Classics & Archaeology Trips to Athens
School Trips to Greece offer a land of mystery where myths about gods, heroic acts, mythical creatures and great philosophers reverberate around historic sites that have stood for four millennia. From Olympia in the west to Mycenae and Delphi, the sheer number of historic sites is astounding.
No visit to Greece is complete without school trips to Athens where you will find a modern and bustling capital with a pervading sense of its classical past as it lives in the shadow of the Acropolis and the mighty Parthenon.
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Reasons to Visit
Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis hill, so called the "Sacred Rock" of Athens, is the most important site of the city with four of the greatest masterpieces of classical Greek art – the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. It has the famous porch of the Caryatids on the south. It combined both Doric and Ionic columns for the first time. The Acropolis Museum houses all the portable objects removed from the site since 1834. At the foot of the Acroplis is The Theatre of Dionysus - considered to be the world's first theratre.
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.
Ancient City of Corinth
The ruins of ancient Corinth are spread out at the foot of the huge rock of Acrocorinth. The monuments are mainly Roman; only a few are Greek. The real focus of the site is a rare survival of the 5th century BC Temple of Apollo. The museum contains mosaic floors, Mycenaean and Corinthian pottery, terra cotta sphinxes, statues of two supernatural beings, relief plaques, the Roman head of the Goddess Tyche and small objects of various kinds.
Ancient Messene was founded in 369BC after the Theban general Epaminondas defeated Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra, freeing the Messenians from almost 350 years of Spartan rule. The highlights of the site are the outcrops of its giant defense walls, towers and gates, including the Arcadia gate at the north end of the site and the sanctuary of Asclepius further south.
The Greek city was at the height of its power from the eighth to the fourth century BC, a period when Sparta structured its society according to the laws of Lycurgus, defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian war and established colonies around the Greek world. The ancient “city” occupied more or less the site of the current town. There are some ruins to be seen north of the city and a small archaeological museum.
Ancient Theatre and Sanctuary of Epidaurus
Epidarus is a major Greek site, visited for its ancient theatre and its sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius. The ancient theatre was built by Polykleitos in the 4th century BC and is known for its extraordinary acoustics. Productions of Classical drama are staged on Friday and Saturday nights from June through until the last week-end in August (performed in modern Greek). The Asklepian sanctuary has ruins of buildings which have identifiable functions. There is also a small museum close to the theatre and a visit here before visiting the sanctuary will help identify some of the former buildings.
Archaeological Museum & Site Argos
Argos dates from the Bronze Age and is believed to be the oldest city in Greece. In the Homeric Age, it was reputedly ruled by the warrior Diomedes. The city subsequently became part of the Mycenaean civilisation. During the reign of King Pheidon (7th century BC), it became the most powerful city-state in the Peloponnese. The large site has the remains of a theatre, odeion and Roman Baths and the modern Archaeological Museum has a collection of Mycenean tomb objects and armour and pottery finds.
Byzantine city of Mystra
Mystras, the 'wonder of the Morea', was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 by the prince of Achaia, William of Villehardouin. Reconquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only medieval houses, palaces and churches which have superb frescoes. The site comprises three main parts: the Kato Hora (lower town), with the city’s most important churches, the Ano Hora (upper town) and the Kastro (castle).
Citadel of Tiryns
On the edge of the Argolic gulf and close to Nauplion, the Acropolis of Tiryns is set on a rocky hill. The fortress, now over three thousand years old, is impressive and the walls, 750m long and up to 7m thick, are formed with huge Cyclopean stones. Visitors are restricted to exploring certain passages, staircases and the palace.
Delphi site and museum
Delphi known in ancient times as the navel of the world. Pass by CASTALIA SPRING, visit the archaeological site the Temple of Apollo famous for its oracle and the Museum of Delphi, with its spectacular finds which include the bronze Charioteer, the Naxian Sphinx and the Statue of Antinous.
Guided Tour of key classical sites in Athens
A guided tour will offer the opportunity to see all Athens' key classical sites including the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysus, the Temple of Olympia Zeus, and the Cemetery of Kerameikos. Nearby is the Tower of the Winds, Hadrian’s Arch and the Roman Forum. An experienced guide will give information on the history of the city and will be able to answer any questions you have.
Museum of Cycladic and Ancient Greek Art
This small, private museum was founded in 1986 to house the collection of Cycladic and Ancient Greek art belonging to Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris. The collection includes objects from the Cycladic civilsation, pre-Minoan Bronze Age and the period from the fall of Mycenae to the beginning of historic times around 700BC as well as a selection of Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Pottery.
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is the most important archaeological museum in Greece and one of the richest in the world concerning Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenean and Classical Greek Art. Its collections are representative of all the cultures that flourished in Greece. It contains collections of pre-historic items, sculpture, Pottery and Minor Art, Bronzes and Egyptian Art.
Nestor’s Palace Pylos
Pylos in Messenia, in the western Peloponnese, had a rather brief existence—according to tradition, no more than four kings were its rulers from its founding to its destruction. It was Neleus, the father of Nestor, who built the city, having come from Iolcus when his brother Peleus expelled him, and settled there a mixed population of his own followers. The palace (also known as the palace of Englianos, after the hill on which it stands) was discovered in 1939 and its remains are the best preserved of all the Mycenean royal palaces.
New Acropolis Museum
A marvel of architecture with a full exhibition of the glory of Ancient Athens. Various attractions such as votives, artifacts of every day life, statues from archaic period, Caryatids and of course the Parthenon hall with the metopes, the pediments and the frieze.
Roman Forum & Tower of the Winds
The forum was built by Julius Caesar and Augustus as an extension of the older ancient Greek agora to its west. Its main entrance was through the Gate of Athena Archegetis which consisted of a Doric portico and four columns supporting an entablature and pediment. The best preserved of the ruins is the octagonal structure known as the Tower of the Winds. Designed in the 1st century BC by Andronikos of Kyrrhos, a Syrian astronomer, it served as a compass, sundial, weather vane and water clock.
Sanctuary of Zeus, Stadium and Museum of Olympia
In the 10th century BC, Olympia became a centre for the worship of Zeus. In ancient times the beautiful site was full of wild olive trees, poplars, oaks, pines and plane trees and it was these trees that gave the centre of the sanctuary the name Altis, meaning alsos (grove). The Altis comprised the main religious buildings, temples and votive offerings of the sanctuary. Out of the enclosure were the auxiliary buildings, priests' houses, baths and sports structures built for the Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia every four years beginning in 776 BC. The Archaeological Museum contains some of the finest Classical and Roman sculptures in the country, the most famous of which are the head of Hera and the Hermes of Praxiteles.
Temple of Poseidon Cape Sounion
Cape Sounion is one of the most famous and picturesque places in the region. The cape is located 70km at the southern most point of the Attica peninsula. The Temple of Poseidon, built on a site set back from the sheer cliffs, was built in the time of Pericles as part of a major sanctuary to the sea god.
The Parthenon is a temple of the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their protector. Its construction began in 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC on the Athenian Acropolis, although decorations of the Parthenon continued until 431 BC. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, generally considered to be the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece and of Athenian democracy and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments.
Theatre and Temple of Apollo
During the Mycenaean period, the female deity of Earth was worshipped in the small settlement of Delphi. The development of the sanctuary and oracle began in the 8th century BC with the establishment of the cult of Apollo. The sanctuary continued to be autonomous after the First Sacred War and increased its panhellenic religious and political influence. It was enlarged and enriched with nice buildings, statues, and other offerings. With the spread of Christianity, the sanctuary lost its religious meaning and was permanently closed down. The site is divided into three parts: the Sacred Precinct, the Marmaria (Sanctuary of Athena with its distinctive Tholos) and the Castalian spring. There is also a museum which contains a rare collection of sculpture and the most famous exhibit is the Charioteer, one of the few surviving bronzes of the 5th century BC.
Tomb of Agamemnon & Citadel Mycenae
Mycenae was one of the greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilization, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century BC and played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture. The archaeological site was uncovered by the German archeologist Schliemann who believed that there was a factual basis to Homer’s epics. Just further down from the citadel is the Tomb of Agamemnon (or Treasury of Atreus) which was a royal burial chamber and is attributed to Agamemnon
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