Greece Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Greece: Holidays and Events

Public holidays

Date event
January 1 New Year (feast of St. Basil according to Byzantine tradition)
6th January Epiphany (crosses are thrown into rivers, lakes and the sea to bless the waters)
February March Rose Monday (start of Lent)
25th March Independence day
March April Orthodox Easter
1st of May Labor Day
May June Pentecost
15th of August Assumption Day
28th of October “Ochi Day” – national holiday
December 25th and 26 Christmas

Source: Countryaah – Greece Holidays

Easter is the most important religious festival in Greece. The date is calculated according to the Julian calendar and therefore rarely coincides with our Easter festival.

A folk festival takes place in the Greek villages every year on the day of the patron saint.

The country has two national holidays:

March 25th commemorates the liberation struggle against the Turks, which began on March 25th 1821. October 28 is called “Ochi Day” (“No Day”) because on October 28, 1940, the dictator Metaxa is said to have rejected an ultimatum by Mussolini with this word, thus symbolizing the resistance against fascism.

Regular cultural events

The following festivals and events take place in Greece every year:

Date event
2nd Sunday in January Gynaecocratia (matriarchal festival in Komotini, Xanthi, Kilkis and Serres
February Carnival in Athens, carnival parades in Patras, Kalamata and Messene near Kalamata
May Anastenaria (women’s dance festival in Serres and Thessaloniki)
June to September Summer Festival in Athens and Epidaurus:From June to September, guest performances by international and national orchestras, ensembles, performers and soloists of various genres take place in the ancient Herodes-Atticus open-air theater in Athens. In July / August the ancient amphitheater of Epidaurus provides an authentic setting for the performances of the plays of ancient poets.
July August Wine festivals in Dafni near Athens, Alexandroupolis, Patras, Rethymnon and Nemea
August Hippokrateia in Kos (classical Greek theater and music performances with a scenic representation of the Hippocrates oath),Carnival in Zakynthos
September 23rd Folk festival in Tripoli commemorating the liberation from the Turks
October November The Dimitria Festival of Thessaloniki belongs to the Association of European Festivals and includes events of all art genres as well as congresses.

Sporting events

The following sporting events are held every year in Greece:

June The Acropolis Rally leads over rough gravel roads and is one of the toughest rallies due to its 20 special stages over 398 km.
July International sailing regatta in AthensAt the end of July, the Nemean Games take place in Nemea. This ancient tradition was revived in 1996 on the private initiative of a Greek entrepreneur. The runners, barefoot and in antique clothing, start at the Zeus Temple and the winner receives a ribbon, a palm branch and a wreath of wild celery.
October International marathon (on the original route between marathon and Athens

Ancient Olympic Games The ancient

Olympic Games took place between 776 BC. BC and 393 BC Every four years as part of the Panhellenic Games in Olympia on the Peloponnese peninsula. These were religious festivals with an extensive accompanying program. There was always an armistice during its implementation. Over time, other sports such as wrestling, boxing and fistfighting were added to the initial races. The Games grew in importance over time, and during the Persian Wars, Olympia became a symbol of Greece’s internal unity.

Greece: landmarks

Interesting cultural assets

Acropolis of Rhodes

Here are the ruins of a temple of Apollo, a theater and a stadium from the 2nd century BC. Chr.

Akrotiri on Santorin (South Aegean)

The Bronze Age settlement was founded in the 17th century BC. Buried by a volcanic eruption.

Ancient Agora (also Greek Agora)

Northwest of the Acropolis is the ancient or Greek Agora. It was from around the 5th century BC. Until about the 5th century AD Athens s economic, political and social center. The monuments and structures that visitors to Athens can admire today date in particular from the Roman period.

Archaeological finds near Limenas on the island of Thassos

Here remains of a temple of Pythia and Apollo, an agora and a theater have been excavated.

Archaeological sites in Eretria on Evia

are the ruins of ancient baths, the palaestra with mosaic and the theater.

Asklepieion in Dodecanese on Kos

The famous ancient therapy center dates from the middle of the 4th century BC. And was expanded in Roman times.

Kerameikos excavation site in Athens

In the most important ancient cemetery in Athens, numerous objects from the 3rd millennium BC were found. Found until Roman times. Part of it is in the Kerameikos Museum.

Castello Rosso on Kastelorizo (Megisti)

The castle was rebuilt in the 14th century by the Johannites.


The most important theater of ancient Greece, located on the southern slope of the Acropolis, is considered the birthplace of the drama theater. The name goes back to Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy, in honor of whom the Dionysia was celebrated annually in Athens – festivities with song, dance and theater performances. These took place in the theater, with dramas by the celebrated classical tragedy writers Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles being premiered there. The current theater construction dates back to the 4th century BC. BC and stands on the site of an early building from the 5th century BC. Chr.

Franconian fort in Mistras

The fortress was built in 1249 by Guillaume de Villehardouin.

Hadrian’s Library

South of Monastiraki Square, located in Plaka and donated by the Roman Emperor Hadrianus in 132 AD, the Hadrian’s Library was integrated into a Roman fortification wall after being damaged in AD 267. In 412 it was restored. Of the library, which was once 100 x 70 meters, only parts of the west facade and the Corinthian column can be seen today.

Hadrian’s Arch

The arch, named after the Roman emperor Hadrianus, a great admirer of Greek culture, is located in the immediate vicinity of the Olympieion. It is freely accessible, but unfortunately can only be viewed from one side. The arch was erected in 131 AD. It is 18 meters high and 6 meters wide.

Sanctuary of Athena with grammar school and stadium in Delphi

This is where the Pythian Games were held.

Herodes Atticus Odeon

The famous HAO was built in 161 by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife Aspasia Annia Regilla. It is located on the southern slope of the Acropolis and originally functioned as an amphitheater with a front wall three stories high and a roof made of wood. In the 1950s the ancient building was restored with new marble. Since then it has been the venue for various theater, musical and dance events of the Athens Festival, which takes place every year between May and September.

Johanniter Fort in Dodecanese on Kos

The building, located on a rocky plateau, was built between 1450 and 1478 using ancient building materials. It contains an exhibition of archaeological finds.

Kabirion near Thebes

A temple and a theater have been excavated from the rural sanctuary of the Kabiroi (pre-Greek fertility gods) in addition to numerous small animal motifs made of bronze.

Lion of Kea near Hora

The sculpture was carved out of the rock in the 6th century.

Lysicrates monument

334 BC Built in honor of the Choregen Lysikrat, it commemorates his victorious choir, which he set up and financed at the annual competition in the Dionysus Theater. The monument is held in the shape of a round temple, is 6.5 meters high and stands on a square stone base, which measures a side length of about three meters. The outside of the rotunda is designed with six Corinthian columns, which are arranged under an ornate dome.

Odeion of Agrippa

This 15 BC. The concert hall that was built in BC could hold up to 1,000 visitors at the time of its use. Its name goes back to the founder, Marcus Agrippa, a friend of the emperor Augustus. Although the Odeion was destroyed in AD 267 and a grammar school was built on the same site from the year 400, the statues on the north side are still relatively well preserved and can be viewed. They once supported the roof of the concert hall.

Palace of the Grand Masters in Rhodes

In addition to the collection of furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries, Roman mosaic floors can be seen here.

Philopappos Monument

The grave monument on the so-called “Muses Hill” is located southwest of the Acropolis and was constructed between 114 and 119 AD in honor of Gaius Iulius Antiochus Philopappos. Philopappos was a benefactor of Athens who had to go into exile. Unfortunately, only the north facade of the building, which must have measured 81 m² of floor space, remains.


The Propylaea belong to the Acropolis and form its monumental entrance. They were under Pericles from 437 to 432 BC. Erected with Mnesikles as the executive architect. The remarkable gate construction reached an astonishing size for the time. The Propylaea should be understood more as a complex consisting of a central building, the actual gateway, side halls and a forecourt. The Propylaea became a model for many (also modern) buildings.

Roman Agora (also Roman Forum)

Once a place in ancient Athens, it dates back to Roman times. It is located in Plaka, near Monastiraki Square. It was built on the orders of the Roman Emperor Augustus, who built it from 19 to 11 BC. Was built east of the ancient (Greek) agora. It was expanded under Emperor Hadrianus and later overbuilt under the Byzantines and then the Turks. These superstructures were eventually demolished during the 19th and 20th centuries, revealing the ruins of the old agora. Today the splendid colonnades, which were used for business in olden times, are impressive.

Ruins from the 4th to 2nd centuries BC BC on Kos

These include the Temple of Dionysus, the Odeon, Roman baths and a Hellenic high school from the 2nd century BC. With a restored colonnade of Xystos.

Ruined city of Thira on Santorini

Finds from the times of the Phoenicians, Dorians and Romans as well as early Christian relics can be viewed here.

Ruins of Aulis near Thebes

The temple of Artemis from the 5th century BC is one of the most important remains of the ancient port city. And a fortress from the 4th century BC. Chr.

Epidaurus Theater

The best preserved ancient theater in Greece was built in the 3rd century BC. Built in the 2nd century BC and Chr. Extended. It has space for around 13,000 visitors and is still used today for performances of ancient theater plays, with impressive acoustics.


The Mycenaean tombs, the ruins of the temple of Isminiou Apollon and the source of St. Theodoren (in antiquity the so-called “source of Oedipus”) are particularly worth seeing.

Tower of the Winds (Aérides, Horologium des Andronikos)

This octagonal and 13 meter high tower with the mysterious cognomen was built by a certain Andronikos Kyrrestes in the 1st century BC. In the southeast of the Roman agora. There is a water clock in the tower; this previously served as Athens s official clock. The epithet goes back to representations of various wind gods, which can be seen on each individual frieze at the eight corners of the tower.

Evidence of the Minoan culture in Heraklion on Crete

In addition to the famous ruins of Knossos, there are also remains of the sites of Malia and Phaetos.

Special buildings and structures

Athens Planetarium

The Planetarium of Athens is located in Andrea Syngrou Avenue. It is considered one of the best in the world.

Bridge over the Gulf of Corinth

The road bridge called the Rio-Andirrio Bridge (officially: Charilaos-Trikoupis Bridge) has a length of 2,883 m and a width of 27.2 m. It connects the village of Andirrio, with a population of 2,600, on the north side of the Gulf with Rio in the Peloponnese – around 8 km east of Patras. The bridge is a cable-stayed bridge.

It rests on four pillars (pylons) that are accessible from the inside, of which the two central pillars (pylons) are a total of 230 m high, of which around 65 m are below the water surface. They weigh around 170,000 tons.

Because of the sandy subsoil, the risk of earthquakes and the strong winds through the Gulf, the construction of the bridge presented the engineers with huge challenges. After around five years of construction, it was officially opened on August 12, 2004.

The two lateral pylons are around 140 m above the sea surface.

Greek Parliament (Vouli or Boule ton Ellinon) in Athens

The Greek Parliament is located on Syntagma Square and is a unicameral legislature with 300 elected members. In 1846 it was established after the Civil War that became the first constitution of the modern

Churches, monasteries and temples

Erechtheion in Athens

This Ionic temple was built between 420 and 406 BC. Built in BC, its shape in all probability goes back to plans by Pericles himself. After his death, construction began. Philocles and Archilochus acted as builders. They placed it on the spot where the palace of Erechtheus I, a mythical king, is said to have once stood. Apparently, several ancient gods and heroes were worshiped in the temple. In addition to various decorations in honor of the goddess Athena, there is also the tomb of the mythical king Kekrops I. The temple used to be divided into two parts: once in the area of worship and once in the area for the honor of the two main gods of Attica: Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus.

Hephaisteion Temple (Theseion) in Athens

The Temple of Hephaisteion in

Great museums

Archaeological Museum in Andros

Here you can see ceramics from the old agora as well as ancient excavation finds.

Archaeological Museum in Halkida (Chalkis) on Evia

The most valuable ancient pieces include the Dionysus relief and the headless statue of Athena.

Archaeological Museum in Mitilini on Lesbos

One of the exhibits is the “Lion of Gera”.

Archaeological Museum in Mykonos

This is where the excavations of a necropolis from the island of Rineia are located.

Archaeological Museum in Olympia

Here you can find the famous statue of Hermes von Praxiteles (330 BC).

Archaeological Museum in Tinos

The sculptures shown here come from the ancient Poseidon and Amphitrite temples.

Archaeological Museum of Delos

Here you will find sculptures from archaic, classical, Hellenistic and Roman times, including acroteria, the archaic Sphinx of the Naxians, clay vessels from the 3rd millennium BC. from Kynthos as well as gold jewelry and ivory plates from the Artemis sanctuary (1400-1300 BC).

Archaeological Museum of Delphi

Here you can see the Roman copy of the Omphalos (“navel of the world”) and the statue of the charioteer (approx. 475 BC).

Archaeological Museum of Milos

Some of the ceramic finds shown here date from the 6th century BC. Chr.

Archaeological Museum of Rhodes

The building from the 15th century houses the statue of Aphrodite of Rhodes.

Archaeological Museum of Thebes The

exhibits include painted sarcophagi from the Mycenaean period (Larnakes), archaic sculptures and steles from the classical era.

Museum of the Olympic Games in Olympia

Documentation of the history of the modern Olympics can be seen.

Museum of Mistras

Architectural fragments are exhibited here.

Museum of Réthimnon, North Crete

Here you can see Minoan clay idols.

National Museum in Athens

Among other things, the golden death mask of Agamemnon is exhibited here.

Palace of the Grand Masters in Rhodes

In addition to the collection of furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries, Roman mosaic floors can be seen here.

More Attractions

Akadimias Street/Athens

Named after Plato’s famous Athens School of Philosophy, this main street of the city – parallel to Panepistimiou Street – runs from Vasileias Sofias Avenue to Kanningos Square. On the street are such important buildings as the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens, the National Library, the Poetry Theater and the Church of Zoodochou Pigis.

Areopagus ( also Areiopagus)

Areopagus means “Hill of Ares” in its translation. It is a 115-meter-high elevation in the northwest of the Acropolis. In ancient Greece , the supreme council of the same name met here on Areopagus. A high Greek institution still bears this name today: the country’s highest court, which, however, meets in the Schliemann House.

Attica Zoological Park

The “Attica Zoological Park” was actually opened in 2000 as a bird park. At that time it still housed the third largest bird collection on earth. In 2001 reptiles (including strangler snakes and crocodiles) were added and in July 2002 the so-called “Greek fauna”, which is home to animals such as wolves, brown bears, foxes, wild cats, etc. The main attraction of the zoo is the “African savannah”, where giraffes, zebras, antelopes, snow leopards etc. and above all the very rare white lion cavort. Additional extensions concern animals such as monkeys, cats, prairie dogs, hippos, alligators, etc. The zoo is a member of the “European Association of Zoos and Aquaria” (EAZA), which pays great attention to the welfare of animals. Not just for adults,Athens stay.

Lykabettos Hill ( also Lykavittos)

This hill, at 277 meters, is the highest hill in Athens and can be climbed in two ways. Either you can take an underground funicular to go up safely and comfortably, or you can walk up the long and exhausting footpath in the heat of the day. Anyway: The view from up here is simply fantastic and rewarded for any exertion. On the hill you can see the picturesque panorama of the city (with the Acropolis, of course), the “Agios Georgios” chapel and the “Lykabettos Theater”, which is a little deeper.

Hippocrates’ plane tree on Kos

The huge tree has a circumference of around 12 m.


National Technical University of Athens (National Metsovion Polytechnic or Politechneíon)

Sometimes simply referred to as “Athens Polytechnic”, this educational institution is one of the oldest and most renowned educational institutions in Greece. Founded in 1836 as the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the NMP became Greece’s only university to offer engineering degrees. This status remained until the 1950s. The traditional campus is located in the heart of Athens on Patision Avenue. The university is divided into nine academic faculties, which continue to consist of 33 departments. There are currently around 10,000 students studying here.

University of Athens (also National and Kapodistria University of Athens)

The University of Athens is the oldest university in the Eastern Mediterranean and has existed since 1837. It is – after the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – the second largest higher educational institution in Greece and currently has around 50,000 Students out. The main campus is in Ilissia (Zografou), where the scientific, theological and the philosophical faculties are located. Other smaller campuses are in Goudi and Daphne.

The historic administration building can be visited on Panepistimiou Avenue.

University of the Aegean

The headquarters of this state university with around 10,000 students is Mytilene on the island of Lesbos. The University of the Aegean was founded in 1984. The locations of this unusual university are spread over the following islands:

Faculty of Social Sciences (Mytilene – Island of Lesbos)

Department of Ethnology and History

Department of Geography

Department of Sociology

Department of Cultural Technology and Communication Department of

Environmental Sciences (Mytilene – Island of Lesbos)

Department of Environmental Sciences

Department of Oceanography

Economics Department (Chios – Island of Chios)

Department of Administration Economics

Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport

Department of Finance and financial

engineering Faculty of Science (Karlovasi – Samos Island)

Department of Mathematics

Department of Information and Telecommunications Technology

Department of Statistics and Actuarial Mathematics

Faculty of Human Sciences (Rhodes – Island of Rhodes)

Department of Primary

Education Department of Early Education and Educational Design

Department of Mediterranean Studies

Independent Faculty of Syros (Ermoupolis – Island of Syros)

Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering

Natural beauties

Chelmos (Aroania Ori)

The high mountains in the northern Peloponnese contain traces of glaciation. On the north side of the 2,355 m high massif, a 200 m high waterfall (Mavronera, “black water”) falls into the gorge below, under which there is a cave. This is where the legendary Styx River rises.

Dikti Mountains

In the mountain in eastern Crete, on the southern edge of the Lassithi plateau, there is an important place of worship from ancient times, the Diktaean Cave.

Evros wetland biotope southeast of Alexandroupolis

The bird sanctuary is one of the largest in Europe. Up to 270 bird species spend the winter or rest here every year.

Prespa Lake in the north-west of the country

Here some rare species of birds such as pelicans and cormorants nest.

South slopes of Parnassus

In the up to 2,457 m high rocky landscape on the Gulf of Corinth there is a natural amphitheater with a sacrificial site for Apollo.

Stalactite cave near Petralona on the Chaldiki Peninsula

Here you can see the most varied forms of stalactites and stalagmites.

Vikos-Aoos National Park

Brown bears still live in the country’s second largest nature reserve, located in the north around the Timfi Mountains.

Vikos Gorge

The gorge formed by the Voidomatis, a tributary of the Aoos, is only 1,100 meters wide at a depth of 900 meters.

Athens port

Piraeus ( also Peiraieus)

Piraeus is the third largest port of the

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Archaeological site of Philippi

The Archaeological Site of Philippi is located in the 356 BC. City founded by the Greeks.

In Philippi around AD 49/50 the apostle Paul (AD 10-67) founded a Christian community. It is the oldest Christian church planting in Europe.

From Rome, where he was living in captivity, Paul had written the famous letter to the Philippians to the church in Philippi around 63.

The impressive Roman ruins of Philippi are near what is now the city of Kavala. You will find a well-preserved wall ring and an acropolis, as well as a large forum with a few houses, a gymnasium and a market hall. It is worth mentioning that to this day there are performances of ancient plays in the theater. The city is also known for the saying: “We’ll meet again at Philippi”

It goes back to William Shakespeare’s (1564-1616) drama “Julius Caesar”. In the dream Caesar’s ghost appeared there to the murderer Brutus, who had replied to Brutus’ question why he had come: “To tell you that you should see me at Philippi.

Shakespeare probably had a place in his drama Caesar biography of the Greek writer Plutarch, where the announcement can be found in the form “At Philippi you will see me.”

In October/November of the year 42 BC, west of the city, the double battle at Philippi between Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius took place Longinus on one side and Mark Antony and Octavian on the other, Brutus and Cassius were beaten and committed suicide.

Octavian (63 BC -14 AD) became Augustus’ first emperor of the Roman Empire in 31.

The Archaeological Site of Philippi was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on July 17, 2016 at the Istanbul Conference.

Old town of Corfu

The old town of Corfu (Kerkyra) is located on the island of the same name at the entrance to the Adriatic Sea off the west coast of Albania.

The area of the island is approx. 600 km².

It is one of the seven large Ionian Islands.

The island was settled in the 8th century BC. BC back. The three forts were designed by the Venetians, who realized it was a strategic point to watch over and protect the sea and the island from Ottoman raids. The old fortress Palaió Froúrio on the east coast of Kerkyra, built by the Byzantines, dates back to the 6th century and had withstood the attack of the Turks in 1706. The statue of the defender Matthias Graf von der Schulenburg stands on the bridge that connects the city and the fortress.

From the fortress you have a view over the city, in which many stylistic epochs influenced the building method. Venetian, French and British influence can be found in a very small space. The bones of Spyridon, the island’s patron saint, are kept in the church of Agios Spyridonas in Kerkyra, which is dedicated to him – they are laid in a silver coffin.

Cars cannot drive in the narrow streets that lead to the harbor. The second fortress, Neo Froúrio, is located near the old port. It is the border between old and new town. It was built in 1572.

The old town of Corfu on the island of the same name was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2007

Archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tiryns

Of the important ancient city on the Isthmus of Corinth, the ruins of the upper city, remains of the Cyclopean curtain wall (1350 to 1200 BC) and the Lion Gate of Mycenae (1250 BC) have been preserved.

Nine domed tombs were also discovered there, including the “Treasury of Atreus”. The town of Tiryns, located on a limestone rock up to 30 m high, belonged to it from the 3rd millennium BC. One of the most important centers of Bronze Age Europe. However, excavations show that there was a settlement as early as the Neolithic Age. Between the years 1876 and 1885, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann uncovered the ruins of a Mycenaean palace on the highest part of the rock.

The two archaeological sites were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999.

Old town of Chorá, Monastery of St. John, Cave of the Apocalypse

The old town of Chorá with the Monastery of St. John and the Cave of the Apocalypse are located on the island of Patmos, which lies in the Aegean Sea and belongs to the Dodecanese archipelago. The area of the island is about 34 km².

In Roman times Patmos was an island of exile, to which John is said to have been exiled. According to legend, he found a cave there, which was later called the Apocalypse Cave. In this cave he is said to have written the Revelation and also the letters of John.

Patmos is known as the “Holy Island”, which has become a place of pilgrimage as the most important monasteries of the Orthodox Church are located there. Hagios Ioannis Theologos Monastery, dedicated to Saint John, was built in 1088 on the remains of the ancient Temple of Artemis. The monastery is laid out like a fortress. There is a famous library in it. Old-time traditions are cultivated and preserved in the monastery and in the village of Chorá.

In the south of the island there is a rock that is approx. 20 m high. Stairs are built into the rock and there are numerous caves. On top of the rock there is a cistern that was probably built long BC. Was built there. A spring rises in the nearby valley, where the first people are said to have been baptized. Apollon: Conceived by Zeus and Leto, he was god of light, healing and spring as well as music and poetry. Patmos is also the name of a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin.

Below the monastery is the Church of the Apocalypse with the “Holy Grotto” where John is said to have received his revelation. The old town with the monastery was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999

Vergina archaeological site

The Vergina archaeological site is located in the north of the country, approx. 10 km from the city of Veria. It is believed that the site was probably the ancient capital of Aigai of the Kingdom of Macedonia. The age of the site is dated to 11 centuries BC. BC, because about 300 graves and settlement remains from this time were found there. A palace complex with a theater from the 4th century BC. Were excavated. The ruins of the palace nestle against the slopes of the Pieria Mountains. The inner courtyard of the palace was surrounded by a portico.

Macedonian chamber tombs were also found near Vergina, some of which are located under a 12 m high mound. Some of the graves are intricately designed and rich grave goods have been found. The bones of the father of Alexander the great are believed to be in the most richly furnished grave. It has an antechamber and a main chamber, Ionic columns and a frieze adorn the front. In both chambers there was a golden, richly decorated coffin on which the “Star of Vergina” was depicted. The Persephone tomb as well as the Romaios and Eurydice tombs were also found.

In 1977/1978 Macedonian royal tombs were uncovered in this archaeological site, two of which were still intact.

This archaeological site was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1996.

Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos


The Heraion is located on the island of Samos and is the ancient sanctuary of the Greek goddess Hera. In Greek mythology, Hera is the daughter of Kronos and Rhea and she is married to Zeus and his sister at the same time. She is revered as the protector of marriage and childbirth.

The temple complex was built around the year 575 BC. Built in BC. The limestone available on site was used as building material. The inner pillars of the temple were made of marble. The temple is bordered by two pillars on all sides, but there were additional pillars on the front and back. The offerings that were found in the Heraion prove that there was trade with large parts of the world at that time.


Located on the south coast, Pythagoreion is the port of call for sailors. The harbor is protected by a large quay wall from ancient times. Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos, built this wall to protect the port facility around 540 BC. Build. Polykrates came to power in 538. The Samians laid down their weapons during the sacrifices and Polyktrates and his entourage caused a bloodbath among the victims, after which they occupied the castle of Astypalaia.

The Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1992

Delos island

The island of Delos belongs to the Cyclades. At Kynthos on Delos there are not only the remains of ancient Greek sanctuaries, but also, for example, temples of Syrian and Egyptian gods from the 2nd century BC. The god Apollo is said to have been born here. At the top of the mountain are ruins of a temple from the 3rd century BC. which was dedicated to Zeus and Athena, other historical monuments of the island are the three temples of Apollo and the stone lions from the end of the 7th century, one of which was brought to Venice in the 17th century and placed at the entrance to the arsenal. In 69 BC The island was attacked and sacked. Its heyday was over and it was never reached again.

The island of Delos was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1990

Monasteries Daphni (near Athens) and Hosios Lukas

Daphni Monastery is mainly visited for its impressive mosaics depicting episodes from the life of Jesus Christ. It is 10 kilometers west of Athens in the suburb of the same name and is – next to Hosios Lukas (near Delphi) and Nea Moni (in Chios) – the most important Greek sacred building of the 11th century. In the 5th century, a church was probably built on the site where a sanctuary dedicated to the sun god Apollo had previously been located – a common practice at the time. This church was replaced by the present monastery in 1080 and in 1206 it was given to the Cistercian order. Orthodox monks have lived there again since 1458 – two years after the Turkish conquest of the city. The monastery was later damaged and abandoned. It has recently been lovingly restored.

Hosios Lukas Monastery near Delphi

Hosios Lukas, Daphni and Nea Moni are the most famous monasteries in the country. Hosios Lukas is located near Delphi in central Greece.

A church dedicated to Saint Barbara was built in the 10th century. Today’s monastery complex consists of two churches, the Panagia Church and the Katholikon – a rectangular cross-domed church. It was built in 1011 and was dedicated to a hermit named Lukas. The dome, which is decorated with frescoes, has a diameter of 9 m. The church also has uniquely beautiful mosaics. The Panagia Church can be reached through a colonnade. The 11th century building contains valuable mosaics, frescoes and icons.

The Hosios Lukas monastery near Delphi was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1990

Nea Moni Monastery on Chios

The Byzantine monastery Nea Moní is located on the Greek island of Chios in a densely forested valley, approx. 15 km west of Chios town.

In 1042 the monastery was built. The monastery is dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During Greece’s war of independence in 1822, a large part of the island’s residents was murdered by the Ottomans. Eugene Delacroix painted this on his famous painting “The Massacre of Chios”.

Many residents of the island fled to the church and sought protection there. But the Turks took no account of that either, they murdered those seeking protection and many monks. In 1881 an earthquake destroyed the buildings that were still standing. The ornate mosaics were not restored until 1960

The monastery is surrounded by a protective wall. It consists of several churches and a cistern that is built underground. The main church of the monastery was built in the 10th century and built in the Byzantine style as a cross-domed church and has mosaics from the Byzantine period. The mosaics show scenes as the life of Christ and him as Pantocrator. The monastery Nea Moni on the island of Chios belongs to the most important Greek sacred buildings of the 11th century with the two churches above and is especially famous for its mosaics.

All three monasteries were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1990

Olympia ruins

The place Olympia is located on the Peloponnese peninsula about 270 km from Athens. From 776 BC. From about 1000 BC onwards, the Olympic Games were held here every four years, until earthquakes destroyed the place and floods of the river Kladeos, which flows into the Alpheios, buried the holy place. Olympia was not a city, but a sacred site with grounds where games in honor of the gods were held. The buildings located there are temples and theaters, which are surrounded by monuments and statues. The Romans tried several times to forbid these games in honor of the gods and to use the sites for their own purposes, they built the hippodrome.

The center of the holy grove of Olympia is called “Altis”, it is a burial mound that, according to legend, was raised by Heracles for the sacrificial altar of Pelops. It was here that sacrifices were made to the father of the gods, Zeus.

There are numerous treasure houses at the foot of the Kronos Hill. In the 4th century the Altis was surrounded with a wall and a guest house was built that could accommodate up to 150 people – the Leonidaion.

A so-called palaestra, an area covered with sand, was created to train the athletes, as was a gymnasium – a courtyard surrounded by colonnades and baths – for athletics. The one from the 5th century was assigned to the artist Phidias, in these rooms the Zeus statue for the temple is said to have been made. The Romans built several thermal baths because the Greek bathhouse was not enough for them to relax.

The ruins of Olympia include the remains of the Temple of Zeus, which dates from 470 BC. In the Doric style, the Heraion (7th century BC) and the workshop of Phidias (490 to 425 BC) as well as the ruins of the Doric temple of Hera, which dates from the 7th century BC. BC.

The ruins of Olympia were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1989


The Byzantine ruined city of Mystras is located in the northwest of Sparta. In 1249 the fortress of Mystras was built. It is one of several castles that were supposed to protect Sparta or Lakedaimon (Lakedaimon was the ancestor of Sparta). A town emerged below the castle that developed into the cultural center of the region.

In 1448 AD the last Byzantine emperor was crowned in Mystras. Mystras also became the center of philosophers, so the philosopher Plethon moved to Mystras in 1406 and renewed the Platonic philosophy. The Despot’s Palace of Mystras was a Byzantine representation building with strong Italian influences.

In 1460 Mystras was captured by the Ottoman Turks and minarets and mosques were built.

In 1770 Albanian troops devastated the city. Mystra’s heyday was over for good. Mystra was not rebuilt. Some of the former churches have been preserved, their walls are decorated with colorful murals. Furthermore, a basilica with a second floor in the form of a cross-domed church was preserved. Also worth seeing are: The Mitropolis, the main church, located on a 600 m high mountain and a rock cave, the Demeter Cave, with its frescoes.

The city was an important center of Byzantine culture in the 14th and 15th centuries. The churches and monasteries are particularly worth seeing.

The city of Mystras was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1989.

Meteora monasteries

The monasteries in the northwest of Thessaly are located on the inaccessible plateaus of the up to 300 m high vertical conglomerate cliffs. A total of 24 monasteries were built here from the 14th century, 6 of which are still inhabited today.

The largest monastery is the Metamorphosis Monastery.

The monasteries were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 1988

Rhodes, medieval city

The city of Rhodes, which dates back to 408 BC. Was founded, is located on the northern tip on the island of the same name Rhodes.

The island has an area of 1,398 km².

The city of Rhodes was owned by the Order of St. John from 1309 to 1523. The Order was founded in the Holy Land to care for sick pilgrims. The old town, surrounded by a fortress wall, lies partly on a hill and stretches down to the harbor. The foundations of the old Byzantine wall were used for the wall. The wall at the Amboise Gate is 12 meters thick. On the hill is the Grand Master’s Palace of the Order of St. John and the St. John’s Church. The city was able to withstand two major attacks, first the Egyptians tried to take the city and the second the Turks. However, Rhodes had to give up the city in 1523 after a six-month siege by the Turks.

Many churches were converted into mosques during that time. Many buildings with Ottoman influence can be seen in the lower town from the occupation period. You should visit the Suleyman mosque and the Turkish library, as well as the seahorse fountain on the square of the Jewish martyrs, the owl fountain on Platia Ippokratu and the Turkish quarter with its narrow streets, numerous mosques, small squares and the Turkish bath.

The medieval city of Rhodes was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988

Mount Athos

Mount Athos is located on the Chaldiki peninsula.

On the summit of Mount Athos is the dome chapel Ag. Nikolaos Funtúkli. The Megisti Lavra from the 10th century is the oldest of a total of 40 monasteries on the peninsula, of which 20 major monasteries are still inhabited by around 2,500 monks.

The first monastery was founded here in 963 by Byzantine monks. Later Russian, Serbian or Gregorian monks were founded.

The autonomy of the monastic republic was confirmed by the Byzantine emperor in a golden bull in 1060.

Even under the almost 400-year rule of the Ottomans, the status of the republic remained untouched. The EU recognized 1981, the entry of Greeceinto the alliance, the special status of the monastic republic. Its status is also laid down in the Greek constitution.

Only men are allowed to visit, this goes so far that ships with women on board must keep a distance of 500 m from the shore.

In 1988, the mountain and monasteries were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites


The former center of ancient worship is now one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, here are numerous ruins of temples and other buildings, including the Temple of Asclepius (Doric style, 4th century BC) and the remains of the Tholos (Round building, 4th century BC).

The city was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988.

Early Christian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki

The three-aisled basilica Hagia Sophia is located in Thessaloniki. Built on the 4th century foundations of an earlier church, this church was built in the 7th century. The dome has a diameter of 10 m and is decorated with a mosaic depicting Christ.

In 1037 the church was damaged in an earthquake and after reconstruction it became the Orthodox bishopric.

It was used as an Orthodox cathedral between the 13th and 16th centuries and was converted into a mosque at the end of the 16th century. Nowadays it is a Christian church again.

The in the year 315 BC. founded city was once a major center for the spread of Christianity. There are numerous churches and art treasures from early Christian and Byzantine times.

The early Christian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1988

Delphi (Sanctuary of Apollo)

The place of worship, in which the earth mother Gaia was originally worshiped, already existed in the 2nd millennium BC. BC and was in the 9th and 8th century BC. Converted into a sanctuary of Apollo. The oracle was an important religious and political center of the ancient world. The ruins that can be visited today date from the 6th century BC. Chr.

Delphi was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987

Acropolis of Athens

Theodor Heuss once said that next to the place of execution “Golgota” (Jerusalem) and the Capitol (Rome), the Acropolis is the third hill on which Europe is based. The Acropolis (Greek for “upper town”) of Athens is the undisputed landmark and was once the largest walled square in Mycenaean times. The Acropolis is a high, fortified center of ancient Athens.

The castle hill was dedicated to the goddess Athena, who gave the city its name. During Pericles’ “Golden Age”, ancient Greek civilization was ideally represented here on the “Holy Mountain” of Athens. Some of the greatest architectural masterpieces were built on it. The first signs of settlement on the mountain go back to the Neolithic Age, and over the centuries the rocky hill was used as a place of worship (early Archaic period, 6/7 century BC).

Around 480 BC The complex was destroyed by the Persians and the rubble was then inserted into the castle wall. In the course of the classical period (450-330 BC), the rebuilding began under Pericles. Three important temples were built on the ruins of earlier buildings: the Parthenon Temple, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena-Nike. The Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the sacred area, was also constructed during this period. The monuments of the Acropolis show the alternating phases of the city’s history, if one sees, for example, that some of them have been converted into Christian churches, into houses of the Franks or even later into those of the Turks. It is not surprising that the first acts after Athens was liberated from the Ottomans were the restoration and preservation of the monuments.

The Acropolis of Athens in Greece was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.

Temple of Apollo at Bassae

The Temple of Apollo is at an altitude of 1,150 m near Bassae. It was consecrated to the god Apollon Epikourios, who was also a god of healing. The temple was built around 430 BC. Erected because the residents of the area were spared from the plague. The temple faces north-south, which is unusual as all of the other temples face east-west. During the excavations of the temple, a relief was found that depicts the battle between the Amazons and the Centaurs.

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