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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Visiting the Ancient Sites in Athens

From many points in downtown Athens the Acropolis is a prominent sight.

As the guides patiently explain to us who weren't paying sufficient attention in ancient history class, the Acropolis is not that building on the hill. It is the hill!

While you can spend quite a bit of money on a bus tour of the ancient sites (and we did) you will end up walking through them to actually see anything. Save your money and plan to spend at least two days touring the ancient sites, most of them easily found within a half mile of that centrally located Acropolis. A walk up to the top is a good starting spot since from there you can see where else you might like to visit.

On the top of the Acropolis, you will visit the Parthenon and Erechtheum.
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One advantage of using a bus tour / guide is that you will immediately learn that those statues on the Erechtheum are only reproductions.

The real ones will be found in the very modern Acropolis museum part way up the hill. (It's the building that looks like the lid was twisted.)

Also, while on the top of the Acropolis, you will notice that Athens is a very large and beautiful city.

You will probably want to visit the Agora, the ancient marketplace.

Once you reach the Agora, you will see quite a few crumbled foundations to view and a restored Stoa that is now a museum. It is that museum that is visible in the previous photo.
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Not too far from this site you will find this Roman forum:

And, on the opposite side of the Acropolis, you'll locate the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian's gate.
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