Desirous about touring to Athens anytime quickly? Try our information to necessary however underrated Athens points of interest.

Athens is a vacationer vacation spot with monuments of worldwide cultural and historic significance. Who doesn’t know the Acropolis? Regardless of this, there are a number of monuments unknown to its guests that performed an necessary function in its historical past.

Though these Athens points of interest are underrated, a go to to them will help you type a extra full image of Athens and its historical past.

Associated learn: A Guide to Athens, Greece

Try these underrated Athens points of interest

Athens is a metropolis filled with historic sights. Whereas it’s necessary to incorporate the standard listing of things to do in Athens in your itinerary, ensure to additionally try a couple of of those underrated Athens points of interest as effectively.

Meton’s Photo voltaic Clock

Greek mathematician, astronomer, geometer, and engineer Meton lived in Athens within the fifth century BC and is understood for his invention of the Meton’s Solar Clock. Historic historians declare that Meton constructed the primary Helioscope (photo voltaic clock) of Athens. Its foundations can nonetheless be seen straight above the rostrum of Pnyx. Based mostly on the exact location of the Helioscope, Meton calculated the instances of the equinoxes and solstices.

The base of Meton's Solar Clock in Athens
The bottom of Meton’s Photo voltaic Clock

From this vantage level, the summer season solstice dawn will be considered from the summit of Lycabettus Hill. Additionally, the winter solstice dawn will be seen from the summit of Mount Hymettus. The 60° arc that’s fashioned by the solar’s annual obvious motion on the horizon is bisected by the Acropolis’ rock.

On this means, the daylight on the equinoxes coincides with the rock of the Acropolis. The summer season solstice was vital to the traditional Athenians because it signaled the beginning of a brand new 12 months. And Meton’s calculations helped to ascertain the Attic Calendar.

The Antikythera Mechanism, constructed within the second century BC, is the world’s earliest recognized astronomical pc and makes use of the Metonic circle to conduct computations. Yearly, hundreds of vacationers come to Pnyx, however hardly any of them are conscious of the importance of this modest construction over the primary podium.

Location: Pnyx, Thissio

The view from Meton's Solar Clock - an underrated Athens attraction
The view from Meton’s Photo voltaic Clock

Socrates’ Jail

Many archaeologists imagine {that a} cave-like construction on the base of Phillopappos Hill and some metres from Herodium, was the place Socrates was imprisoned earlier than he was poisoned. In response to historic examine, it’s difficult to attach the archaeological website with the jail in historic Athens.

Nevertheless, there may be some proof that concurs with the descriptions of the jail in Plato’s Dialogues that helps this principle. The info that it was constructed in the midst of the fifth century BC, confronted a serious street, and was in a pit that contained bathhouses level to that conclusion. Additionally, a small battered statue of Socrates was one of many gadgets discovered within the constructing’s stays.

Socrates' Prison exterior in Athens
Socrates’ Jail exterior

The carved development was almost definitely a element of a formidable two- or three-story constructing, which some researchers imagine to be a portion of a home. The Nationwide Archaeological Museum used these caves as a storage facility for artifacts throughout World Warfare II.

The museum buried lots of its artifacts there to stop theft by the Nazi occupation troops. Whether or not it’s the famed thinker’s jail or not, this can be a actually fascinating location that’s usually ignored by guests to the close by Acropolis and is seldom recognized to locals.

Location: Philopappos Hill

Socrates' Prison interior - an underrated Athens attraction
Socrates’ Jail inside

Aristotle’s Lyceum

In a really central a part of the town a vital archaeological website of worldwide significance was found in 1996. It’s the stays of the palaestra of one of many first gymnasiums of historic Athens, that of Aristotle’s Lyceum. In response to the traditional testimonies, the Lyceum was an idyllic, verdant location to the east of Athens.

The palaestra was a big constructing with a longitudinal axis from north to south that was based within the second half of the 4th century BC. The constructing consists of an interior courtyard surrounded by arcades behind which symmetrically develop spacious, rectangular rooms. In later years, a chilly tub tank for the athletes was constructed on the north facet of the courtyard, with arched, slim sides.

Aristotle’s Lyceum in Athens
Aristotle’s Lyceum

Aristotle’s Lyceum was and is in the end one of the necessary locations on this planet for the historical past of the human spirit. It was the embodiment of Aristotle’s philosophy of an academic establishment for the younger based mostly on the concept of “kalos kagathos”.

Additionally, Aristotle himself taught on the Lyceum for 12 years, spreading his philosophy, which strongly influenced all subsequent historic thought. The monumental mental edifice of Aristotle and his faculty summed up all of the philosophical and scientific pursuits of the traditional world. Parts of Aristotle’s philosophy exist in Christianity and in addition within the Renaissance.

Location: Rigillis 11, Syntagma

Aristotle’s Lyceum in Athens
Aristotle’s Lyceum


Vatrachonisi (which suggests “Frog Island”) was positioned within the Ilissos River in Athens beneath Zappeion, the place the present Agia Fotini church now stands. Between the 2 sides of the Ilissos River lay a lush, open tract of land. The 2 streams of the river converged right here, creating a little bit islet with waterfalls on both facet.

The holy spring of Kalliroi was on the small island, and the realm was often called Neraidotopos (actually, “dwelling of fairies”). When King Otto was in energy, the realm was first settled by “cafe-sandan” companies. These venues hosted cabaret acts and different like exhibits, and in addition acted as a gathering place for illicit {couples}.

Agia Fotini church at Vatrachonisi
Agia Fotini church at Vatrachonisi

One of many river’s two branches was grounded throughout a devastating flood on the finish of 1896. Now, a small, inactive part of an uncovered riverbed is preserved subsequent to the church of Agia Fotini and has been categorised as an archaeological website. A 3-arched stone bridge that was lastly constructed over the river throughout the reign of King Otto.

The bridge now hid beneath the intersection of Ardittou and Athanassiou Diakou streets. The realm of Vatrachonisi is the proper place for a soothing stroll within the metropolis centre.

Location: Athanassiou Diakou and Ardittou Road Intersection, Mets

King Otto's stone bridge at Vatrachonisi
King Otto’s stone bridge at Vatrachonisi

Agios Nicholas Rangavas

This Byzantine church within the busy Plaka is without doubt one of the most historic church buildings in Athens. Sadly, few of the town’s guests comprehend it. It was almost definitely constructed within the eleventh century AD within the centre of essentially the most aristocratic neighbourhood of Byzantine Athens. It was constructed by the rich household of Rangavas, initially from Constantinople.

The significance and radiance of the temple in mediaeval Athens have been such that it gave its identify to the encircling space and the close by entrance to the defensive wall of Athens. It was visited by members of the imperial household and the outstanding residents of the town.

Agios Nicholas Rangavas in Athens
Agios Nicholas Rangavas

As a result of some historic constructing supplies have been utilized in its development, it’s apparent that it was constructed on high of an outdated temple. In 1687 AD, throughout the siege of the town of Athens by Morozini, a shell hit the Holy Altar of the temple. Additionally, within the second half of the nineteenth century, vital demolition and enlargement works have been carried out on the church. These works had the impact of altering the unique Byzantine parts of the church. Within the Nineteen Eighties, nevertheless, archaeologists restored a lot of the church to its unique type.

That is the picture of the church that we admire in the present day, and the weather that have been added later are evident. The obvious are the excessive bell tower and the doorway with the ladies’s quarter. The church is necessary for another reason. It was its bell that rang throughout the liberation of the town from the Turks. And this bell is stored contained in the church to at the present time.

Location: Prytaneiou 1, Plaka

Agios Nicholas Rangavas in Athens
Agios Nicholas Rangavas

Korai 4

If you happen to occur to cross Korai Road, you can discover the distinctive signal that reads “Memorial Sight 1941-1944”. That is the Korai 4 – Kommandantur incarceration establishment. It’s the place, hundreds of Greek resistance fighters have been tortured along with some German dissidents, throughout the Nazi occupation.

The basements, which had been constructed as an anti-aircraft shelter, housed the cells. The story of the placement has been pieced collectively utilizing the remnant inscriptions, names inscribed on the partitions, little artifacts, non-public notes and pages from German diaries, because the Nazis left no data.

Korai 4 entrance
Korai 4 entrance

Many of the engraved notes left by the detainees vanished because of the Germans’ frequent portray of the cell partitions. Nevertheless, a number of the writings on the partitions within the second basement, courting again to 1944, seem to have survived. In all probability as a result of Nazis needed to flee rapidly after their defeat within the warfare. A go to to those historic basements will fill you with feelings and ideas. On the identical time you’ll get to know an necessary piece of the current historical past of the town.

Location: Korai Road, Syntagma Sq.

Each metropolis, aside from its well-known points of interest, additionally hides secrets and techniques that the customer deserves to find. Many instances, they’re in entrance of our eyes with out our understanding their true which means. These six points of interest, though underrated, are six points of the historical past of Athens that need to be found.

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