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Places Near Athens

The region around Athens- known as the Prefecture of Attica- is known primarily for the fine grapes which are grown in its vineyards. At one time a major producer of honey, olives, grain- even marble and silver- Attica today is an interesting getaway from the heat and dust of the crowded capital.

One of the sights closest to Athens is the Monastery of Daphni, regarded as the best example of Byzantine architecture in the vicinity of Athens. Built on the site of what had once been a temple to the ancient Greek goddess Daphne, the monastery came into being when the Byzantine rulers of Athens banned pagan religions. A sanctuary for Greek revolutionaries during the early 19th century, the monastery is today best known for its beautiful mosaics. Further west from Daphni are the ancient ruins of Eleusis, once an important fortification which later became the epicentre of the cult of Demeter, a religion which was based on the worship of nature. The Sanctuary of Demeter and its surrounding ruins are worth a visit, and many of the archaeological finds from the area are housed in the nearby Museum of Eleusis.

To the south of Athens, on a wooded hill above cypress-fringed pastures, is another of Byzantine Greece’s important monasteries: the Monastery of Kaisariani .

This building, constructed in the 11th century over the ruins of an ancient Roman temple, still contains some remnants of its precursor. The monastery saw a period of prosperity during medieval times, when it was the cultural centre of Attica; today all that remains of the wealth is the building itself- a beautiful and quiet one, its interior decorated with splendid murals.

Much further a field, 42 km north-east of Athens, is probably one of the best-known sights in this area: Marathon . Mararthon’s claim to fame is its role as a battlefield for the Greek-Persian battle of 490 BC. But most people today- even if they don’t have a passing acquaintance with Greek history- known of a marathon as being a grueling race. All because of an Athenian soldier, Pheidippides, who ran all the way from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over the Persians. Marathon, still the starting point for an annual race to Athens, is one of Attica’s prettiest towns. The drive from Athens to Marathon passes olive groves, vineyards, pine woods and beaches; at Marathon itself is a small but interesting museum and a handful of ruins. Twelve km further north of Marathon is Ramnous , the site of two ancient temples to the Greek goddesses of Justice- Nemesis and Themis. Not much remains of the temples or the fortress which once was Ramnous’ main building, but the place is worth seeing anyway.

Across the Greek peninsula, east of Athens, is the archaeological site of Brauron (also known as Vravron). Established sometime in the 2nd millennium BC, Vravron has the distinction of being one of the oldest sanctuaries in mainland Greece. A series of Doric temples and shrines to the goddess Artemis mark the spot, and important artefacts recovered from the site are housed in the nearby Archaeological Museum. South of Brauron, on the southernmost tip of the Greek peninsula, is the Sanctuary of Poseidon and Athena at Sounion . A series of imposing Doric temples, of which only some ruins still stand, is the main sight in Sounion. Also parts of Sounion are the remains of a 5th century BC fortress, where excavations have revealed a central street, houses and water cisterns.

From Athens, there are regular buses to all these sights. Alternatively, you could hire a car and do your own touring.

About Pythagorion Hotel

Best Western Pythagorion hotel is a contemporary city hotel located in the historic centre of Athens next to the Neoclassic bulding of National Theater.

It is conveniently situated within a walking distance from Plaka and Monastiraki ,Greek Parliament on Constitution Square, the National Archaeological Museum and the National Library.

Thank to its downtown location , 200 meters from the metro station of Omonia and easily connected to Athens International Airport ΄΄El. Venizelos’’ and to all directions in Athens like the New Acropolis Museum and the Parthenon , Best Western Pythagorion is the idyllic choice for those who travel for business or leisure purposes.

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Pythagorion Hotel
28 Agiou Konstandinou Street,
Athens, Greece,GR-10437
MHTE: 0206K013A0029000

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