Underground Athens by Athens Underground: Sections Through Soil and History, plus Kerameikos (Winter timetable)
- Duration: 270 Minutes
- Location: Athens
- Product code: ATH101
Athens by Athens Underground: Sections Through Soil and History, plus
Duration (approximate): 4 hours and 30 minutes
Athens and it illustrious monuments attract millions of visitors every
year; few visitors however are aware that treasures also lie underground, as
this is a very ancient city; some of these
treasures are on display at a number of Athens Metro (subway) stations, as the
works to create the subway network were combined with meticulous and
painstaking archeological excavations. The resulting findings exposed through
the sections of hospitable Athenian soil include ancient houses, streets,
sanctuaries, cisterns, workshops and aqueducts, as well as more than 50,000
ancient artifacts. A large part of the findings is exhibited in six Athens Metro
stations, thus affording the latter the rare dual function of being modern
constructions full of movement and technology whilst also serving as museum and
stratigraphic sections of their particular localities.
This novel and delightful
half-day tour focuses on the exhibits of three modern Athens Metro stations, in
combination with an illuminating visit to the open-air archaeological site of
Kerameikos and Agora.
The programme is led by a licensed archaeologist-guide, lasts
approximately four hours and thirty minutes and is offered round the year.
Due to the closing times of Kerameikos archaeological site as well as to
make the best use of daylight, we have two versions of this tour, namely one for
the summer period opening times and the other for the winter period, as
(November-April): Kerameikos archaeological site (12:00 hrs start) -
Monastiraki metro station - Syntagma metro station - Acropolis metro station (18:30
Summer schedule: (May-October):
Acropolis metro station (15:30 hrs start) - Syntagma metro station - Monastiraki
metro station - Kerameikos archaeological site (20:00 hrs end)
Points of Interest and
Monastiraki metro station: Of particular
interest to archaeology buffs will be an underground exhibition showing a
portion of the course of Eridanos, a stream repeatedly mentioned in accounts of
ancient Athens and which flowed from Lycabettus
hill, through the Agora of ancient Athens
to the archaeological site of Kerameikos. The stream's bed was covered with
earth for the most part since antiquity, only to be revealed during the Athens
Syntagma metro station: Excavations here during the construction of the station revealed a
sculpture workshop dating from the Classic Era, a Roman bath complex, a
cemetery dating back to the sub-Mycenaean and the Byzantine times, a section of
the Peisistratian Aqueduct, the ancient road leading from the gates of the walls
of Athens to the municipalities of Messogaia and the bed of Eridanos stream.
Acropolis metro station: The first
level of the station houses copies of sculptures of the Parthenon, along with
findings from the excavations at the station, including items from the daily
lives of ancient Athenians as well as artifacts of public life, spanning in all
from the 17th century BC to the 12th century AD. A stratigraphic section of and
ancient road is exhibited in the second level, whilst in the third level and
along the train platforms for a length of 25 m (82 ft) there are replicas of
the Parthenon zophoros, the originals of which are in the British Museum.
site: Kerameikos (meaning 'the place of the ceramics') was the main area of
production of the famed pottery of Attica. As
the region was crossed by a stream and was prone to frequent flooding,
Kerameikos was not suitable as a settlement and gradually became a place of
burial, becoming in the end the most important necropolis of ancient Athens.
At Kerameikos our licensed archaeologist-guide will be enlightening us about
the findings housed in its little museum as well as about the functions of this
very important part of ancient Athens.
Meeting points and times:
The below two meeting points have been selected conveniently to cover
most central Athens
hotels, both by foot and via the nearby metro stations.
(A) Winter schedule
(November-April): At 11:45 just outside Monastiraki
(B) Summer schedule
(May-October): At 15:15 hrs just outside Acropoli
(A) Winter schedule: The
tour ends at Acropoli metro station.
(B) Summer schedule: The
tour ends at Monastiraki metro
Licensed archeologist-guide throughout the tour
Museum and metro tickets
Please note that all times and durations are indicative and may vary.