The Acropolis is the most important ancient site in the Western world. Crowned by the Parthenon, it stands sentinel over Athens, visible from almost everywhere within the city. Its monuments of Pentelic marble gleam white in the midday sun and gradually take on a honey hue as the sun sinks, while at night they stand brilliantly illuminated above the city.
Evans’ reconstruction brings to life the palace’s most significant parts, including the reconstructed columns; painted deep brown-red with gold-trimmed black capitals, they taper gracefully at the bottom. Vibrant recreations of frescoes add another dramatic dimension to the palace ruins.
Held every four years until their abolition by killjoy Emperor Theodosius I in AD 393, the Olympic Games were held here for at least 1000 years. The World Heritage–listed site of Ancient Olympia is still a recognisable complex of temples, priests’ dwellings and public buildings.
Of all the archaeological sites in Greece, Ancient Delphi is the one with the most potent ‘spirit of place’. Built on the slopes of Mt Parnassos, overlooking the Gulf of Corinth and extending into a valley of cypress and olive trees, this World Heritage site’s allure lies both in its stunning setting and its inspiring ruins.
This outstanding museum is one of the largest and most important in Greece. There are artefacts spanning 5500 years from neolithic to Roman times, but it’s rightly most famous for its extensive Minoan collection. A visit here will greatly enhance your understanding and appreciation of Crete’s history and culture.
Kastro & Upper Town From opposite the upper entrance ticket office, a path (signposted ‘kastro ’) leads up to the fortress. The fortress was built by the Franks and extended by the Turks. The path descends from the ticket office leading to Agia Sofia , which served as the palace church, and where some frescoes survive. Steps descend from here to a T-junction.
About3km east of the town of Malia, this grand palace was built at about the same time as the two other great Minoan palaces of Phaestos and Knossos. The First Palace dates back to around 1900 BC and was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1700 BC, only to be levelled again by another temblor around 1450 BC.
Begin your tour of the Knights’ Quarter at Liberty Gate , crossing the small bridge into the Old Town. In a medieval building is the original site of the Museum of Modern Greek Art . Inside you’ll find maps and carvings.