The guided tour at the Ancient Agora was one of the most interesting and successful tours. It was a very hot day, in spite of the weather forecast, that had announced clouds, so Elli tried to do all the tour in the shade under the trees. Through her stories, we could actually picture a typical day of an Athinian. She was amazing as usual !
After the tour, some of us went to the food festival at Technopolis Gazi, where he had the chance to taste flavors from all over Greece. Many thanks to Athinorama for their special OFFER of 2 for 1 tickets, as well as the FREE invitations they offered to our group so generously.
In our continuous efforts to enrich our knowledge of the Ancient Greek history and culture, and provide expats and guests with a profound understanding of Greece, its people, its culture and timeless spirit. we are proud and honoured to announce our cooperation with Diazoma, one of the most prestigious organizations dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of Ancient Greek Theatres.
My journey to ‘DIAZOMA’ has been a long one with many ports of call: Kalamata, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of the Interior, Administration and Decentralization, Ministry of the Aegean. On the way I have been involved with the reconstruction of a town destroyed by earthquake, the enhancement of its historical centre, cultural networks, CastrorumCircumnavigatio, a programme on ancient theatres, island policies, Citizen Service Centres… Ports of call en route to a destination of which I am not yet aware, which has not yet taken a specific shape.
Caring for monuments has always been a special part of my life. I cannot look upon them as ruins, as something dead. I see in them living organisms transmitting messages of knowledge, wisdom, aesthetics, harmony, dialogue with the environment and nature, as transmitting messages of life. And I have always disagreed with the classic treatment of monuments, that which treats them as museum pieces, which puts them to one side, on the margins of our era, which is blind to their secret life, which ignores their own adaptability and harmonization with every historical period.
That is why, wherever I have passed, I have tried in every way to include them in the daily life of the place and the people. From the Neoclassical buildings of Kalamata and the restoration of the town’s historical centre to the opening of archaeological sites on summer nights with a full moon, all my actions have been in the same direction, aimed at the same ultimate target and inspired by the same philosophy.
Small Theatre of Ancent Epidavros
Τhe ancient theatres are unique examples of exceptional architecture. Culminating achievements of ancient Greek civilization. Works of art built to host works of art. Buildings that concentrate in their structure, their parts and their details the originality, the grace, the sagacity, the expression of democracy and of citizens’ participation. In other words, the best of what the Greek spirit offers. Buildings which have been keeping the usefulness and the uniqueness of their form alive and up to date for centuries.
These characteristics led me to combine my ideas on monuments with ancient theatres. I started this particular endeavour five or six years ago. I failed. ‘Wherever you fail go back and wherever you succeed leave’, says Kazantzakis. I paid him heed. A couple of years ago, I returned. It seems that the right moment had come. The time was now ripe for a more dynamic confrontation of the monuments. The time was ripe for certain things to go ahead, because we take their fortunes into our own hands. And we help them to proceed. We take part in their development. The time was now ripe for creating a Movement of Citizens, of a large group of people, which can see beyond the miserly limits of a short-sighted age, which feels the primary right to demand transcendence of the dreary daily routine, by including monuments in our daily life.
At once I found myself surrounded by an enthusiastic and dynamic group of people, which widened in the blink of an eye. All of them, ‘as one long prepared…’ Scholars, intellectuals, artists, people in local government and pro-active citizens embraced ‘DIAZOMA’. Fellow-citizens who have decided that the research, study, protection, enhancement and, wherever feasible, the use of ancient theatres and other venues for spectators and listeners, such as ancient odeia and stadia, are also their concern. And they are resolved to take these monuments’ fortunes into their own hands, to work together dynamically, as helpers of the State and the services responsible, in the major task of including ancient theatres in modern life.
In this section, Mr. Stavros Benos, chairman of “DIAZOMA“, shares his impressions from touring all over Greece. Joining him in these visits are the heads of the regional services from the Ministry of Culture, local authority representatives, residents and “DIAZOMA” members from each particular area.
These tours have three main objectives:
to help compose a well-defined “monument inventory”, both in the scientific and sociopolitical sense (availability/response of local communities etc.)
to bring together in joint action all parties necessary for the restoration/showcasing of important monuments (archaeologists, local authorities, etc.)
to raise public awareness about the tremendous value of these monuments, not only in the context of historical and cultural heritage, but as a part of contemporary Greek society. This can be achieved via press conferences and open debate sessions with the public.
Become a member If you believe that the most beautiful and the most symbolic monuments in Greece, the ancient theatres, should be brought back to life. If you believe that for great plans and grand dreams to become reality they must be embraced by us all.
Now that the weather is (hopefully…) getting better,we are planning our next guided tour with our amazing guide Elli out in the open!
We are going to Ancient Agora*, Stoa Attalou**,and Thission on the 9/05.
*The Agora was the heart of ancient Athens, the focus of political, commercial, administrative and social activity, the religious and cultural centre, and the seat of justice.
The site was occupied without interruption in all periods of the city’s history. It was used as a residential and burial area as early as the Late Neolithic period (3000 B.C.). Early in the 6th century, in the time of Solon, the Agora became a public area.
The Museum of the Ancient Agora is organized in chronological and thematic units that reveal aspects of the public and private life in ancient Athens.
The earliest antiquities, potsherds, vases, terracotta figurines and weapons, dating from the Neolothic , Bronze Age, Iron Age and Geometric period, come from wells and tombs excavated in the area of the Athenian Agora and its environs.
**The Stoa of Attalos was a place for Athenians to meet, walk, and to do business. It was destroyed by the Heruli in A.D. 267, and its members were incorporated into the Late Roman Wall. The restoration, based on studies by the architect Yannis Travlos, was carried out in 1953-1956 by the American School of Classical Studies
text source: Ministry of Culture and Sports
The tour will last about 2 + hrs.
Cost: 10to 15 eurosas always, depending on the number of the participants, and we need at least 10 people for the tour to go.
Please do not cancel the last minute as the more people attend, the less money they will pay.
The entrance tickets to the Ancient Agora is 4 euros, and it’s not included in the price of the guided tour.
Video Maps Antikythera Shipwreck and Shows New Discoveries
Despite the official attempt to keep a lid on the discoveries of the latest Antikythera shipwreck expedition, some details from a video showing the new discoveries have been leaked
According to sources familiar with the video, the bronze spear that was discovered, was not part of any of the statues already been discovered. This has spurred hopes that a large statue will be found, to which the spear once belonged.
As for the golden ring, it is speculated that it was not part of the ship’s cargo but belonged to one of its passengers. According to reports, the ring was found next to a woman’s skeleton.
It has thus been speculated that perhaps it belonged to a bride, traveling from the East to Italy along with her dowry.
The amphoras were found 250 meters away from the wreck. This adds weight to the theory that there were in fact two ships that sank. However, a large part of the research team believes that the amphoras and surrounding artifacts were all part of the same ship.
The new expedition is focusing on an area of the main wreck that has not been thoroughly explored before: the ship’s prow