Other Monuments - Sites Worth Seeing
The Temple of Olympian Zeus is the biggest temple in Greece. Its construction started during the time of Peisistratos and was completed 700 years later. Originally there were 104 Corinthian columns of which only 15 remain standing, proving however the Temple’s huge dimensions.
The Roman Emperor Adrianos was Athens’ benefactor. The gate of Adrianos is the triumphant arch the Athenians built to honor him, in 131 A.D, on the street leading from the old city to its new extension.
If you are seeking an oasis in the heart of the city take a walk in to the National Garden, which is open all day long. Close to the Parliament building this beautiful park was once the Royal Palace’s garden. Now it belongs to the Municipality of Athens. Here you will find a cool, shadowy refuge, with rich vegetation, flowers and many bird species. Small lakes with ducks, a playground, a small zoo, a traditional café where you may enjoy a cold “frappe” coffee or an ouzo with “mezedes”, complete the picture of an ideal escape in the center of Athens. Behind the Garden are located the former Royal Mansion and the Presidential quarters.
In reality an extension of the National Garden, Zappeion is an all green area with a maze of pathways and at its center the Zappeion Megaron, built between 1874 and 1878, as an exhibition hall. Throughout the year international exhibitions, fashion shows, trade conferences, international summits, take place here. Its gardens, together with the neighboring National Garden, constitute the main green zone of downtown Athens and a favorite walking area for Athenians and tourists.
The Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro, which means "made of fine marble") was built in 330-329 B.C., and this is where the Panathenaic festival was held. Between 140 and 144 AD, Herodes Atticus restored the stadium, giving it the form that was found at the 1870 excavation. The modern times restoration of the stadium was conducted by the end of the 19th century for the rebirth of the Olympic Games that took place here in 1896.
Syndagma Square, with a strong historical background, is located in front of the Greek Parliament, and up until September 1843 was called the Palace’s Square. It owes its name to the Constitution (Syndagma) signed by King Othon following a massive uprising in September 3, 1843. Here you can visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and also see the guards (Evzones) in their impressive uniforms. If you are lucky you will also have a chance to watch the slow and complicated change of the guards.