By Helen Partovi-Fraser
Athens, urban of the gods and birthplace of Western tradition, is one among Europe's so much exciting towns the place Classical antiquity co-exists with symbols of Christianity and glossy eu existence. the writer returns to the post-Olympic capital and takes us on full of life walks during the neighbourhoods, unveiling the city's moods, exploring its tradition, monuments and museums. She leads us up the Acropolis, via Plaka and the previous Turkish region, into the Agora and Roman discussion board, Byzantine church buildings and alongside the fashionable boulevards. To finish, we pass open air town to view the surviving eleventh century mosaics of Daphne Monastery (still being restored at time of writing), one of many masterpieces of the Byzantine Empire.
Helen Partovi-Fraser's Athens: The Hidden Gems vividly brings this trendy urban, its tradition and other people to lifestyles.
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Additional info for Athens. The Hidden Gems
In the first century AD, five hundred years after the Parthenon was built, St Paul preached to the Athenians here and on this same hill lie the ruins of the sixteenth-century church of St Dionysios who, on hearing the Apostle’s sermon, converted to Christianity and became first bishop and patron saint of the city. ~~~ After lunching in one of many cafés on Dionysiou Areopagitou, we stroll towards the South slope of the Acropolis and the ruins of the sanctuary of Dionysos, ancient Greek god of wine and revelry, patron of drama.
Incorporated into the façade are two terracotta plaques with ornaments and old Arabic lettering, and above the west entrance a horseshoe arch, all indicating Islamic influence. A young Greek woman sitting outside the church, watching intently as we photograph the colours, strikes up a conversation with us in half-Greek, broken English, claiming that the lushness of the plants derives from the soil of Athens where Athena’s sacred olive flourished. ’ she exclaims, proud of her country’s heritage whilst querying if we are British or American.
How exquisitely the architecture blends with the rough landscape. What harmony and balance. The ancient Greeks’ search for eternal truth had been a groping towards the light of faith. St John Chrysostom, reading his Paschal sermon in the fourth century AD, reassured his followers that God did honour the intention. But for Apostle Paul in the first century, espying countless pagan statues throughout the city, they were the embodiment of evil. ~~~ The Acropolis Museum Finally, we follow the path down the pedestrian way to the new Acropolis Museum.
Athens. The Hidden Gems by Helen Partovi-Fraser