Last Saturday I was invited along with the other members of Travel Bloggers Greece to a Mythological tour of Athens hosted by Alternative Athens. I was very happy to join this tour as I am a big fan of Mythology, I find these stories very fascinating.
We met our guide Ioanna at the gate of the temple of Olympian Zeus at 9:30. We bought our tickets and entered the first archaeological site of the tour, the temple of Olympian Zeus. The construction of the temple began in the 6th century B.C. by an Athenian tyrant but soon stopped to be resumed more than 600 years later by the Roman Emperor, Handrian. It was completed in the 2nd century AD and fall into disuse when the christian population of the city increased.
According to the myth from that spot Zeus started the Great Flood because he was unhappy with mankind. The flood lasted 9 days and 9 nights and the only survivors were Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha as they found refugee in a wooden chest. After the flood they thanked Zeus and asked him to help them replenish the earth with people. They were told that they should throw the bones of their mother behind them and a new human race would appear meaning that they should throw stones to the earth.
After a short stop to Hadrian’s Arch we headed to the ancient theatre of Dionysus at the slopes of the Acropolis. It is considered to be the most ancient theatre of the world with a capacity of 15.000 seats. There, we learnt the interesting story of Dionysus the god of fertility and wine.
Our next stop took us to the Acropolis where we learned the story of each monument of the sacred rock, the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Victory, the Parthenon and the Erechtheion. Apart from the historical facts our guide shared with us a lot of mythological stories including how Athena became the patron of the city. We then had time for photos and to enjoy the breathtaking views of the city.
We then headed to Plaka, the city’s oldest neighborhood where we had a refreshing break in one of the outdoor cafe. Although it was February we were lucky to enjoy a glorious warm day.
Having our batteries recharged we were ready for our next stop the Ancient Agora and the temple of Hephestus one of the best preserved temples of the antiquity where our guide shared with us the story of Hephaestus and how he ended up marrying the most beautiful goddess Aphrodite despite being very ugly.
The final stop of the tour was the cemetery of Kerameikos. It was the first time I visited that particular archaeological site and I was very impressed. At this place prominent Athenians were buried and their tombs are a work of art, each one telling a different story. Here we learnt the story of Adis the god of death.
After 4 hours our wonderful tour came to an end. I should tell you that this was one of the most interesting tours I have ever had. I learnt a lot of interesting facts about my city Athens and heard a lot of myths. This tours combines perfectly the historical facts with mythology. If you are traveling with children I am sure they will find it fascinating. Our guide Ioanna is a licensed guide and had a great knowledge of Athens history and mythology.
I was a guest of Alternative Athens but as always opinions are my own.
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