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Friday 12 October 2007

Athens – The Homeland of the Gods: Neoclassical Trilogy

As much as the Star Wars has its trilogy, Athens has it too, but it is the neoclassical trilogy of buildings, not the futuristic warfare. The three buildings contributing to the trilogy are the the Academy of Arts, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Vallianios National Library.

This trilogy is not to be missed if you are having a day walking around downtown of Athens. The buildings are located in between two of the three Metro interchange stations, Syntagma and Omonia, so they are right in the heart of the city.

The Athens Academy of Arts was designed by Theophile Hansen and completed in 1885.

Plato is watching over you, so don't worry. Whatever you do, he can put it in a philosophical way for you.

Socrates is in a deep thought. I wonder what philosophy is he coming out with next.

The fresco of the entrance hall of the Athens Academy of Arts features Zeus at the centre flanked by Athena on his right.

The guardian of Athens, Athena. In fact the local name of Athens is Athina. I wonder why it became Athens in English. I think Athina sounds much nicer. Athena is the goddess of wisdom, weaving and also the more disciplined side of war. Athena never had a consort or lover, and thus was also known as Athena Parthenos which literally means 'Virgin Athena.' The Parthenon in Acropolis takes its name from this title. Oh! I love Athena!

Apollo, archer-god of medicine and healing, light, truth, archery and also a bringer of death-dealing plague. He is also the god of music and poetry. Oh my goodness! He's taking care of so many things! On top of that, he still had time to chase after Daphne and had an affair with Princess Leucothea. Apart from those two, he had other lovers: Marpessa, Castalia, Cyrene, Hecuba, Cassandra, Coronis and Acantha. Holy cow! I wanna be like Apollo as well!

The giant columns at the entrance hall mimics the entrance to the Erechtheion at the Acropolis.

I think this is an archaeological studies student having her practical session on restoration. What do you think?

This is the building of the University of Athens designed by Christian Hansen and was completed in 1864. It is still serving as the university administrative office, though the main campus has been moved.

The National Library, completed in 1902.

The neoclassical trilogy can be visited after you have seen the evzones at the parliament building. Just stroll north (to the left if you are facing the parliament building) along the main road in front of the parliament building. When you arrive at a Y junction, take the main road of Panepistimlou (El Venizelou). These buildings are just a few blocks away along this main road.

If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Greece, here are the links:-

1. Athens – The Homeland of the Gods

2. The White Dream in Mykonos

3. Santorini – Almost Heaven

4. Miscellaneous


Anonymous said...

Feeling like going back again.

CK Ng said...

I'm glad that my blog gives you such an inspiration. :)

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