Scientific Program
April 11, 2021
Greetings of George Georgiopoulos – Mayor of Ancient Olympia
April 20, 2021

Social Events

Social events schedule will be announced shortly.

In the meanwhile, you may find hereunder some of the most popular sites in Athens and Ancient Olympia, as archeological sites, Museums and Sightseeing places.

ATHENS

Acropolis of Athens

The greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena, dominates the centre of the modern city from the rocky crag known as the Acropolis. The monuments of the Acropolis stand in harmony with their natural setting. These unique masterpieces of ancient architecture combine different orders and styles of Classical art in a most innovative manner and have influenced art and culture for many centuries. The Acropolis of the fifth century BC is the most accurate reflection of the splendour, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak, the golden age of Perikles.

Site plan of the Acropolis at Athens showing the major archaeological remains:

  1. Parthenon
  2. Old Temple of Athena
  3. Erechtheum
  4. Statue of Athena Promachos
  5. Propylaea
  6. Temple of Athena Nike
  7. Eleusinion
  8. Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia or Brauroneion
  9. Chalkotheke
  10. Pandroseion
  11. Arrephorion
  12. Altar of Athena
  13. Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus
  14. Sanctuary of Pandion
  15. Odeon of Herodes Atticus
  16. Stoa of Eumenes
  17. Sanctuary of Asclepius or Asclepieion
  18. Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus
  19. Odeon of Pericles
  20. Temenos of Dionysus Eleuthereus
  21. Aglaureion

You can read more here.


Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum was founded to exhibit all the significant finds from the Sacred Rock and its foothills. It was designed by architect Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis and inaugurated in the summer of 2009. The Museum hosts its collections across three levels, as well as in the archaeological excavation that lies at its foundations.

Located on the ground floor, the “Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis” houses finds from the sanctuaries that were established on the slopes of the Acropolis, as well as objects that Athenians used in everyday life from all historic periods.

The nine-meter high, naturally lit “Archaic Gallery”, in the east and south sections of the first floor, hosts the magnificent sculptures that graced the first temples on the Acropolis. It also displays the votive offerings dedicated by the worshippers, such as the beautiful archaic Korai (depictions of young women), the Hippeis (horse riders), statues of the Goddess Athena, sculptures of male figures, marble reliefs, and smaller bronze and clay offerings.

The Museum’s exhibition culminates on the third floor, in the glass-encased “Parthenon Gallery”. The relief sculptures of the Parthenon frieze depicting the Panathenaic procession are exhibited in continuous sequence along the perimeter of the external surface of the rectangular concrete core of the Gallery. The metopes, the marble slabs with relief representations from Greek mythology, are exhibited in between the stainless steel columns of the Gallery, which are the same in number as the columns of the Parthenon. The colossal figures of the two pediments have been placed on pedestals on the east and west sides of the Gallery. The east pediment depicts the birth of the Goddess Athena, emerging from the head of her father Zeus, and the west pediment depicts the battle between Athena and Poseidon over the land of Attica.

Having seen the Parthenon Gallery, the visitor can then return to the first floor to complete the tour with the series of works that were created after the construction of the Parthenon, namely the Propylaia, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. The north wing of the first floor displays striking Classical sculptures and their Roman copies, as well as votive and decree reliefs dating to the 5th and 4th centuries BC, relief bases of sculptures and portraits, and finally, select works dating from the end of antiquity and the early Byzantine period.

The Museum’s exhibition program is also enriched with the extensive finds from the ancient Athenian city, which were uncovered during the archaeological excavation that took place prior, to the construction of the Museum. The excavation is visible from different points on the ground and upper floors of the Museum, through a series of well positioned large glass openings. Visitors will soon be able to walk among the remains of this ancient Athenian neighborhood.

You can read more here.


Plaka – Anafiotika

At the shadow of the Acropolis is Plaka, the most picturesque and oldest district of Athens, which was continuously inhabited from antiquity to the present day. The neighborhood of gods, as it was called, resembles a journey to old Athens with antiquities, historical buildings and Byzantine churches. Unique in every respect is the Cycladic neighborhood od Anafiotika, which was built by craftsmen and workers from the island of Anafi when they arrived in Athens after the liberation. The tiny whitewashed houses among the rocks, the gardens with the flowers, the narrow alleys and the mazy planning is similar only to the one found in Cycladic islands.

You can read more here.


The Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium is located on the site of an ancient stadium and for many centuries hosted games in which nude male athletes competed in track events, athletics championships as we would call them today.

Among the first attempts to revive the idea of the Olympic Games were the games organized in the Panathenaic Stadium in 1870 and 1875. This idea was brought to fruition by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French aristocrat with a sound classical education, who organized the International Olympic Conference in Paris, in 1894. President of the Conference and plenipotentiary of the Panhellenic Gymnastics Association was Demetrios Vikelas, who persuaded the delegates that the first modern Olympic Games should be held in the Greek capital in 1896. The Panathenaic Stadium was chosen to host the Olympic Games and was the epicentre of the city’s preparations for this major event. The enormous expense of reconstructing the Stadium was undertaken largely by another benefactor of the Nation, Georgios Averoff. His marble portrait statue, to the right of the entrance to the Stadium, was carved by the sculptor Georgios Vroutos.

The first modern Olympic Games commenced on 25 March and concluded on 3 April, and were a resounding success. The victor in the Marathon race, the most popular contest, was the Greek Spyros Louis. It was in the Panathenaic Stadium that the Olympic Hymn was heard for the first time, with lyrics by poet Costis Palamas and music by composer Spyros Samaras.

You can read more here.


National Gallery

The National Art Gallery is an art museum located on Vasilissis Sofias avenue in the Pangrati district, Athens, Greece. It is devoted to Greek and European art from the 14th century to the 20th century. It is directed by Marina Lambraki-Plaka. The newly renovated building reopened after an 8 year refurbishment, on 24 March 2021, a day before the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence. The institutional role of the National Gallery is to collect, safekeep, preserve, study and exhibit works of art towards the aesthetic training of the public, the on-going education through art and the recreation that it is able to provide, as well as the self-awareness of the Greek people through the history of art, which expresses the national history on a symbolic level.

You can read more here.


Ancient Agora of Athens

The Agora was the heart of ancient Athens, the focus of political, commercial, administrative and social activity, the religious and cultural centre, and the seat of justice. After a series of repairs and remodellings, it reached its final rectangular form in the 2nd century B.C.

The first excavation campaigns were carried out by the Greek Archaeological Society in 1859-1912, and by the German Archaeological Institute in 1896-97. In 1890-91, a deep trench cut for the Athens-Peiraeus Railway brought to light extensive remains of ancient buildings. In 1931 the American School of Classical Studies started the systematic excavations with the financial support of J. Rockefeller and continued until 1941. Work was resumed in 1945 and is still continuing. In order to uncover the whole area of the Agora it was necessary to demolish around 400 modern buildings covering a total area of ca. 12 hectares.

In the years 1953-56, the Stoa of Attalos was reconstructed to become a museum and in the same period the Byzantine church of Aghioi Apostoloi, built around A.D. 1000, was restored by the American School. Between 1972 and 1975, restoration and preservation work was carried out at the Hephaisteion; the area was cleared of the vegetation, and the roof of the temple was repaired in 1978 by the Archaeological Service.

You can read more here.


The Stoa of Attalos

The Stoa of Attalos is the most splendid Hellenistic building in the Agora and the only one to have been restored in contemporary times using almost exclusively modern building material. It houses the Agora Museum. The building was an imposing two-storey stoa of the Pergamene type, dominating the east side of the Agora, offering a sheltered refuge to visitors and housing a series of shops.

You can read more here.


Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The famous Herod Atticus Odeon dominates the western end on the south slope of the Acropolis. It was the third Odeon constructed in ancient Athens after the Pericles Odeon on the south slope (fifth century) and the Agrippa’s Odeon in the ancient Agora (15 BC).

The roofed Odeon served mainly musical festivals, and could host up to 5,000 spectators. The monument was an extremely expensive construction, which is also confirmed by ancient testimonies referring mostly to the cedar wood used for the roof. The Odeon was destroyed in 267 BC at the incursion of the Heruli (or Erils), who burnt and flattened many buildings in ancient Athens; it was never reconstructed contrary to other edifices that suffered damages. In later years, the Odeon was incorporated within the fortifications of the city of Athens. It was from the Odeon that the French Philhellene General K. Favieros and his soldiers entered Acropolis in 1826 during the siege of Acropolis by the Turks, supplying the beleaguered Greeks with provisions and gunpowder. The excavations at the monument started in the mid-nineteenth century by the Archaeological Society and the archaeologist K. Pittakis, removing tones of earth. The monument was restored during 1952-1953 using marble from the Dionysus area; since 1957 it stages art festivals (concerts, ancient drama performances, etc.) mostly in the framework of the Athens Festival.

You can read more here.


The Visitors Center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

A public space, where everyone has free access and can participate in a multitude of cultural, educational, athletic, environmental and recreational activities and events. It includes the Greek National Opera, the National Library of Greece as well as the Stavros Niarchos Park, one of the largest green areas in Athens, covering 21 hectares. The SNFCC was created thanks to an exclusive grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which delivered it to the Greek State upon completion. SNFCC S.A. is a public-benefit nonprofit organization responsible for the operation, maintenance and management of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center and the Stavros Niarchos Park while developing and organizing its own series of cultural, educational, environmental and sports activities. It is supervised by the Greek Ministry of Finance.

You can read more here.

ANCIENT OLYMPIA

Ancient Olympia Archaeological Site

In the western Peloponnese, in the beautiful valley of the Alpheios river, lies the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece. Dedicated to Zeus, the father of the gods, it lies on the southwest foot of Mount Kronios, at the confluence of the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers, in a lush green landscape. Although secluded near the west coast of the Peloponnese, Olympia became the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece. Its fame rests upon the Olympic Games, the greatest national festival and a highly prestigious one world-wide, which was held every four years to honour Zeus.

According to UNESCO’s World Heritage website, there is probably no ancient archaeological site anywhere in the world more relevant in today’s world than Olympia. The stadium of Olympia, where the ancient Olympic Games were held, and the massive temple of Zeus, the largest temple in the Peloponnese, are the site’s most significant attractions.

The archaeological site of Olympia includes the sanctuary of Zeus and the various buildings erected around it, such as athletic premises used for the preparation and celebration of the Olympic Games, administrative buildings as well as other buildings and monuments.

You can read more here.


Ancient stadium of Olympia

The stadium of Olympia, situated east of the sacred Altis enclosure, was where the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia, the women’s games in honour of Hera, were held. The stadium received its final form (Stadium III) in the fifth century when the great temple of Zeus was built. By then the Games had become very popular, attracting a great number of both visitors and athletes, so a new stadium was deemed necessary. The new stadium was moved eighty-two metres to the east and seven metres to the north, and was surrounded by artificial banks for the spectators. After the construction of the Echo Hall in the mid-fourth century BC the stadium was isolated from the Altis, which shows that the Games had lost their purely religious character and had become more of an athletic and social event.

On the south bank is a podium for judges, and opposite this, on the north bank, the altar of Demeter Chamyne, whose priestess was the only woman allowed to watch the games. The stadium could accommodate approximately forty-five thousand people, but the banks never had permanent seats. The early German excavations first investigated the race track, but the recent German excavations of 1952-1966 uncovered the entire monument. In 2004, the ancient stadium of Olympia will re-live its former glory, since it will host the shot put event of the Athens Olympic Games.

You can read more here.


Archaeological Museum of Olympia

The museum is a must, as it has some of the most important works of Classical art such as the sculpted decoration of the temple of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the statue of Nike by Paionios and the famous Hermes of Praxiteles are major museum’s masterpieces. Equally important is the bronze collection, the richest of its kind in the world.

You can read more here.


Modern Olympic Games Museum

The Modern Olympic Games Museum was founded in 1961 and the Hellenic Olympic Committee is responsible for its operation. The museum was based on the collection of Georgios Papastefanou, who was the first to believe in the possibility of spreading the Olympic Idea and Education through a museum. For this purpose, he donated a building, which is located in the village of Olympia, along with his rich collection to the Hellenic Olympic Committee. The museum contains rare memorabilia from the Modern Olympic Games, photographs, medals, diplomas, cups, etc., and a valuable collection of rare stamps. Various Olympic Committees and individuals have donated items which admirably complement the Museum collection.

You can read more here.

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Covid-19 Info

Dear CISM friends,

Please pay attention to the following announcement:

According to the present COVID – 19 restrictions existing in our country, concerning all indoor events (conferences, symposia, exhibitions, etc), all participants must have with them:

1. Vaccination certificate issued by a certified authority (in English) OR

2. Certificate of Recovery from the SARS – CoV -2 (COVID-19) virus infection, issued by a public authority. The certificate is issued 30 days after the day of the first positive COVID – 19 test and is valid for 6 months after it (in English).

This announcement has to do only with your participation in the Symposium Hall and BoD meeting.

Regarding your entrance in Greece, please follow the restrictions on the link below:

https://travel.gov.gr/#/

Please let us know if this announcement affects your participation in the CISM international Symposium or the 3rd BoD meeting.