History, archaeology and picture tour of ancient Athens in Greece

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Ancient Athens Pictures and History

When you visit Greece, plan to stay in Athens 3 to 4 days. You will want to visit the many museums and ruins, as well as relax at the many patio restaurants. There is a lot to see during such a short period of time in Athens so it's important to prioritize and to know what times the monuments stay open because during the early afternoon at around lunch time many places stay closed for a few hours and some even close early for the day. 

Many of the monuments in Athens were built beginning in 449 BC under Pericles after the Persians were finally defeated. This was a large scale rebuilding program that vaulted Athens into its Golden Age. This was also the period in Athen's history when democracy flourished. 

The first place I would visit is the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. It will provide you with an overall perspective of Greece. You'll find artifacts and art from all regions of Greece and all periods in her long history such as the Statue of Poseidon; Aphrodite, Eros and Pan; the bust of Augustus; the mask of Agamemnon and colorful frescoes from Santorini and Tiryns.

The ideal time to visit Greece is from mid spring to early fall but in my opinion, the best time to visit the Acropolis in Athens for picture taking and viewing the colours of the monuments is mid afternoon of any season. Photos taken in the morning tend to be harsher while those in the afternoon softer, warmer and fuller. From the Acropolis you'll get a great view of not only the magnificence of the Parthenon (447-438 BC), the Erechtheion 420 BC but also the surrounding area. Make sure you visit the Acropolis museum while you are there.

Below to the south of the Acropolis are the Theatre of Dionysos and the Odeion of Herodes Aatticus. Take a walk through the ancient agora. Visit the museum in the reconstructed Stoa of Attalos. One of the best preserved temples overlooking the Agora built by Pericles is the Temple of Hephaistos 449-430 BC.

Other places worth visiting are the 3 hills adjacent to the Acropolis: The Areopagus, Pnyx and Filapappou Hill. They provide you with an excellent panoramic view of the Acropolis and its surroundings. The Kerameikos is the ancient cemetery for Athens. You will also want to see the Roman influence on Athens by visiting Hadrian's Arch, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian's library and the Roman forum. There are also many smaller museums to check out such as the Byzantine Museum.

Majestic Hephaistion Temple Temple of Hephaistos
in the Athenian Agora
Front and side views
Sideview of Temple of Hephaistos in the Athenian Agora
Parthenon The Parthenon on the Acropolis, Athens

View of the Acropolis

Acropolis from Hill
view of the Acropolis
Panoramic view of the Acropolis and surrounding areas
Acropolis with Stoa Eumenes
Porch of the Caryatids
The Erechtheion and the Porch of the Caryatids on the Acropolis
The Erechtheion
Odeion of Herodes Atticus View of Odeion of Herodes Atticus from above and the Parthenon, Odeion from below
Amphitheater in Athens View of Odeion of Herodes Atticus

Walls of the Acropolis
Monument of Thrasyllos Thrasyllos Monument on side of acropolis

Dionysus Theatre and statuettes
Dionysus Theater from Acropolis

Seats of theater
Agora and the Acropolis, Athens Views of the Athenian Agora The Agora in Athens
Emperor Agrippa's Odeion Odeion of Agrippa

Stoa of Attalos in the Agora
Stoa of Attalos
Athenian Agora Agora from the Acropolis
Parthenon frieze Parthenon Frieze at Acropolis Museum

Caryotid at Acropolis Museum
Erechtheion statue at Acropolis Museum
Ostraka in Agora Museum Ostraka (pieces of pottery with names on them) used to ostracize Athenian politicians

Three gods seated Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis - East Frieze of the Parthenon, Acropolis Museum
Freize at Acropolis museum
From the National Museum in Athens

Funerary Urns from Kerameikos (Athen's ancient cemetary)
Kerameikos Museum
Statue of Poseiden

Aphrodite, Eros and Pan from Delos 2nd Century BC, Athens National Archaeological Museum
Hadrian's Library and the Roman Agora

Andronikos Kyrristos Clock
in the background
Library built by Hadrian Hadrian's Library

Panoramic view of the Temple of Olympian Zeus
Parliament Building (Old Palace) and Mount Lycabettus in background

View of Athens and the Temple of Olympian Zeus
Emperor Hadrian's Arch Hadrian's Arch

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