To the west of the Acropolis lie monuments that are rarely visited by tourists. With the exception of the very visible monument of Philopappos, on top of the hill of the same name, there are many other archaeological treasures in the area, yet they remain unknown to all but the most determined archaeology buffs.
Our open tour of the area will take place on Sunday, June 3rd and will begin at 5.30, at the church of St. Dimitri Loumbardiaris (see map). After briefly examining the church and explaining its odd apellation, we will walk towards a group of ancient Athenian houses, which has become known as “the prison of Socrates“. From there we will take the elegant Pikionis walk with its great views of the city below. We will make a stop at the Mousaion, a sanctuary of the Muses, after which we will reach the top of the hill, where the monument of Philopappos lies, in honor of the son of a deposed Asia-Minor ruler, renowned for his generosity towards the city.
On our way down, we will take an ancient street, called “dia coiles”, and examine what a typical neighborhood of Ancient Athens looked like. We will continue to Pnyx, where the assembly of citizens took place, the perfect place to analyse the workings of the Athenian democratic system. We will conclude our tour with the sanctuary of Pan, god of nature, and, a little below, the sanctuary of Jupiter, next to the 19th century Observatory.
NOTE: Our tour will take place in a beautiful natural setting, but I must warn you that in many places the ground is uneven and/or sloping. I do not recommend this tour to people with restricted mobility. Users of wheelchairs or strollers will find parts of our tour completely inaccessible, such as the steps surrounding the monument of Philopappos and the houses around Pnyx.