Famous Attractions in Greece
The Acropolis in Athens is Greece's most famous landmark. (Photo: Images )
Greece's ancient history has produced so many landmarks, many of them world-famous, that the entire country could be considered a famous landmark. When you plan your trip to Greece, however, you will find that some of the landmarks are mentioned in every travel guide, travel blog or travel website. These sites are the most visited, therefore, the most famous landmarks in Greece.
The Acropolis in Athens, easily Greece's most famous landmark, remains as a display of the longevity of Greek civilization and a tribute to Greek architecture. The first structures of the Acropolis, or raised citadel, were constructed in the 5th century before Christ. Although there are several buildings and monuments in the Acropolis, the most recognizable is the Parthenon, which was a temple built for the Greek goddess, Athena. The three other main monuments of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Acropolis are the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion. The Propylaea is the entrance gate to the Acropolis; the temple of Athena Nike was built to worship Athena as the Goddess of Victory; and the Erechtheion is another temple that was used for religious rituals.
Rhodes, the capital of the island Dodecanese, was originally planned by Hippodamus of Miletus in 5th century B.C. Fortified during the Crusades and home to mosques and baths from Ottoman rule, Rhodes offers visitors the chance to connect with the history of a thriving medieval city. The Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes' most famous landmark, is now a museum, but used to be a Byzantine fortress until it was converted to a residence by Knights of the Order of Saint John, in the early 14th century. Within the Old Town of Rhodes, you can visit other famous Greek landmarks along the Street of Knights, such as the Hospital of the Knights, the Church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Orthodox Cathedral of Rhodes.
The archaeological site of Olympia continues to be one of Greece's most famous landmarks because it was the site of the first Olympic Games, in 776 B.C. Olympia was built as a sanctuary to worship Zeus, the father of the Greek gods and goddesses. The Altis, or sanctuary, contains two main temples. You can view the ruins of the Temple of Zeus and the Temple of Hera, who was one of Zeus's sisters and his wife. The Doric structures of Olympia have influenced architecture throughout history, beginning with temples built in southern Italy and Sicily in the 5th century B.C.
Besides the Acropolis, Athens has several other landmarks. Two of the most famous Greek landmarks in Athens are Hadrian's Arch and the Theatre of Dionysos. Hadrian's Arch is the symbolic entrance to the city that was built early in the 2nd century A.D. in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, after he visited Athens. The Theatre of Dionysos, built in the 5th century B.C., once hosted performances by Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylos and Aristophanes.
The entire tiny Greek island of Delos is an archaeological site that has been continuously excavated since 1872. The birthplace of Zeus's son, Apollo, Delos is a sanctuary dedicated to Apollo that has attracted visitors for centuries. Delos was also the birthplace of Artemis and ancient Greece's religious center. The partial excavation of the ancient site in Delos has unearthed several famous landmarks. The most famous landmarks on Delos are the Sanctuary of Apollo, several agoras, or places of assembly and the famous Terrace of the Lions, marble lion statues dedicated to Apollo.