Παρασκευή, 27 Μαρτίου 2009

The icon of the Crucifixion

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Κυριακή, 15 Μαρτίου 2009

The prison of Socrates ?



The cutting of ground work and even of whole rooms into the rocky parts of the Hills west of the Acropolis (the Aeropagus, the Hills of Nymphs and of the Mouses, the Pnyx) is especially characteristic of the area, which serves as an open air exhibition of the town planning and architecture of the ancients, carved into rock. The impressive structure cut into the rocky slopes of the hill of the Muses belong probably to a monumental two or three story dwelling, as we conclude from the alignments of bearn holes on the surface of the rock. The wooden beams supported the front part of the structure, which was made of stone masonry and wood. To the exterior floor belong passageways that connect with water- channels cut into the façade of the building, and a carved stairway at the south provided communication with the higher levels of the slope. The preserved back part of the structure is a complex of three rooms, carefully cut into bedrock, with doorways at the east and a cistern at the back. The use of these rooms is unknown. Its cave like structure, however, and its proximity to the Athenian Agora must have led to the popular tradition that the building was the: prison of Socrates” or an “ancient bath”, as guidebooks and history books inform us.
In the Second World War, the structure was used to hide the antiquities of the Acropolis and the national Archaelogical Museum and was sealed up with a thick concrete wall.

Pnyx -Pnyka



Pnyx

The Pynx is the monumental site in which functioned the democratic principles of equal rights under the law and of the democratic dialogue of the Athenians.

Zeus as protector of the state (Altar of Zeus Agoraios) and as healer (Shrine of Zeus Hypsistos) received the prayers of the assembly before the sessions began. The assembly (Ecclesia) of the people met ten times a year; there the chairman of the Prytaneis presided, assisted by a Secretary and a Herald, who made the announcements. The audience sat originally on the bedrock but later on wooden benches, while the orator spoke from the bema (speaker’s platform). At a lower level of this bema sat the Prytaneis, who, assisted by archers, kept order. From the bema of the Pynx famous politicians and orators such as Themistokles, Pericles, Demosthenes and Aischines addressed the Athenians.

The area, a semicircular amphitheatre in shape, 70m. in depth and 120m in diameter has strong retaining walls that support its perimeter. 

The site has been confirmed by the 5th century inscribed boundary marker;(hopos Πυκνός).
The monument has three building phases;
At the last phase,the 3rd, a new monument retaining wall with a stepped entrance at the center gave new dimensions in situ. Opposite the entrance the “bema” or simply “stone” was cut in the natural rock with three steps. To the same phase belong also the stoas to the east and west were never fulfilled due to the construnction of Diateichisma (wall) around 325 – 307 B.C.
The area of Pnyx was dedicated to Zeus as protector of constitution (Altar of Zeus Agoraios) and to Zeus Hypsistos as a god healer as it is shown by the niches of the rock (Sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos)
The Pnyx was abandoned at the end of the 4th century B.C. when the meetings of Demos were transferred to the theater of Dionysos.

St Demetrius Loubardiaris



At the foot of the wooded hill of the Nymphs there is the small church of Agios Dimitrios, known as Loubardiaris. It is a single-aisled barrel-vaulted basilica built during the times of the Ottoman occupation. It was restored in 1955 by the famous architect Dimitrios Pikionis.

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Κυριακή, 8 Μαρτίου 2009

Mystras

The archaeological site of Mystras has been included in the UNESCO list of monuments of the Worldwide Cultural Heritage (criteria 2,3,4) since 1989. The late Byzantine settlement at Mystras, which developed after the middle of the 13th century, was from 1262 the seat of the secular and ecclesiastical authorities of the Byzantine empire in Peloponnese and from 1348 the capital of the Despotate of the Morea, down to its conquest by the Ottomans in 1460.

The preserved overall urban designs of the settlement, and the architecture of the Frankish castle, the Byzantine palace, houses and churches, with their important paintings, make Mystras an invaluable source for the study of the medieval culture of Byzantium and Europe in general.
UNESCO CONVENTION 11-15 December 1989 .
Where
Οn one side lies the Mount Taygetos and on the other hand, Mount Parnon, which extends from the heart of the Peloponnese to the south coast.
Between two mountain ranges lies the Laconia Prefecture, whose capital is the city of Sparta. Sparta is located next to the Byzantine village of Mystras.

Perivleptos Monastery1365-1374
Hagios Dimitrios ,Metropolis, Mystras

Kerameikos