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  • Day22

    Temple of Hephaestus

    May 29, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    From wandering the Acropolis, we entered the lower grounds heading to the Temple of Hephaestus. This building was where a 500 strong council gathered to meet. Outside, a sculpture of Emperor Hadrian sat, in full regalia.

    Helen and I climbed what the boy’s affectionately named Backpacker’s Rock, but was actually called Areopagus Hill. This huge rock was where the Apostle Paul apparently delivered a sermon when he came to Athens. It’s quite a treacherous climb due to the granite being worn smooth from the millions of people who have climbed it over the Millennia.

    We then moved to a little church, dated 1000 AD, John took a thinking pose, before entering to light a candle to ensure our safe travels (at least, that’s what we think he was doing...)

    From there, we found a stunning spot for a beer break, and downed a few pints, as the day was warm, and we were getting a bit weary. Lots of laughs were had. Refreshed, off we went, wandering through the Plaka area, of restaurants, stall and shops. There was a stunning little sweet shop that took the fancy of Helen and I...

    After 18000 steps, we headed back to our apartment, to shower and ready to hunt and gather for dinner, and by that, I mean find a great restaurant.

    We had sent our scout Paul ahead, and he managed to find “Smile - the Family Restaurant”. We were sceptical, but we were tired and very hungry. What a gem, Paul redeemed his notorious restaurant seeking skills. We ordered the mixed grill (“for two”) with grilled kalamari, and grilled whole sea bream, and Greek salads. Suffice to say, we were absolutely stuffed and the food was amazing. We finished off with a dessert of Greek Yoghurt, with chocolate and mint (think Arnott mint slice biscuit, though John suggested toothpaste was closer haha). We explained the art of a flat white (and they succeeded well, and in return, they convinced us to try Metaxa, a Greek brandy, somewhat reminiscent of cough syrup! We laughed and then meandered around the corner to our apartment, and collapsed in to bed.
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  • Day4


    June 16, 2019 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Der Sonntag sollte eigentlich etwas entspannter werden, schlussendlich waren wir aber doch sehr lange in der Stadt unterwegs.
    Die Agora hatte von Anfang an auf unserer Liste gestanden.
    Sie war früher der Handelsplatz in Athen auf einer Fläche von etwa 120 mal 120 m. Hier gab es politische Institutionen, Tempel und Statuen von Helden. Der Philosoph Sokrates provozierte hier die Athener Bevölkerung und auch Dichter und Politiker, wie Aischylos, Euripides, Perikles und Themistokles verbrachten hier viel Zeit. Ebenso wie Platon und Aristoteles.
    Für über 1.000 Jahre war die Agora der Mittelpunkt des kommerziellen und gesellschaftlichen Lebens.
    Das heutige Bild der Agora stammt aus unterschiedlichen Jahrhunderten und spiegelt nicht mehr das antike Bild wider.

    Es gibt zwei Bauten die besonders hervor stechen: die Stoa des Attalos und der Hephaistos-Tempel.
    Die Stoa ist eine 116m lange, zweigeschossige Säulenhalle, in der wahrscheinlich Läden untergebracht waren.
    Die Agora war auf allen vier Seiten von einer Stoa umgeben.
    Die heutige Stoa ist eine Rekonstruktion, welches auch das Museum beherbergt.

    Der Hephaistos-Tempel ist sehr gut erhalten. Hephaistos war der Gott des Feuers, der Schmiedekunst und generell des Handwerks. Der Tempel der Akora stammt aus der zweiten Hälfte des 5. Jhds. v.Chr. und wurde bis 1834 als Kirche weiter genutzt. Dadurch wurde er erhalten.
    34 dorische Säulen bilden eine Ringhalle um den Tempelkern, in dem die Kultbilder des Hephaistos und der Athena aufgestellt waren. Auäen umläuft den Tempel ein Fries, bei dem drei senkrechte Balken Triglyphen genannt, als Metopen bezeichnete Felder voneinander trennen, die zum Teil mit Skulpturen geschmückt sind.
    Sie zeigen Taten der mythischen Heroen Herakles und Theseus.
    Das Originaldach des Tempels existiert nicht mehr und war einst mit roten Ziegeln bedeckt.

    Zwischen Stoa und Hephaistos-Tempel standen viele weitere Bauten, von denen größtenteils nur geringe Spuren erhalten sind.
    An der Westseite unterhalb des Tempels waren das Rathaus Athens, das Staatsarchiv und ein Rundtempel, die Thólos, als Versammlungsraum für die 50 Ratsherren der Stadt angesiedelt.
    Im Zentrum der Stadt wurde im Jahr 20 v.Chr. schließlich noch ein großes Odeon erbaut, ein Konzertsaal für etwa 1.000 Zuhörer.
    Quer durch die Agora zog sich die Heilige Straße, auf der die Festzüge während der Panathenäen auf die Akropolis zogen.
    Ihr Pflaster ist teilweise noch im Original erhalten.
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  • Day3

    All that Jatz

    September 24, 2017 in Greece ⋅ 🌙 23 °C

    We landed in Greece, cleared customs in record time and headed for the metro station. First little glitch... We forgot that Greece is basically a cash economy and could not purchase tickets. We spent the next 20 minutes searching for an ATM. All cashed up we navigated the metro like locals and with some helpful directions were at our accommodation for the night.

    Our accommodation was a quaint little 1 bedroom apartment in Athina. In this instance quaint refers to the fact our entire apartment was smaller than my bedroom.
    Our host Stefano, gave us the ground rules including don't flush your toliet paper (and can I tell you this is a bizarre feeling). A quick shower left us feeling envigorated and it was time to explore.

    * Note: Mum/Dad, I remember you once complained your apartment didn't have hot water. We were instructed to turn the water on at the mains 30-40 minutes before showering and turn it off just before showering.

    We found a little warren of eats at the foothills of the Acropolis and stopped for a bite to eat at All That Jatz. The service here was fantastic, largely due to the carafe and half of free wine we were given. With full bellies and heads buzzing we headed back to our apartment to catch up on much needed sleep.
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  • Day13

    Ruins of Ancient Greece

    October 4, 2017 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    We continued our mega tourist day with a walk though the Ancient Agora. The word agora means public space and this space is huge; we could of easily spent an entire day in this space. The space was originally a residential and burial area but by the early 6th Century BC it was redesigned into a public space. This space has been continually excavated by archaeologists since 1931. However it had been previously excavated over the years dating back to 1859. So as you can imagine there is a lot to be seen.

    The Stoa of Attalos, a trade centre and commercial hub built in approximately 150BC has been restored and now houses an museum focusing on Athenian Democracy. We skipped this however given the lack of signage in the grounds if I was to visit again I might start here to get a better understanding of the area.

    The highlight for me was Temple of Hephaestus which was constructed between 449 - 415BC and is the best preserved building from this time period. While not as grand as the Parthenon, it's completeness gives you an idea of the grandness of ancient Athenian architecture. The building is so well maintained due to it being in use until 1934. It served as a Greek Orthodox church until 1834 until King Otto (the first King of Greece) decreed the building should be used as a museum. In 1934 the use of the building as a museum discontinued and archaeological research on the site began. If you are wondering Hephaestus is the patron god of metal work, craftsmanship and fire.

    The other ruins are interesting too, there are a number of houses that are remarkably well preserved. But I really like the idea that I have now walked the same streets as Socrates did thousands of years ago.

    Nearby is Hadrian's Library, the highlight for me in this area was the statue of Nike (goddess if victory) despite losing her wings, arms and head she was beautiful. Also I love that the religious figurehead for winning, victories and competitiveness was female. Girl Power!

    The Roman Agora was again more ruins, I probably found this area the least interesting out if the three. Mostly like being a combination of it felt like it was more of the same and it wasn't particularly well sign posted so I wasn't sure what I was looking at.

    If I was to do this again I'd look at downloading some sort of audio tour to my phone before visiting any of these sites just so I could have some better context at what I was looking at.
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  • Day8

    Ancient Agora

    March 17, 2018 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Walked down from the Parthenon for about 10 minutes to the Agora, passing lots and lots of street vendors. Google maps was helpful in directing us the right way. Spent the next few hours walking through the Agora, once again helped my Rick Steve’s audio walking tour. After finishing up at the Agora, caught the metro to Victoria station, not far from the National Museum of Archeology. Kept a death grip on my phone while on the subway.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Thisseío, Thisseio, Thiseio, Thisio, Θησείο, Тисио, Тісіо

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