Holiday in Athens, Greece: Kerameikos Cemetery

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So, this week I wanted to post some pictures of Kerameikos Cemetery. The cemetery itself is absolutely beautiful. Dozens of stunning headstones and sculptures decorate the grounds of this ancient cemetery. The graves here are all from around 450 B.C.E., and other then that, I honestly don’t know much more about this place.

DSC_0371I found it as I was heading out of Omonia Square. I had decided to head the opposite direction of Stadiou and go down Pieros. I eventually saw the magnificent headstones on my left and had to check it out. There were several plaques that had descriptions of the different headstones. I can’t remember too much of it though. I think one of them was dedicated to a prince that had died in a battle with the Spartans. His headstone depicts an Athenian riding his horse and slaying a Spartan. My apologies if I just butchered Greek history, I’m unsure if that story is 100% correct, maybe only 80%, ha-ha.

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That’s about all I know about this place. I went purely to enjoy the beauty of the art and ruins. That unfortunately meant I was missing out on some really great history; however, it is always nice to enjoy things for the beauty that they are. And so, I had my morning picnic among the ancient spirits.

DSC_0370So a few notes on what’s happening. I have to get through all these Greece photos before Rome in two weeks. So I believe that means a post on Hadrian’s Library, and a post on Panathenaic Stadium. Also, in order to keep up on my writing, I’ve decided to dedicate 500 words a day to my creative writing. I love this technical writing stuff, but creative writing is why I got into this. I will still continue to dedicate 500 words to the blog every week; however, I do not think I will be publishing any of my creative writing on this blog.

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I think it is important for me to ramp up the amount of writing I am actually doing. I was trying to compare my time as an English Major to my time as a Music Major. I was trying to understand why I felt more comfortable learning Music then I did Liberal Arts.

One of the major differences in my routine was the training regiment. I realized that in Music I was dedicating 8 hours a day toward playing on an instrument. This made me more proficient in my skill. Similarly, I want to start applying this concept to my other passions.

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Writing, for instance, is not something I get to practice too often. I never think why not sit down and write something in my spare time. So this is something I decided I needed to change. In school I would write vigorously for my assignments. I loved it. But one of the hardest things to do is write on your own accord. So that’s my goal for these coming weeks. Write!

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The Leake Street Tunnel Revisited

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I decided to take a break from posting pictures of Greece, and decided to hit the legendary Graffiti Tunnel once again. This kind of art is amazing, and the awesome thing about the Leake Street Tunnel is that it’s ever changing.

DSC_0636This time it was less marvel and more portraits. While the largest of the marvel murals still stood, the rest had sense vanished. The smell of fresh paint had filled the air where new artists left their mark. There was Plenty of new portraits and tags, and the art work was superb. The tunnel was covered in unique and mystifying murals that struck on human emotion and feminine empowerment.

DSC_0642This little cat girl was one of my favorites. Other artists had tagged over her, however, her deep stare from behind the tag gave this painting a shy emotion. Like a little kitten hiding behind some brush, she seemed to have found a safe spot behind another artist’s tag. It was hard not to feel like this little girl wasn’t looking right into you. Like gazing at a mirror and wondering which side you are on. Is it you hiding behind the art, or her?

DSC_0666 copyFor me, this Nomad Clan mural stole the day (Left). This was painted by The Nomad Clan, Aylo Nomad, and Cbloxx Nomad. Every now and then a piece just moves me. This piece sparked emotions about life and art. There’s an adventure and a story here, and my mind wanders on the possibilities of the plot and the players. My own wanderlust being summed into a mural that spoke all those words I could not explain.

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Femme Fierce was a prominent and recurring tag today. Femme Fierce was an event where women street artist came and tagged the Leake Street Tunnel. I don’t know much about this, however, I found some great videos on it at Cbloxx’s website. You should check it out! Great stuff on the street art community, plus the Nomad Clan artwork is just absolutely stunning. http://www.cbloxx.com.

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There were a lot of powerful female portraits this week. The art work was breathtaking and captivating. Truly inspiring imagery from some truly amazing artist. I encourage you. If you see a piece of street art you like, then track down that artist and learn a little more about them and their passion.

And now let me just get out of your way and let you enjoy the art!

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Cape Sounio and The Temple of Poseidon

DSC_0312 Athens, Greece is an amazing and beautiful place. I could have easily spent my entire week there; however, a good friend of mine suggested I try to figure out a way to get to Cape Sounio. I’m currently living on a tight budget and my volunteer job at the Meath School only pays me £75 a week, so a guided tour was out of the question.Luckily the locals were nice enough to direct me to the bus station.

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Now, it was February, so I knew I wasn’t going to be in for beach weather, but I was determined to see the Mediterranean anyway. I packed my bag with my favorite Agiorgitiko wine, a loaf of bread from Attika, and about half a Kg. of Cheese. I never did find out what the different cheeses were, other then they were goat cheeses. I simply walked into the shop with my wine and said, “which one goes good with this wine.” They would let me sample a few, and I would leave with my favorite.

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So I was set for a fun day, and I had one thing on my mind. I was going to drink a bottle of wine while sitting at the Temple of Poseidon overlooking the Mediterranean. I wasn’t entirely sure if this was %100 legal, but I figured it was harmless enough. The bus wouldn’t be coming back to get me for an hour so I had some time to kill.

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The Temple of Poseidon was an amazing sight. It was built around 440 B.C.E. and, for the Greeks, would have been one of the main temples of worship. The Greeks spent a lot of time trading and traveling on the Mediterranean and Poseidon, being the god of the sea, was held in high esteem in Greek Mythology. Poseidon was second only to Zeus.

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Aside from the Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounio itself was a very special place for the Greeks. There is a legend that Aegeus, King of Athens, threw himself from the cliffs of Cape Sounio committing suicide. It is said that his son, Theseus, went to Crete to slay the Minotaur and told his father that if he perished in battle he would return home sailing on black sails. Theseus defeated the Minotaur but forgot to change the sails from black to white. Upon seeing the black sails his father threw himself from the cliffs. The Greeks named the sea after King Aegeus calling it, The Aegean Sea.

DSC_0327In the end I got my wish. I popped the cork on my Agiorgitiko while standing next to the Temple of Poseidon and gave a toast to the old gods. I was getting hungry and decided it might be better to have my picnic on the adjacent cliffs, and so I packed it in and set up camp on the opposite cliff-side. I had a beautiful view of the temple and the sea. It began to snow lightly, though it wasn’t cold. The waves crashed on the cliffs, and the wind licked my face, but that Agiorgitiko warmed my blood, and I knew that this one moment, would be a memory that lasts forever.

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Statues of the Ancient Agora Pt.1

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Statue of the Emperor Hadrian

117-138 A.D.

Emperor Hadrian was a Roman emperor. He was considered one of the 5 good emperors, and he built Hadrian’s Library just north of the Acropolis in Greece. He is also known for rebuilding the Pantheon and Hadrian’s Wall in Rome.


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A Winged Victory

Ca. 400 B.C.E.

This was an akroterion from the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios. The winged victory is also known as the Goddess Nike who was the personification of victory in ancient Greek lore. She was also said to be one of Zeus’ closest companions.


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Portrait Bust of the Emperor Antoninus Pius

138 – 161 A.D.

Antoninus was the successor of Emperor Hadrian. Emperor Hadrian had adopted him as his son in 138 A.D. so that he could be Emperor. Antoninus is known for persuading the Senate to grant divine honors to Emperor Hadrian and sparing the lives of several senators that were sentenced to death. This is believed to be the reason he was given the name Pius.


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This is presumed to be a statue of Themis

138-161 A.D.

Themis is a Greek Titaness and was believed to be the personification of divine law and order. This statue stood infront of the Royal Stoa.


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Monument base for the victory of Krates in the Apovatis Race at the Panathenaic Games.

4th Century B.C.E.

During the Apovatis Race a fully armed and equipped warrior, sword, shield, and armor, had to leap onto a moving chariot and then leap off. It’s impressive to think about. Kind of puts modern olympics to shame.


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Relief fragment, dedicated for the victory of the tribe Leontis in Anthippasia.

4th Century B.C.E.

The Anthippasia was a chariot race held during the Panathenaic Games.


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Holiday in Athens: Ancient Agora

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From high atop the Acropolis I had a good view of the city of Athens. From the city center to the Mediterranean Sea, I could see everything. This gave me a good idea of where I wanted to go next. South of me were the Muses. To the East, the Temple of Zeus and the Panathenaic Stadium. To my North Hadrian’s Library and the Ancient Agora.

DSC_0138The Temple of Hephaistos was sitting on its perch beckoning my interests, and so I made Ancient Agora priority number one. I made my way down the north side of the Acropolis, which offered wonderful views of Athens, and found myself back in Monastiraki Square. I passed by Hadrian’s library but decided to pass it up for now. I grabbed a couple of Gyros from a street vendor and started my way west down Adrianou toward the entrance of the Ancient Agora.

DSC_0230I could have easily spent several days here. My backpack was filled with bread, cheese and some Namean Agiorgitiko (Red Wine), which was standard for my Athens survival pack. The pathways through the foundations of this ancient part of town were absolutely marvelous. You could easily imagine this being the center of Athenian politics and commerce in Ancient Greece.

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As you enter the Agora you are greeted by 3 statues of Giants, Their bodies half man and half serpent. They guard the entrance of an ancient theater called the Odeon of Agrippa. These massive statues are some of the most impressive in all of Athens.
The Temple of Hephaistos is one of the most intact buildings in all of Athens, Greece.

DSC_0194From atop its perch on the Agoraios Kolonos hill two different gods were worshiped here, Hephaestus for whom the temple is named after, and Athena for whom many of the Athenian structures are dedicated. The temple was built around 450 B.C. and is one of the best preserved of all the ancient buildings.

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The Stoa of Attalos was also very impressive. The Stoa was built around 150 B.C. and was also very well preserved, though it underwent a massive reconstruction in the 1950’s. The Stoa presents you with dozens of massive marble columns and houses the Museum of the Ancient Agora.

DSC_0226There was also a Christian Church here, the Church of the Holy Apostle, which was built around 1000 A.D. The architecture was nice and the oil paintings inside were impressive. The acoustics were incredible, though the patron of the church got upset with me when I tried singing a hymn inside. However, if I’m being honest, this building was somewhat of an eyesore in the middle of all this Ancient Greek Culture. It was a testament to the changing times that illustrated the influence of the Romans and their changing religious beliefs.

DSC_0249The Stoa of Attalos had several very beautiful statues as well that I plan on doing a post solely dedicated to, so I chose to leave them out of this post, but for now, like usual, enjoy the rest of my photos! This week I am trying something new. I have made a video photo album in order to save space on the blog.

Personally I though it was rather cluttered with all the additional photos. Let me know what you think and if it isn’t enjoyable we will go back to the old format.

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