Due to its enormous cultural wealth, Greece, the cradle of classical culture, with 17 places declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Symbol of civilization, the Acropolis of Athens and its monuments form the greatest architectural legacy of ancient Greece, the archaeological site of Delphi, the medieval city of Rhodes, Meteora, the Sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus, Delos, the Archaeological site of Olympia, the old city of Corfu, the archaeological site of Aigai, Mistras, and Olympia, and those of Mycenae and Tirinto. Likewise, the Chora (Historic Center) with the monastery of Saint John "the Theologian" and the grotto of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos, the monasteries of Osios Lukas, Dafni and Nea Moni de Chios, Mount Atos, the early Christian monuments and Byzantines of Thessalonica, the Pythagoreion and Hereo of Samos, and the temple of Apollo Epicurus at Bassae.

Here is a list of the main places declared as World Heritage Sites:

The Acropolis of Athens

Those who have never traveled to the Hellenic country cannot escape the magic of Athens, the land where western civilization was born. The Acropolis was inhabited since the end of the Neolithic era (2800 B.C. - 2500 B.C.), as evidenced by the ceramic remains found in the area, and for a long time it was used as a refuge for the inhabitants of its surroundings. The oldest buildings date back to the 14th century B.C. The Acropolis is a genuine testament to the golden age of Greece, between 461 and 429 B.C., the magical period displaying the height of Pericles' influence, in which the intellectual and artistic life of Athens flourished. It is believed to have been inhabited without interruption throughout the Bronze Age and the following times. There is the temple of Athena Nike, built between 488 and 427 B.C. The Parthenon is  a masterpiece of architecture conceived by Pericles and executed between 447 and 438 B.C. by the brilliant sculptor Phidias, who was also responsible for building the Erechtheum, located on top of the Acropolis (famous for the six maiden-shaped columns that support one of the doors: the caryatids), another masterpiece that you will find there.

Delphi Ruins

On a trip to the city Delphi, you can visit The Temple of Apollo. The temple visible today (there were six others successively built on the site) dates back to the 4th century BC Above the temple is the theater, very well preserved, where 5,000 spectators could sit; the works, which started in the 3rd century BC, were not completed until 160 BC, and it was later restored by the Romans. The view from the theater is worth the climb, as is the view from the stadium, which is up the mountain, and represents the highest point of the old city. Embraced by a pine forest, this is a quiet refuge with the resounding majesty of the mountain as the background.

Medieval city of Rhodes

Rhodes is the largest island in the Dodecanese island complex. Rhodes is known in Greek as the "Island of the Knights", due to the numerous monuments left by the Order of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, from the period it occupied the island. In 1988, this famous medieval city was proclaimed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The most representative creation was the Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Its construction lasted 12 years and was completed in 282 BC. In addition, another important attraction on the island is the Butterfly Valley, a natural habitat that houses the rare Panaxia Quadripunctaria butterfly.

Meteora

It corresponds to an area located north of Kalambaka (precisely, it is in the Thessalia region and the province of Trikala) whose relief is formed by gigantic greyish rocks that rise as pillars next to the Peneo river valley. At the tops of these almost inaccessible rocks, approximately 600 meters high, there are, since the 14th century, several monasteries (See tours to Meteora on trips to Greece).

Sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus

It is a sanctuary dedicated to the god of medicine Asclepius. Located in a valley in the Peloponnese, it contains monuments from the 4th century BC, such as the Temple of Asclepius, the theater and the tholos, masterpieces of Greek architecture. Its temples and hospitals are a unique testimony about the therapeutic cults of the Greco-Roman city. (See excursions to Epidaurus in Travel to Greece).

Delos archaeological site

Although Delos is a small islet, with hardly any natural resources, it was able to become the religious and political center of the Aegean. In 1000 BC, the Ionians, who inhabited the Cyclades, had made Delos their religious capital and introduced the cult of Apollo. Delos was excavated in 1873 by the French school of archeology in Athens and its main buildings are: The agora of the Competaliasts, a market next to the sacred port, built in the 2nd century BC. The temple of Delos or great temple, one of the three dedicated to Apollo, built from 478 BC, but whose works stopped in the middle of the century and were not restarted until the 3rd century BC.; the fountain of Minos, the terrace of the lions, the theater of the 3rd century BC, initially of marble and later of wood.

Olympia archaeological site

Olympia is the ancient sanctuary of Zeus, one of the most popular archaeological sites in Greece. Located on the Peloponnese peninsula in mainland Greece, this is the place where the original Olympic Games were held in Antiquity. Its extensive ruins encompass sports training areas, a stadium and temples dedicated to the gods Hera and Zeus. Although the first Olympiad is believed to have taken place in 776 B.C., the bronze figures from the geometric period (10th-8th centuries) reveal that the sanctuary was already in use before then. (See excursions to Olympia in Travel to Greece).

Corfu Old Town

On the island of Corfu, the old town of the city has a strategic position on the Adriatic Sea. Its remains date back to the 8th century BC, and it has fortifications designed by Venetian engineers to protect themselves from the Ottoman Empire. Corfu is a great example of a fortified Mediterranean port city. In fact, since 2007, the historic city of Corfu, the island's eponymous capital, has been included by UNESCO in World Heritage sites as an architectural example of universal value both in its authenticity and in its integrity: the traces of the Greek history, Byzantine spirituality, the Norman and typical influences of some cities in southern Italy, the Venetian Renaissance elegance, the eternal French charm, the imposing English neoclassicist style coexist in sweet harmony, emanating eternal settings. (See packages to Corfu in Travel to Greece).

 

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