The civilization that brought democracy to the world, gave us the greatest philosophers in history, and inventions that led to our modern existence – the Greeks have always been a fascination to the rest of the World. The Ancient city of Greece holds some of the greatest treasures of this past civilization. From buildings that echo the once glorious civilization that existed in the ruins to the remarkable bronze statues and pottery that tells us tales of legendary, mythical Heroes, Greece portrays a living, functioning museum, much larger than any other in the world. You would be surprised to know, excavations still go on, architects still try to piece together ancient mysteries that led to the downfall of this glorious civilization. From the peaks of the Mount Olympus to the underwater city of Atlantis, Greece will fill our hearts with mythical fascination, enough to haunt you for a life time. Though today Greece is a modern country, with no signs of the ancient civilization living amongst its populace, people visit Greece not for its modern day achievements, but to have a peek at the ancient glory of this country. So let us take a look, at the top ten things you should see in Greece.
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10. Crete and Palace of Knossos
The island of Crete, off the coast of Greece was once home to the mighty Minoan civilization. Their advancements in architecture and cultural tradition, is found on every square foot of the island. And the best place to experience the architectural achievements of the Minoans is at the palace of Knossos. With brilliant construction and awe-inspiring facades, this palace would have been an architectural marvel, way ahead of its time when it was first constructed. Though the current reconstruction of the palace may not be as accurate as the original one, it truly does give us a glimpse of the past culture of the Minoans. Also this is mythical place where Theseus slayed the half-bull, half-man monster – the Minotaur.
9. The Temple of Poseidon at Camp Sounion
Poseidon was the mythical God of the Sea, to the ancient Greeks, and was said to bring prosperity and wealth to the nation from the sea routes, and provide a safe sail for the sailors on the Aegean Sea. Though Poseidon was one of the important gods, he was also one of the short-tempered gods, who needed constant pleasing. That’s why the Greeks, built temple for him at the shores of Came Sounion. The temple provides an awe-inspiring site from the sea and even more for those on land. A classic example of Doric Architecture, the Temple of Poseidon is a sight to watch, when the sun sets over the clear blue Horizon over the Aegean Sea. One can only imagine the sights it would have provided in its hay day.
This gigantic city within the borders of Greece is not just a mythical fascination to the historically inclined, but also a total mystery to modern day scientist as well. Mycenae was the major city in Bronze Age Greece, and was one of the oldest cities according to Greek legend. In fact, it was so old, it was considered ancient even by Socrates and Homer of Ancient Greece. If you ever wondered where the term Cyclopean originated from, you have to look nowhere but here. The city has massive constructions, that still baffle the modern day scientists; but the people of Greece believe that the city was built by one eyed giants called Cyclopes. The city is also filled with mythical stories that will provide a haunting insight in to the tragedy of ancient Greece.
The gigantic cradle of the Olympic Games – Olympia is next on our list of things to visit in Greece. Though this once monumental city is now in utter ruins, its fame and glory are still inscribed on its walls. Back in 776 B. C this very hosted the very first Olympic games; featuring players from all around the known world. And it continued to do so, every four years, till the Roman emperor Theodosius came along and banned it altogether. But nevertheless the, Olympic games were revived and followed by us till today with great love and affection. The city of Olympia also, once held the Great temple to Zeus, which featured a Gold and Ivory statue of Zeus.
Though Greece is filled with cities of ancient wonders, Mykonos is not one such city. Of course, you will find Greek Architecture and some of the remnants of the ancient Greece all over the place in Mykonos. But at its core, Mykonos is a thriving cosmopolitan city; but there is a reason that makes this Mediterranean city so likable – it is the home to some of the greatest celebrities and almost all the good looking people in Greece. With its bars, pubs, restaurants and shopping centers, this is the best of contemporary Greece. And with roads designed originally to be a labyrinth, the city should provide some adventure as well.
The divinely placed monasteries of the Kalambaka and kastraki are what that constitutes the Meteroa. Perched at the top of Rock pinnacle, these shrines and monasteries suggest to us, the gods of ancient Greece did demand enormous offerings. With no proper to reach to the top, even today, it is a mystery, how the monks set up cam there. But nevertheless, since these are somewhat latest in terms of Ancient Greece – built only 1000 years ago – these are well preserved pieces of Greek Architecture.
Santorini doesn’t just deserve to be one of the Top ten places to see in Greece, but actually deserves to be on the list of Top ten cities to live in the world. With its soothing, calm placement overlooking the wide expanse of the Aegean Sea, this is one of those cities, which you will never want to leave. This white washed wonder was once larger than it looks at its present form, 5000 years ago. It is said the present form is a reduced one, as the result of a volcanic eruption that decimated the once thriving Minoan culture that settles on these shores.
3. Mt. Olympus
The home to the Gods of Ancient Greece – Mt. Olympus is next on our list of top ten things to see in Greece. Though trekking the entire scale of this mountain can be quite demanding, its task that worth taking the risk. Because at sunset the view from the top cab only be regarded as a natural world wonder. Just set off from Lithoro – the base city of Mt. Olympus and continue on as far as you could. As climb higher and higher, you can’t help but get immersed in the Myth that surrounds this enchanting place.
Another historical monument, not just to us, but even to the Ancient Greeks – Delphi is next on our list of top places of Greece. Delphi is the spot where the oracles of ancient Greece have said to have resided. It is a place of unimaginable natural beauty and impeccable Greek architecture. Though the city is mostly in ruins, it used to be a very glorious spot. People from around the globe visited Delphi to get their prophecies, and divine intervention on the most important decision like war, marriage, etc. The people who visited this place, in Ancient Greece, were just Kings and Royalty, so you can get a glimpse of the ancient city in it Hay day.
Athens is not just the top place to visit in Greece but also the most important place in the entire history of Greece. The present day capital of Greece, was also a cultural hub and a very important city, back in the day of Alexander and Mythical heroes. Said to have been protected by the Goddess Athena, this city possess some of the best preserved architecture in the whole of Greece. From the Parthenon to the national Museum, you might require an entire holiday, just to catch a glimpse of this city’s history.