Mycenae

Mycenae. www.shutterstock.com

Perhaps one of the most important and awe-inspiring sites of ancient Greece, the ancient city of Mycenae was the home of Agamemnon, the king who united the Greek city-states and proceeded to demolish the city of Troy. During the Bronze Age, Mycenae dominated the culture of the area, which is normal when considering the impressive structures that remain today. The world famous Lions’ Gate still stands, constructed from large stones stacked upon one another. Besides, the site features the great cylindrical-shaped tomb that is often considered to be the burial place of Agamemnon’s father, Atreus.

Mycenae. www.shutterstock.com
Mycenae. www.shutterstock.com
Mycenae. www.shutterstock.com
Mycenae. www.shutterstock.com

Olympia

Ancient Olympia. www.shutterstock.com
Ancient Olympia. www.shutterstock.com

A sanctuary dedicated to the worship of Zeus, the king of the gods, Olympia was the location of the Pan-Hellenic Games, held every four years. Today, these games are considered the first Olympics, a consideration that has made the site quite famous. Within the Temple of Zeus was housed a jaw-dropping statue of the deity that stood an impressive twelve meters tall and consisted as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The site contains a myriad of ruins, including the thermai, or ancient baths, various temples, the Heroon or monument of the unknown hero, and much more.

Ancient Olympia. www.shutterstock.com
Ancient Olympia. www.shutterstock.com
Ancient Olympia. www.shutterstock.com
Ancient Olympia. www.shutterstock.com

Vergina (Aigai)

The ancient city of Aigai, near Vergina, Greece, was known as the first capital of the Macedonian Kingdom. Notably, this is an incredibly large burial site, featuring over 300 tombs. These tombs are structures lavishly decorated and standing above ground. Aigai is also known as the city where Alexander the Great, the conqueror of much of the the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, was proclaimed king. Today, Aigai, which comes from the Greek word for goats, is known as the burial site of the Macedonian King Philip II too.

Ancient Macedonian tomb of king Philip the second found at Vergina (Aigai) in Greece. www.shutterstock.com
Ancient Macedonian tomb of King Philip the second found at Vergina (Aigai) in Greece. www.shutterstock.com

Sparta

As the great rival of Athens in ancient Greece, Sparta prided itself on the iron-hearted warrior culture that remained the backbone of their civilization. The archaeological site of Sparta today is more widespread and scattered than many of the ancient cities of Greece. As this is also the legendary home of Menelaus, the brother of Agamemnon, one of the more well-preserved and studied ruins is called the Menelaion. Despite its sparse culture as far as art and impressive buildings go, the Spartan ruins still have an acropolis and city which includes a theater.

Ancient theater in Sparta
Ancient theater in Sparta. www.shutterstock.com

The Athenian Agora

Back in Athens, arguably the second most famous archaeological site in Greece is the ancient Agora, located just below the Acropolis. In Greek, the word “agora” refers to a gathering or marketplace, which is basically what this collection of ruins represents. Since Agora was located in the center of the city, it remained in use for nearly 5,000 years, undergoing many new construction projects and demolitions. Now, archaeologists work to explore the site that refers to ancient Athens and visitors can enjoy the rebuilt Stoa of Attalos, a long colonnaded building that extends along the edge of the site and learn about the well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus.

Stoa of Attalos. www.shutterstock.com
Stoa of Attalos. www.shutterstock.com

Sources: Wikipedia, Culture trip