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Bronze shields on the marble retaining walls commemorates modern Greek military victories. There’s also an engraved epitaph from Pericles’ funeral oration (430 BC), honoring the Athenians killed in the first year of the Pelopontombs lie underneath Building occupies and upper corner of the sprawling National Garden (Ethnikos Kipos).
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Ringed by banks, deluxe hotels, generic fastfood eateries and travel agencies, Syntagma (Constitution) Square is the central reference point for the most visitors to Athens. It also makes a convenient rendezvous spot for Athenians working in the city centre. Orange trees, cypresses and palms somehow survive the fumes that are emitted by constant traffic swinging into Syntagma from eight major thoroughfares.
Ancient Greek and Byzantine art, jewellery, icons, costumes, skills and tapestries.
The Benaki Museum (located on on Vasilissis Sofias and Koumbari Streets) features the handsome private collection of a wealthy Greek art lover in his family mansion. It includes ancient gold and silver jewellery, as well as Byzantine art, traditional Greek costumes, ceramics and icons.
The Museum of Cycladic and Ancient Greek Art is devoted to the Bronze Age art of the Cyclades Islands, and also has Greek works dating from Minoan to Roman times.
Contains Cycladic and Ancient Greek Art. Neophytou Douka 4; Open Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 10am-4pm; Sat 10am-3pm; closed Tues and Sun. Free on Sat. Bronze Greek art from Minoan to Roman times.
The Cycladic marble figurines, which date from during the 3rd millennium BC, are a rare phenomenon in prehistoric art; yet the simple, minimalist features look simple, minimalist features look strangely modern. This rich collection was amassed by the Goulandris Foundation and housed in a cool, modern building. Special exhibitions are also presented here.
The Mitropolis, Athens’ cathedral, was completed in 1855 having been built from the remnants of over 70 demolished churches, including a zodiac calendar. On Good Friday evening, the famous candlelight procession takes place here.
The impressive interior, allegedly inspired by St Mark’s in Venice, is bedecked with splendid marble pulpit, floor and columns, huge candelabra, and religious paintings shining with silver revetment. Every inch is covered ic colourful geometric paintwork and mosaics. To the right of the entrance, a silver ossuary bears the sacred remains of Gregory V, the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople; the ossuary on the lfet holds the relics of a 16th-century martyr.
The cathedral is open in the morning, and also from around 5pm to 7 or 8pm and can be found Pandrosou, which ends in the spacious Platia Mitropoleos.
Beside the Mitropolis cathedral is the tiny and lovely Agios Eleftherios, the ‘little Mitropolis’, which is affectionately known as Our Lady Quick-to-answer-Prayers. It was built 800 years ago from much earlier columns and beams.
Over the main door, a 4th-century BC pagan frieze has been nearly obliterated – stamped with the Latin cross by later Christians.
However, if you look carefully you can still see the wheels of the ship bearing Athena’s robe in the Panatheniac procession. This is all that’s left of the known artistic rendering of the famous ship.
Vas. Safias 22’ Open 8.30am-3pm, closed Mon. Large collection of cons, panel paintings, Byzantine art and artifacts. Description are given in Greek and French.
Housed in a Florentine villa, the Byzantine Museum presents an impressive collection of icons, panel paintings and sculpture from the 9th to the 15th centuries. The religious artifacts – carved reliquary boxes, bronze and ivory pastoral staffs, gold-embroidered vestments, jewellery and silverware – are splendid.
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Graphic showing average weather in Hellenic Parliament in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
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