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Medieval Athens: the Byzantine sites of the Greek capital

Athens ● 04 September 2017
 

If you think that Athens has only ancient archaeological sites to offer to its visitors, you are definitely wrong. Although Athens is worldwide known for its ancient history, it has a long and rich history, which consists not only of the antiquity but also of the medieval times. The Byzantine culture is there, in Athens, to explore it and get familiar with the medieval character of a city that combines various historical eras in a journey where today meets yesterday and West meets East.

Did you know that in the historical Athens Center, in the picturesque districts of Plaka, Thiseio, Monastiraki and the area around Syntagma Square, numerous little Byzantine churches can be found between the neoclassical buildings, the modern houses, the shops and the hotels in Athens? Kapnikarea between Syntagma Square and Monastiraki, the magnificent Mitropolis Cathedral, the church of Saint John at Monastiraki Square, the baroque church of Agii Anargiri, or the church of Holy Apostles inside the Ancient Agora (Athens) are only some of the stone-built, traditional charming churches of Athens that date back even in the 11th century.

The Church of Holy Apostles

The Byzantine and Christian Museum of Athens has significant findings and can inform you about the Medieval Times and the history of Christianity in the Greek capital as well as in whole Greece. The museum has more than 25,000 artefacts, which are centred but not limited in the Christian religion of the early Christian, Byzantine and post-Byzantine period. If you are interested in the history and culture of this era, the Byzantine museum is definitely worth visiting.

Charming are also the monasteries, which are built in remote areas on the mountains of Attica. On Imittos Mountain, the monastery of Kaisariani is located inside the National Park of the mountain, which has stunning beauty and rare fauna and flora, while the monastery of Penteli on Penteli Mountain is built in a wonderful garden, where you forget being in a huge city. Generally, Imittos Mountain is a perfect place for hiking with an astonishing view of the Saronic Gulf from above, and it has numerous small monasteries, like Moni Asteriou and Saint John, which are hidden inside the forest, in a lovely natural environment.

Monastery of Penteli

On the eastern side of Attica, in the districts of Markopoulo, Vraona and Varnava, you can admire some well-preserved medieval towers, which date back to the Frankish and Venetian period of Athens. These towers were used from the residents of the Greek capital as watch towers and protective buildings for the Arab and Ottoman invasions that were frequent during the Medieval Times.

Where to Stay

Hostel in Athens, Greece Athens International Youth Hostel
7.8 10
Athens International Youth Hostel
16, Victor Hugo str., 10438 Athens, Greece

Athens International Youth Hostel is a friendly, budget hostel located in a quiet residential street, close to the historic center of Athens and just 3 minutes walk from the nearest metro station. The main square of Athens, Syntagma, is at 1.5 km, while the lively Monastiraki Square is at 1.3 km. Plaka, the historic and picturesque part of Athens with narrow cobblestone streets can be reached within a 18-minute walk.


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