz.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

I would love to visit Greece some day. Thanks for taking me there with your hub and gorgeous photos.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Deb,

Thanks for viewing my video and reading my article. I hope you visit Greece some day.

My other Hubs about Greece are "Greek Islands: Cyclades — Mýkonos and Delos" and "Greece: Oracle of Delphi." I also published a quiz about Greece.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Okay now I want to go to Greece :) Your virtual tour is well done Daisy.


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

Greece is very beautiful. My brother and his wife recently went to Europe. They also visited the Greek islands. The images were stunning!

Voted up!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Christy,

Thanks for viewing my video and reading my article. Ever since I published this Hub, I've wanted to return to Greece.

Have you read my other two Greece Hubs, "Greek Islands: Cyclades — Mýkonos and Delos" and "Greece: Oracle of Delphi"? You'll really want to visit Greece after you've seen / read all three.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

lovedoctor926,

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my Hub and commenting.

Both the Greek islands and mainland Greece have much to offer. I enjoyed visiting both.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Daisy, only your title - Athens, Greece: Syntagma Square, Pláka, Acropolis - SHOULD make this a high scoring hub. Most relevant information and especially needed by tourists. Voted up to the sky :)


rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

Daisy - Oh, you've brought back memories of decades passed by. I spent much time in the Med years ago. Greece was always one of my favorites, as well as Italy. The view at the bay looking down from the Acropolis is almost a beautiful as the view looking up. Another great hub!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Martie,

Thanks for reading my article and commenting. I've written three Greece articles, and I also created a Greece quiz. For some reason which I don't understand, readers are less interested in the Acropolis rock than they are in the Cycladic archipelago and the Oracle of Delphi.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Rich (rcrumple),

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. I appreciate your continued support of my writing.

Vacationing in Greece was something I had always wanted to do. While living and working in Sweden for six months, we had the opportunity to take a 10-day vacation. It was the perfect opportunity to travel to Greece.

I will never forget the dates of our Greece vacation...September 1 - 10, 2001. We were at the airport in Athens, waiting for our flight to Stockholm via Copenhagen. My boyfriend looked at the luggage tags on our carry-on bags. He asked me to remove them, throw them away, and get the paper luggage tags available at the airline check-in counter. He remarked that he didn't want to advertise where we were from. Our luggage tags had a large picture of an American flag on them...this was 9/10/2001.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Daisy, I loved yours picture of Parthenon. If I ever travel to Europe, Greece will be the first country I will visit. I have always taken interest in Greek civilization. Greek mythologies literature and history were in my course of study when I was in college. As the saying goes it is all Greek. I forgot every thing.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hey Daisy. Great look at Athens. Looks like we will be there for a day in October. I hope to have enough time to visit the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum. I'll come back to this before we leave for a refresher. Thanks for the great info. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc..


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Vinaya,

Thanks for reading and commenting in my article. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub.

My photograph of the Parthenon at sunset was a case of my being in the right place at the right time. I was stunned when I saw the setting sun framed behind the structure.

I'm certain that when you get to Greece, the details of what you studied in school will come back to you. The facts just aren't in the forefront of your memory right now.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 3 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Bill (bdegiulio),

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading, commenting in, sharing, and pinning my article. I appreciate your support of my writing.

How exciting that you will be traveling in Europe in October! If you're going to be in Athens, a visit to the Acropolis is a must.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I'm wondering how I missed this. To visit Greece has been a dream of mine. And dreams can come true. Your photographs are quite amazing and as I crawl into bed in a few minutes, I will take them along with me. This is wonderful Daisy. Sharing, pinning and more. - Audrey


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Audrey (vocalcoach),

Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. Thanks, too, for sharing and pinning my Hub. I appreciate your support of my writing.

I went on a 10-day vacation to Greece while I was living and working in Stockholm, Sweden a number of years ago. The links to two other Hubs I published about Greece are in this article. I hope you have a chance to read those, too.


Big Brother profile image

Big Brother 2 years ago from Earth

One visit to the new Acropolis museum is MUST... Thanks for your hub - photos....


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Alex (Big Brother),

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my Hub and adding your comment. I'll have to visit the new Acropolis museum the next time I'm in Athens.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

Enjoyed reading about and I wish I could visit these place someday. Interesting and informative. I always wanted to visit the Parthenon. Great photos and videos. Voted up.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Nithya (Vellur),

Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment.

When I working in Stockholm, Sweden a number of years ago on a consulting contract, I had the opportunity to take a 10-day vacation. It was the perfect time to cross Greece off my bucket list of "places to visit."


Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

I have always been fascinated by Greek and Roman history, their gods and goddesses and culture. This is one of the places that I would really love to see once in my lifetime. I really enjoyed this article.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Paula,

Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. I published four Greece Hubs, including a quiz. I hope you have an opportunity to read the other two articles and then take the quiz.

Spending 10 days in Greece was a wonderful experience. I'm a former travel agent, but I'm still amazed at all the planning I was able to accomplish for the trip while we were living in Stockholm.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 22 months ago from Nashville Tn.

This is a favorite hub for me. I have dreamed of visiting Greece. There's so much history, especially musical history that I've longed to see.

I can't even imagine touching something built in 421 BC. Amazing! How wonderful that you were able to spend 10 days in Greece.

Thank you for showing me some of these remarkable sculptures.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 22 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Thanks to Audrey (vocalcoach) for sharing, I got to read this wonderful hub of yours, Daisy. Greece is a place I have never been to, but love to read about, both today and in ancient times. Greek mythology is a passion of mine and to see your beautiful photos and read about your experience there is a real pleasure for me. I am so glad you wrote this hub. Thanks a bunch!


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 22 months ago from Florida

Hi Daisy,

I love reading hubs early in the morning when it is silent in my home, and I especially enjoyed refreshing my history and learning new ones about Greece.

I hope you enjoyed your vacation there with your special someone.

I voted-up +++ and I am sharing with Twitter and pinning this on my re-pin board.

Have a great week.

Bobbi Purvis


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 22 months ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Audrey (vocalcoach),

Thanks for reading my article and adding your comment. Thanks, too, for sharing my Hub.

Greece had always been on our travel bucket list. When we were working in Stockholm for six months and had the opportunity to take a 10-day vacation, we immediately thought of Greece. We had some Greece tour books at home. We had the person who was taking care of our house while we were gone mail the books to us in Sweden.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 22 months ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Phyllis,

Thanks for reading my Hub and posting your comment. We were both in awe, seeing the sites we had studied in school. It was amazing to us how, considering their age, so much had survived.

I also wrote an article about the Oracle of Delphi. We hired a driver and car one day to drive us to Delphi. We wouldn't have been able to travel there on our own. I hope you have an opportunity to read that Hub.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 22 months ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

Bobbi,

It's nice to "see" you again. Thanks for reading my article and commenting in it. Thanks, too, for tweeting and pinning my Hub.

It was wonderful visiting one of the places on our bucket list. After the economic turmoil in the country is resolved, I'd love to visit mainland Greece again, and also travel to some more of the islands.


brownella profile image

brownella 22 months ago from New England

Great hub. I have been to Greece but never to the mainland. There are not many countries I feel the need to go back to but Greece is definitely one, maybe its all those layers of history. Thanks for the virtual tour!


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 22 months ago from Orange County (Southern California) Author

brownella,

It's nice to meet you. Thanks for reading my article and posting your comment. If you haven't been to mainland Greece, a return visit to that country after the economic turmoil is resolved is a must.

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    Daisy Mariposa743 Followers
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    Daisy Mariposa, a travel agent for several years, has occupational certificates in Travel Management and International Business.



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