The enchanting capital of Greece has always been a birthplace for civilization. This is the city where democracy was born and most of the wise men of ancient times lived.
Athens was home to one of the most important civilizations of antiquity, embodied in some of the world's most imposing structures.
Our trips are designed for private and corporate groups looking to explore the beauties of Greece while enjoying a ride.
For over 2000 years a shipwreck lays off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera, its hidden treasures slowly corroded by the seawater. It wasn’t until 1900 that sponge divers found this perplexing device of remarkable engineering and had no idea how truly remarkable it was at the time. For fifty years, the device was stored in a museum before historians turned their attention to it.
Before 2012, Pittaki Street was an industrial alleyway that pedestrians avoided at all costs. Though Psyrri is a lively neighborhood, the streets surrounding Pittaki Street were filled mostly with warehouses and industrial sites. The alley was occasionally referred to as a public toilet. That all changed when the non-profit Imagine the City and the creative lighting studio Beforelight teamed up to give Pittaki Street a makeover. In order to restore foot traffic to the neighborhood, they collected unused light fixtures from all over Athens to cast light into the shadows of the grimy little alleyway. Athenians volunteered lights of all kinds, which reflected the city’s multicultural identity in their variety.
Most archaeological sites in Athens are old temples, but this ancient structure had a scientific purpose. When it was constructed at the end of the 2nd century BCE, the Tower of the Winds included sundials, a clepsydra (water clock), and a weather vane, effectively making it the first meteorological station in the world. The octagonal structure was made almost entirely out of Pentelic marble, the same kind used for the Parthenon, which is rare to find in any structures other than temples. Built to measure time, it is also known as an horologion, meaning timepiece.
One of Roman Athens’ most amazing engineering feats now lies below a modern outdoor movie theater. Fans of the silver screen can gather beneath the night air to watch their favorite films, all while perched atop a nearly 2,000-year-old reservoir. Due to Athens’ growing water needs in the second century CE, Emperor Hadrian ordered a project to increase the city’s water supply. The construction thus started in 125 for an aqueduct that began at Mount Parnitha and stretched more than 12 miles to the base of Mount Lycabettus, where a reservoir was built.
Running from the lower terminus in Kolonaki to the upper terminus atop Mount Lycabettus, the Lycabettus Funicular takes passengers on a 680-foot underground journey up to the highest peak in central Athens. Mount Lycabettus sits 908 feet above sea level. In 1960, construction began on a funicular railway that would take visitors to the top of the mountain. After much digging and hauling, the Lycabettus Funicular was inaugurated on April 18, 1965.
This unexpected museum is located inside the Andreas Syggros hospital of dermatological and venereal diseases in the center of Athens. Here, rows and rows of grotesque wax models depicting skin conditions and sexually transmitted diseases are kept inside glass showcases and displayed to the public. The museum contains around 16,600 pieces, making it one of the largest collections of this kind in the world. All of the wax models, which include faces, limbs, and entire bodies, are a reproduction of symptoms observed in patients at the hospital between 1913 and 1958.
When the German army invaded and occupied Athens in April 1941, it began enacting laws to control the local population. Many Greeks resisted these laws, and the Greek Resistance Movement was soon organized, known as one of the fiercest resistance groups in World War II Europe. When the resistance began having an impact on the occupation, the Germans sought retribution. The Nazi occupation force included the ruthless Gestapo, which requisitioned a building at 6 Merlin Street in central Athens to act as its headquarters. The site served as the primary interrogation center of the secret police, outfitted with torture chambers and prison cells. Those suspected of being members of the resistance, or committing individual acts of defiance, were brought to this hellish place.
In the Athens city center, the archaeological ruins are scattered throughout this ancient city. But there’s only one place where a store and history, these two wildly disparate attractions intersect. In the basement of a store on Stadiou Street, the ruins of an ancient Roman tomb are on full display for all casual shoppers and savvy visitors to see. The tomb is separated from the retail area by a glass wall, so visitors can get just feet away from the ancient structure for up close and personal viewing. And just inside the front door, the floor consists of reinforced glass so you can look directly down into the lower level for a unique perspective of the ruins.
The celestial symbols covering this odd orb bewitch the imagination. And according to some, that’s exactly the point, as it’s thought the ancient Greeks may have used the sphere in magic rituals. The large marble sphere was found in 1866 at the Theater of Dionysus, which stands at the foot of the famed Acropolis. It’s believed the curious orb was created sometime between the second and third centuries CE.
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