Wednesday, September 21, 2011

National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Athens

Pictures were taken on July 10, 2011
National Archaeological Museum of Athens houses more than 11,000 exhibits,
provide a panorama of Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to Late Antiquity.
Although its original purpose was to secure all the finds from the nineteenth century excavations in and around Athens, it gradually became the central National Archaeological Museum
and It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world

 Numerous galleries on each floor accounting for a total of 8,000 square metres,
including Prehistoric Collection, Sculptures Collection, Vase and Minor Objects Collection,
Metallurgy Collection, Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection...
So be sure to keep your map ;)

Here are some of my favorite pieces:
The Artemision Bronze

Jockey of Artemision

Arrowheads and spear tips found on the battlefield of Thermopylae
You can see pics from my visit to Thermopylae here.

 The Antikythera Ephebe

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Acropolis of Athens, Athens

Pictures were taken on July 9, 2011

Theater of Herod Atticus
It is built by the Romans in 161 AD and still used today for classical concerts, ballet,
performances of high cultural value and Yanni.

The Propylaea
It was completed in 432BC just before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian wars.

The Parthenon


The Porch of the Caryatids

at the flag, where Athens stretches out endlessly below.

The plaque below the flag commemorates Manolis Glezos and Apostolis Santas,
the two eighteen year-old heroes who tore down the Nazi flag flying from the Acropolis
on the night of May 30th, 1941.
Temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Hephaestus "Theseion"

Mount Lycabettus with Saint George's Chapel on top
Acropolis at night

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Battlefield of Thermopylae, Thermopylae

To tell the truth, I wasn't familiar with Battle of Thermopylae until I watched the Zack Snyder's movie 300.
But ever since I watched the movie, I was fascinated by King Leonidas and 300 Spartans.
I knew I have to see the real battlefield that King Leonidas fought and died.

Pictures were taken on July 9, 2011

Leonidas Monument
It was constructed at the site, in the 50's in honor of the Spartan king and his warriors

A sign, under the statue, reads simply: "Μολών λαβέ"
("Come and get them!"--as in answer to Xerxes' demand that the Greeks give up their weapons).

In 1997, a second monument was officially unveiled by the Greek government,
dedicated to the 700 Thespians who fought with the Spartans.

A plate, below the statue, explains its symbolism:
  • The headless male figure symbolizes the anonymous sacrifice of the 700 Thespians to their country.
  • The outstretched chest symbolizes the struggle, the gallantry, the strength, the bravery and the courage.
  • The open wing symbolizes the victory, the glory, the soul, the spirit and the freedom.
  • The broken wing symbolizes the voluntary sacrifice and death.
  • The naked body symbolizes Eros, the most important god of the ancient Thespians, a god of creation, beauty and life.

Epitaph of Simonides
Simonides composed a well-known epigram,
which was engraved as an epitaph on a commemorative stone
placed on top of the burial mound of the Spartans at Thermopylae.
It is also the hill on which the last of them died. The original stone is not to be found now.
Instead the epitaph was engraved on a new stone erected in 1955.

 "Stranger, announce to the Spartans that here We lie, having fulfilled their orders."

The site of the battle.

The hot springs from which Thermopylae takes its name.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hunyad Castle, Hunedoara

The castle is a relic of the Hunyadi dynasty.
In 1409, the castle was given to John Hunyadi's father, Voyk, by Sigismund, king of Hungary, as severance. The castle was restored between 1446 and 1453 by his son John Hunyadi.
It was built mainly in Gothic style, but has Renaissance architectural elements.
It features tall and strong defense towers, an interior yard and a drawbridge.
Built over the site of an older fortification and on a rock above the small river Zlaşti,
the castle is a large and imposing building with tall and diversely colored roofs, towers and myriad windows and balconies adorned with stone carvings.

Pictures were taken on July 6, 2011

The current castle is the result of a fanciful restoration campaign undertaken
after a disastrous fire and many decades of total neglect.
It has been noted that modern
"architects projected to it their own wistful interpretations of how a great Gothic castle should look".

The legend says that this fountain was dug by twelve Turkish prisoners
to whom liberty was promised if they reached water.
After 15 years they completed the well, but their captors did not keep their promise.
It is said that the inscription on a wall of the well means "you have water, but not soul".
Specialists, however, have translated the inscription as
"he who wrote this inscription is Hasan, who lives as slave of the giaours, in the fortress near the church".