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Greece: 5 Stunning Ancient Ruins to Visit

Updated on December 2, 2010

Visiting Greece

To visit Greece is to step back in time, to the roots of our civilization. Its rugged hillsides and age-old cities were the birthplace of philosophy, literature, architecture and science. Alongside the olive groves and wildflowers grew the roots of democracy, modern medicine and law.

You can still see traces of this dynamic culture when you take a trip to Greece today. The archaeological ruins of ancient Greek cities and temples, stand as legacies from an amazing era in human history.

The Acropolis

The most important archeological site in Greece

Towering over the city of Athens is the most important archeological site in Greece, and one of the most famous ancient ruins in the world. The Acropolis is the historic heart of this country. There is evidence of human settlement here as far back as the Neolithic era, but it's the Parthenon and the other ruins of the golden age of Athens that millions of tourist flock to see every year. The Parthenon was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, justice and war, and it stands today as a symbol of Greece and all its contributions to world culture.

Delphi

It was considered the place where heaven and earth met

Delphi is the second most popular archeological site in Greece, after the Acropolis. In ancient times, it was considered the place where heaven and earth met, and where man could go to be closest to the gods. It was a center of worship for the sun god Apollo, and it was home to the sacred oracle at Delphi, who would grant spiritual assistance on critical matters. Today, some say that visiting the site, perched on the edge of a cliff, can be a profound spiritual experience. There are even those who say the spirit of Apollo can still be found in Delphi, so bring your questions and an open mind, and listen carefully to the wind.

Olympia

One of Greece's most enduring contributions has been theOlympic Games

One of ancient Greece's most enduring contributions to our global culture has been the Olympic Games. Every two years, alternating in summer and winter, the world gets together to celebrate the ancient ideals of sport and peaceful competition. All year round, you can visit the place where these rituals took shape thousands of years ago, here in Olympia. The Olympic flame is still lit before every Olympic Games here, where the ruins of the Temple of Hera still stand. Try to get to the site early in the morning, before the crowds, and explore the Temples of Zeus and of Hera, and the remains of the ancient stadium in peace.

Knossos

Powerful symbol of the reign of King Minos

On the sun-baked island of Crete, you will find the ruins of the Palace of Knossos, home of the mythical Minotaur. The Palace was once a powerful symbol of the reign of King Minos, and was one of the most advanced and luxurious buildings of its time. The ruins were discovered in the early 1900s, and have been impeccably excavated and reconstructed to show you what life was like in the time of the legendary king.

Sounion

The Temple of Poseidon

The Temple of Poseidon, dedicated to the ancient god of the sea, is like the Parthenon, only in front of the stunning backdrop of the bright blue Aegean Sea. The temple was a landmark for ancient sailors, sitting on top the edge of a cliff on Cape Soúnion, the southernmost tip of mainland Greece. For hundreds of years, its dramatic ruined beauty has drawn visitors from around the world. If you look closely, you can even find some graffiti left by Lord Byron.

Videos about Greece - See more of Greece

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Photo credits

flickr:

Athens, Greece 2007 - Titanas

Parthenon looms over Athens - Adventurous Wench

Panoramic view of the Apollo Temple in Delphi (The Oracle) -Kim Bach

Ancient Olympia, Greece - John Karakatsanis

The north entrance at the ruins of the Minoan Knossos Palace - L.Richard Martin, Jr.

Sunset at the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon at Sunion - Klearchos Kapoutsis

Thanks for visiting! Any comments? - Any comments, questions, feedback, suggestions?

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    • profile image

      crstnblue 6 years ago

      Good lens regarding ancient ruins in Greece, all making us thing to and feel connected with our ancestors and old roots...

      Another worth destination in Greece would be Santorini island with its Minoan site : )

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 6 years ago

      Passing on cupids kisses for the wonderful ruins of Greece

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      There is no doubt why Greece is the top choice for travel/tours. It does not only offer majestic views. Stories of gods and goddess, mythical figures.. what I'd give to live during those ancient times...

    • Francesco Matina profile image

      Francesco Matina 7 years ago

      I like your lens. Nice structure and interesting information. Thanks