Today, April 18th is the World Heritage Sites Day and it is a celebration of Cultural Heritage. Greece -as the cradle of Western civilization- also has to exhibit a good number of Unesco recognized world Heritage sites. Let’s have a look at these marvels. The links will guide you to even more photos and special content for each, along with different things to experience in these areas.
We present 1 photo per site since the amount you can find for each is vast.
1. Acropolis of Athens and its monuments: They stand as universal symbols for the classical spirit and western civilization (but not limited to that only). Greek antiquity architects and wisdom delivered these marvels to the world and people flock from all four corners of the world to see them.
2. The archaeological site of Aigai (Vergina): Known as the first capital of Macedonia and the burial place of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.
3. Delphi: A blend of mythology and Gods, the favorite place of Apollo, of the Pythia and the slayed dragon. The navel of the world according to them myth of Zeus and his eagles.
4. Mystras: The castle city, also known as the Wonder of Moreas, build by William of Villehardouin and acted as a major and important command center.
5. Olympia: The place Olympic Games were born and hostilities stopped during the festivities. A mystical place where light and fire are born every 4 years and spread around the world.
7. Delos: The birthplace of Apollo, and known as a great cosmopolitan small island since ancient times. Hey, its next to Mykonos, which was not that popular back then.
8. Medieval City of Rhodes: The marvelous city of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, and the Templar Knights, with the amazing Gothic style castle.
9. Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas (St. Lucas) and Nea Moni of Chios: Three religious monuments in 3 different places (Athens, Fokida, Chios) are decorated with amazing marbles and are built on a cross-in-square plan with a large dome supported in a way that the whole structure is eventually an octagonal space shape.
10. Old Town of Corfu: Greatly preserved, it was build in 8th century BC. The urban and port complex of Corfu, mainly dominated by its fortresses of Venetian origin, is an architectural example of outstanding universal value in both its authenticity and its integrity.
11. Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki: Thessaloniki is one of the first bases for the spread of Christianity and has numerous churches and monasteries. Among many of these St Demetrius and St David are considered two of the great masterpieces of early Christian art.
12. Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos: A very special island which is considered the place where Pythagoras lived and taught (after himself being taught around the world), of the temple of Samian Hera and many more. The island is also amazingly green.
13. Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus: The the temple of Asklepios along with the Tholos and the Theatre, are considered one of the masterpieces of Greek architecture. They date since the 4th century. The whole site (quite big), is an amazing source for information for the healing cults of Greek and Roman eras.
14. Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae: A rather interesting place located in “the middle of nowhere”, a mix of different styles, and build with a different orientation. The temple is oriented exactly north, departing from the usual eastern orientation.
15. The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos: A very vibrant religious place visited by hundreds of thousands every year. It was the place where St John the Theologian wrote his Gospel and the Apocalypse. An amazing monastery has been build, which dominates the top of the island.
16. Meteora: The world known complex formation of huge rocks on top of each one reside a a big number of different monasteries and a great place for hiking.
17. Mount Athos: Also known as “Holy Mountain”. A country by its own and one of the most visited places of Orthodox country leaders of the world where women and children are forbidden. A visitor can also stay in the monasteries for a few days and follow the monks schedule, provided that he has booked for it, since there are only a few rooms available.
All these places combine culture, religion, legends and myths, heroes and Gods, along with amazing locations where the visitor can truly enjoy the spirit of Greece. Plan ahead and visit them all!
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