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Athens
(Aqena)
Historical NotesPhotos, part 1

Athens is the modern capital of Greece. The capital was moved to Athens from Nauplion in 1834. However the importance of the city dates back for centuries to the days of the Greek city states.

    Athens was said to be original founded by Cecrops, the first king of Athens. It was here that he found an easily defensible hill, close to the sea with fertile planes surronding it. It was here that he built the The Acropolis (high city) on a formidable hill, easily defended and near the sea and two rivers.

Athens patron is the goddess Athena(goddess of wisdom and skill). In fact the name for the city in Greek is Athena. Athena and her uncle Poseidon (god of the sea) vied for patronage of the city. Both offered a gift, Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a spring appeared. Athena gave an olive tree, symbol of peace and harmony.

Click on a name or a structure to view photos from that part of Athens. Italy Image Map
The ancient Athenians felt the olive tree was the greater present so they chose Athena as their patron. There are shrines to Athena, Posiden, and King Cecrops in the The Erechtheion, one of the oldest standing buildings on the Acropolis.

    During Classical times, Athens was one of the great city states that was in power all over Greece. There was a treasury in Delphi, that was dedicated to the riches the city gave that great Shrine. The Athenians rivaled the Corinthians, Myceneans, and Spartans for power. They even were even responsible for the depopulation of their spiritual and economic rival Delos(through a law)!

    Since the classical period, Athens has had its share of ups and downs. It has gone from a great city state, to a back water hole and back again. The city has also known many conquerors including the Byzantine Empire, Persian's, Roman's , Venetian's (Venice), and Turk's. However with Greek independence Athens again took its rightful place as the center of Greece.

     The city has much more history, too much in fact to list here. The purpose of this site is to show pictures of Athens and not give a full history of the city. On each of the galleries I have given additional information related to that section. Since the gallery for Athens was becoming too overwhelming I divided it by places of interest to tourists. The first place any tourist heads in Athens is the Acropolis complex. This was the the spiritual center of Ancient Athens. Near by to the Acropolis is the ancient Greek Agora which was the commercial center of ancient Athens. Near by is the Roman Forum which was the Roman version of an Agora. On the Side Side of the Acropolis/Parthenon complex is an ancient theater/temple complex which has some interesting ruins. The plaka is where most of the tourists stay and it is located on the North side of the Acropolis. On the Eastern Boundary of the ancient city of Athens is Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of the Olympian Zeus. The Likavitos is a second mountain found in the city of Athens. It has a beautiful church on the top and gives you excellent views on clear days. I have a few more structures which are found on the map above that I have placed in a general Athens Gallery. Lastly, not found on the map, I have a gallery of the churches of Athens.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Any comments, please E-mail me, .

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All photos by John L. Polos
Copyright September 21, 1997 Updated November 8, 2003