ON TOP OF THE CITY
City from above
Athens is built on top of 13 hills. Each one of them offers a different mesmerizing view of the city. You can see the sea of Piraeus sparkling in the horizon and all the chaotic neighborhoods buzzing with life. Days belong to the Acropolis, nights belong to Lycabettus.
Athens is a jewel worth seeing from above.
Before owls were cool
Owls are well celebrated by the hipster community. Not to brag, but we liked them way before. The deity Athena used them as her symbols and being the protector of Athens, the city adopted them as so. Coins, statues and even dolls were created in order to honor this symbol of wisdom. Some real owls can still be found in Athens although pigeons have won the popularity contest.
Green patches in a desert
Most of the forests were burned down during the heat season for several years and the rest were cut down in order for the city to expand. It's one of the main reasons why Athens is so hot during summer months. But small oasis survived and are now treasured and finding new protectors. The National Garden located in downtown Athens is the crowning jewel. Offering several cool corners to read, walk and jog while being surrounded by magnificent Mediterranean fauna.
Metal in the skies
If we could describe Athens with one word that would be surprise. A city that's a manic extrovert and yet spends enormous amounts of time in front of the TV. One thing is for sure, we do love our TV. On any terrace can be found at least five antennas poking on the sky like toothpicks. Besides the artistic effect that it creates is a symbol of the Greek psyche. You see, each building could have a single antenna to cover everyone's needs but we can't even agree on this. And then you have cranes. Building and renovating in every neighborhood. Causing more sound and image noise. Vertical and horizontal metal frames that reshape the city.
A story of an obsession with memory
Even those unfamiliar with Greek culture knows that Ancient Greece gave birth to some important stuff.
The easiest of this heritage to understand and value is art. Statues made with the greatest of detail and love to realistic depiction. The need of ancient Greeks to preserve portraits of objects, faces, bodies, humans and Gods alike is one of the major reasons that these classic ideals of beauty are preserved to our days. Walking through Athens you will find more than 1000 statues thus proving that this obsession keeps on.
Finding the way
Getting lost in a strange city is half the fun. Athens is a city of countless surprises, hidden in the most unexpected corners. Being a city lived for over 3.400 years, architectural homogeneity is not a characteristic. next to ancient ruins stand tall Ottoman temples and grey skyscrapers. The city's skyline and blueprint reflects it's endless continuity and absolute chaos. Take a right into uncharted streets and find out what Athens has instore for you.
loving the gods
Many countries have held royalty in their governmental schemes when the Greeks kept religion instead. Don't forget that Parthenon and Olympieion are temples dedicated to gods tat may be forgiven but not forgotten. It exists still a number of people who perform ancient rites in spite of Christianity's sovereignty. But old habits die hard and Greece now hosts innumerable churches, less majestic but equally loved. Gods change names and statures but the believers continue on a linear path of worship. Nothing can be made in Greece without God's approval and oversight.
a for archaeology
A museum filled with art
The National Archaeological Museum remains an unmissable stop for any traveler. A magnificent building by itself, it stands out reminding the long lost glory days of the Exarcheia neighborhood. It hosts a collection without a single artifact of a lesser value and yet the statue of Zeus or Poseidon holds a special spot in visitors' interest. Maybe because its' identity is yet a mystery, maybe because of the exemplary craftsmanship that can be admired even today. Whatever the reason, this God figure stands tall among all statues.
simplicity of greatness
More is Doric
It's really difficult to explain what makes Parthenon the marvel that it is. One needs to experience it. A temple dedicated to goddess Athena, standing on the rock of Acropolis since 432 BC. The simplest of blueprints with one of the most amazing ornamental decoration ever created by humans. Made out of 80 tons of pure white marble yet holding an elegance found in the finest fabrics. A symbol of ecumenical greatness.
Making the public space personal
Modern Athens transcends all rules of symmetry and harmony. Shoe-boxed buildings with balconies in the color of sand, host the always running, laughing and cursing Athenians. Streets packed with cars and dead-ends that lead to gardens. This chaos creates a unique labyrinth of colors, tastes and smells that ultimately is the signature of Athens. A city that gives space to anyone in order to create his own experience of the public and personal space. A rare sense of freedom and inhibition runs through the city night and day. Everyone is welcome to join this chaotic circus.