Athens, cradle of democracy

word democracy comes from the Greek “δημοκρατια” (dēmokratia) composed of people “δημος” (dēmos) and “κρατος” (kratos), that is, the power or authority of the people. The concept was born in Athens in 508 BC.and it was one of the signs of identity of the city and a source of pride for its inhabitants who could participate in the life and government of the polis, and is considered the origin of democratic systems in the world today.

On the occasion of the celebration, on September 15, of the international day of democracythere is no better excuse to visit the capital of Greece Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world with more than 3,400 years of existence.

Plaka is a beautiful neighborhood located at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens

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What to see

As for democracy, it is essential to go as far as Areopagus, the hill of Aresconsidered the oldest court of law in the world.

It is a mount located west of the Acropolis of Athens, which was the seat of the council of elders where the laws were interpreted and the accused judged. Mythology tells that at this place the god Ares had been judged and executed, and that his condemnation was to spend his days on this hill. The views of the city and the Acropolis are impressive.

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Areopagus, the hill of Ares, considered the oldest court of justice in the world in Athens, Greece

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It is also important to visit the old agora, the ancient commercial, political and religious center of Athens. It was a large open rectangular space, surrounded by important buildings, where Athenians met to discuss their laws and decide on the political future of their city.

And, although most of the buildings are gone, you can still visit the Stoa of Attalus (rebuilt), was the old market and is now the headquarters the Agora museumand the Hephaestiona Doric temple where Hephaestus and Athena were worshipped.

the acropolis

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Aerial view of Athens and Acropolis at sunset, Greece

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But a trip to Athens is not complete without visit the acropolis, which for centuries was the epicenter of Greek life, a symbol of civilization and democracy. Designed as a fortified enclosure and as a place of worship, it is located on a peak that culminates at 156 meters above sea level. Yes houses inside some of the most representative buildings of ancient Greece.

After overcoming the Propylaeathe large entrance, made up of Doric columns, is located with the Parthenonthe main building of the Acropolis architectural complex, in a Doric style in white marble, had a colossal sculpture of Athena Parthenos to which it was dedicated.

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In 449 BC. BC, Pericles convinced the Athenians of the need to erect a temple dedicated to Athena, the Parthenon, on the Acropolis.

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You can also find other no less famous temples such as the Erechtheion a temple which has six female-looking columns, the caryatids, which support the roof of the temple, the Temple of Athena Nikebuilt to commemorate the victory of the Greeks over the Persians at the Battle of Salamis, and civil buildings such as The Odeon of Herodes Atticus a large covered Roman vegetable building that can accommodate more than 5,000 spectators in white marble or the theater of Dionysus which was the largest theater built by the ancient Greeks, with a capacity of 17,000 spectators.

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Dionysus Theater on the Acropolis of Athens

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Admission costs around 20 million euros but the Access to the site is free: March 6, April 18, May 18, June 5, the last weekend of September, October 28. The first Sunday of the months from November to March.

No one should leave without visiting the acropolis museum which has nearly 4,000 pieces of the monuments of the Acropolis.

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phrase square It is another of the obligatory stops, it is also known as Plaza de la Constitución, it is a current symbol of democracy, because here it is the greek parliamentwhich was built between 1836 and 1842 as a palace for Otto, the first king of Greece.

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In front of the Greek Parliament, in Athens, takes place the changing of the guard of the Evzones, the Presidential Guard

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Do not miss the changing of the guard of the evzones, the Presidential Guard, every odd hour, guarding the tomb of the Anonymous Soldier. On one side is the pedestrian street of Ermou, a very busy shopping area at all times of the day, full of restaurants and terraces where you can rest and taste the excellent cuisine of the country.

In addition, the square is a good starting point to know the city and enjoy the culture, the gastronomy and the Greek character.

Democracy means people power

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