Today we are going to tell you about the myth of Athena and how she became the patron goddess of Athens. Both she and Poseidon wanted to be the protector god of the city, so the king of Athens Kekrops decided to offer it to whoever gave the city the most useful gift. Poseidon hit a rock with his trident and, AMAZING ….a water fountain sprang from it! Only that …the water was from the sea, salty, therefore quite useless. With his second stroke, he offered a beautiful horse! Next was Athena` s turn: she offers them an olive tree, a much more useful gift, so it is decided to dedicate the city to her. The Parthenon was dedicated and named after her and the most important celebration of Athens was the Panathenea , which was held every four years. During this celebration the finest young women of the city marched from Elefsina to the Acropolis of Athens, carrying a veil that they had woven during those years to wrap around the huge gold and ivory statue of the saint.
We can now understand better why we see so many olive trees in Greece, can`t we? Olive trees have always been considered blessed since they provide wood, oil, olives, even stones or pits were used for heating during hard times. Speaking of which, do you know where to find the biggest selection of olives in Athens? At the central market near Omonia (Athena’s street, by the way) where you will be able to choose the kind you prefer, if you can make up your mind, which we can never do. Armodiou is the name of the street and you can’t miss it. The nutritional value of olive oil and olives is countless, but this can be the subject of another article.