The cultural core of Antiquity, a huge inspiration in building the greatest empire of all times, the Roman Empire, and home world of theatre, Greece is so much more than a beautiful country. Ask any history buff, this European country is the birthplace of Western civilization! With both Aristotle and Plato born here, this breathtaking congregation of islands is the place where mathematics, philosophy, science, architecture and drama flourished. Greece is so much more than a tourist’s attraction: in a nutshell, its cultural value is inestimable. Without further ado, here’s a list of the very best historical sites to visit while in Greece!
Let’s start with basics, probably the most acclaimed and visited Greek collection of ruins. These ruins- grand, yet perfectly attuned to the natural surroundings- represent the zenith of aesthetics during the Classical Greek period. The epitome of artistic taste, the Acropolis of Athens has, to this day, a powerful impact on both architectural theory and technique.
If you’re a fan of dude movies, you’ve most likely watched 300- this means you’ve at least heard of Delphi. This was the temple of Apollo’s oracle, but it represented so much more than that. It was a symbol of Greek cultural unity, the nucleus of spirituality and of their high regard for seamlessly blending artificial structures with astounding natural landscapes. It’s definitely a place for history fans, mythology enthusiasts and those passionate about the esoteric aspects of life.
Aigai, currently known as Vergina
Most of us got our international history lessons from Hollywood blockbusters, so I’ll make one more reference to them. You’ve probably heard of Alexander the Great, leader of one of history’s greatest empires, played by Colin Farrell and with Angelina Jolie in the role of Olympias, his incredibly good-looking mother. This city was the first capital of the Kingdom of Macedon and here is where you can find the tomb of his father, Philip II of Macedon. If that’s not enough for you, there’s an outstanding, posh palace full of carefully crafted mosaics at your fingertips.
The Holy Mountain, a place of great beauty, became an Orthodox spiritual center almost a thousand years ago. Sprinkled with 20 monasteries, this site has been a great influence in the history of Orthodox art and is to this day considered an important place of pilgrimage. However, if you plan to go visit, you should keep in mind the fact that it is forbidden for women. The monks who live here have devoted their lives to God and celibacy, and the sight of women would be a temptation. Therefore, they are not allowed in the area, in order to make their vow of of purity easier to respect.
The Palace of Knossos
While in Crete, you might consider visiting this palace- it is the most important tourist’s attraction on this sun-kissed island. Discovered 136 ago by English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, the site was found covered by ashes, yet almost intact. Not nearly as famous as Pompeii, what makes this place amazing is that after so many years, the palace has kept its wall paintings and hues!