Climbing Palm Trees in an Ancient Cemetery, Windy Towers, and a Little Splash of Rome
Athens Travel Blog› entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
January 12th, 2007 – by: genkeeper
Keramikos is Athen's ancient Greek cemetery from the 12th century BC to Roman times. Basically, it's a sunken street of tombs and lavish stone-carved grave stelae. The Dipylon Gate, next to the Sacred Gate, was the ancient Athen's main entrance where the Panathenaic procession began and where the city's prostitues used to hang out. There is a grassy spot in front of the Dipylon Gate, which it turns out is quite an important square of grass. From here, Pericles stood and gave his famous speech extolling the virtues of Athens and honoring those who died in the first year of the Peloponnesian Wars - thus rousing many more Athenians to the long and costly war.
(On a side note, the palm trees that fill the cemetery are fun to climb, but contain prickly bushes at the bottom. So use extreme caution and try to be sneaky so the guards don't see you.)
Tower of the Winds
The Tower of the Winds is part of the Roman Agora. The Roman Agora isn't much to look at, but this little tower is pretty interesting. It was built by Andronikos from Kyrrhos in Macedonia and it doubles as both a sundial and a water clock. On the top of the tower, are carvings of the winds of each of the season, which are apparently bearded old men. The Winter Wind has a coat/cloak and boots, while the summer wind has sandals and only a skimpy wrap around its waist.
Roman Agora and Hadrian's Library
There isn't much to see here, just a few columns and a wall at the Library.
Hill of Pynx and Filopappou Hill
Both of the Hill of Pynx and Filopappou Hill overlook the Acropolis. The Hill of Pynx was the meeting place of the Democratic Assembly. The Filopappou Hill, or the Hill of the Muses, is a great spot to watch the sun set over the Acropolis and the Pireaus Port and then for the lights to slowly turn on, illuminating the Parthenon. I made friends with two other people also up there to watch the sun go down and the Acropolis light up - Ioannis and Lee. Ioannis is a Greek guy who was leaving the next day to go to Nottingham England to work in the University's Biomedical Engineering Department. Many years ago he had spent 5 months doing Biometric research at the UW. Lee was a traveler from South Korea where he teaches High School.
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