Can you imagine a museum in which the entrance is free? In which you can speak as loudly as you want, drink and eat whatever you want? A museum that never closes its doors? Oh, that would be awesome if it was real… And, hopefully, it is. This magical museum is Athens. Even if you have no time to spend in an official museum out there, you can smell the history in every street of this city.
Ancient walls, big stones where maybe a great philosopher standed one day, streets that have been walked by warriors or famous politician, such as Periklis or Eleftherios Venizelos. Try to understand that history in Athens did not end with the ancient Greeks and Socrates. The continue is even more fascinating: Romans, Bizantine Empire, modern greek history.
In addition, all those years many artists lived and created in Athens, such as famous architects, poets and musicians. Can you discover their masterpieces which are spread in all over the city? Can you recognize some statues? Are you familiar with names such as Kostis Palamas, Alekos Fasianos, Dimitris Fotiadis, Melina Merkouri? Can you see the signs that lead to the most strategic points of Athens? Religion has played an important role to the evolution of our history.
Beautiful Christian orthodox churches are located everywhere and they are so different from the catholic ones, which exist in Athens but they are not so many. What about mosques? Our city is the only European capital in which they are not official mosques and the ones which are in function are…illegal and/or unofficial. As for the modern, political and social history of Athens, this can be read in the walls. Mottos and graffitis show the difficult economic situation of our country or shout for freedom, equality and love. History in Athens-and, to be honest, in every city as vivid as it- is written every day…
If you stand a few minutes in Monastiraki Square you can see the history of Athens in 10 minutes. Recently renovated, the Square was covered with mosaic blocks of marble, stone and carved cast iron, which symbolize the «flows» and the people of the Mediterranean.
You can find the train station (1895) and the metro station (2004). The lines of the metro are meeting the ancient river Iridanos. In front of you, there is the Tzistaraki Mosque (1759), the small Pantanassa Church, which used to be a church only for women during the ottoman domination, as well as a part of Library’s Wall (132 A.C), as a gift from the Roman Emperor Adrianos.
Athens Flea Market starts from Monastiraki Square everybody knows that, after history classes, a shopping therapy is the best you can do!
What is your favourite corner of this alive museum?
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