People from around the world flock to the ancient city of Athens for many reasons, from the beauty of the Greek countryside to the stunning architecture to the warmth and charm of the people. One of the chief draws of the city is of course its long and storied history, and Athens has long drawn history buffs from around the world to its ancient structures. In the city of Athens visitors can relive the past and examine how it has influenced the present day. Much of modern society owes is existence to the work done by the ancient Greeks, and treasured concepts like democracy got their start within the structures of Athens.
Exploring the world of ancient Greece is one of the chief activities visitors can look forward to, and one of the best places to start is with the Agora. The Agora served as the civic and commercial center for the ancient city of Athens, and visitors can picture luminaries such as Plato and Socrates arguing their philosophies around the town square.
Those interested in the history of ancient Greek society can also learn that Socrates met his end in a prison located at the southwest corner of the Agora. It was there that the disgraced Socrates drank the poison that would end his life and leave him to history.
The entire Agora area is littered with the remains of a great society, and the region is a favorite for lovers of both history and philosophy. There are many ancient buildings, including the famous Dionysos Theatre. The Dionysus is the oldest theatre in the world, and visitors can picture the great plays of Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus taking place in this amazing space.
While many of the structures that make up the Agora remain as they have been through the centuries, the Stoat of Attalos has been restored to create a wonderful museum and testament to the history of this place. This building originally dated back to 200 B.C., when it served as a combination court of law, municipal office and shopping arcade. The building has now been restored, and the new structure features a lovely museum on the ground floor. This museum features artifacts which cover more than 5,000 years of Greek history, making it a must see for any visitor to the ancient city of Athens.
[ photo courtesy of Reham Alhesi]