Arts & Culture

8 Contemporary Landmarks of Athens

Athens center to the coast: an architectural walk with modern pit stops to challenge the way you view the city


Athens isn’t just defined by a single architectural style. What you get is a hotchpotch of layers as each period in the city’s history slowly straddles and overtakes the previous one. The fusion of styles merge and muddle in a convoluted way so that a walk through the capital, apart from being a stroll through history, is also a dialogue of different eras. Pause, listen carefully, and you’ll hear the pulsating vibrations of scattered monuments challenging the misunderstood modern metropolis to wriggle from the grasp of the magnificent Parthenon.

Compete it does, as it seeks its own present-day identity that makes it stand apart from past glories. Modern-day Athens is using the turbulence and quandary of its generation to leave a legacy for the future – creating its own kleos (what the ancients called immortal fame).

ATHENS TOWERS

Function: 105 offices and shops, seven elevators (six public, one service) and parking space for 340 cars, but – alas – no observation deck so you’ll either have to sweet-talk a receptionist or apply for special access that’s relatively easy to get for sightseeing but not available for base jumping.

History: Athens acquired its first and only skyscraper in 1971 thanks to a briefly-imposed developmental law passed during the Greek military junta (1967-1974) granting permission for the erection of skyscrapers.

Architects: Construction company, Alivertis-Dimopoulos, started work on the double tower in 1967, using minimalist, futuristic designs by architects Ioannis Vikelas and Ioannis Kybritis.

Description: The tallest of the two glass towers has 28 floors (including basement) at 103 meters high. It is connected to a shorter 65-meter 12-floor tower via a first-floor bridge. Despite two earthquakes which were over magnitude 6 (that toppled ordinary buildings), the imposing structure steadfastly protrudes from the city skyline, a remnant of the architectural legacy of a controversial coup’s grandiose plans.

{Info: 2-4 Mesogeion Avenue, Ambelokipi • Tel. (+30) 217.705.817}

ATHENS HILTON

Function: An upscale luxury hotel with 506 rooms, an on-site restaurant and the Galaxy bar on the 13th floor with panoramic views of Athens. The hotel also has a spa and a 25mx15m outdoor swimming pool.

History: At its opening, hotel magnate Conrad Hilton hailed it as “the most beautiful Hilton in the world”. Many Athenians, however, lamented that it overshadowed the Acropolis with its 65-meter height, making it the tallest city building at the time. Nonetheless, the impact of guests such as Aristotle Onassis, Frank Sinatra, Ingmar Bergman, Anthony Quinn and the Rolling Stones running naked down the corridors made it the place to be. Its celebrity aura overtook the region that came to be known as the ‘Hilton area’.

Architects: Four top Greek architects (Emmanouil Vourekas, Prokopis Vassiliadis, Spyros Staikos and Antonis Georgiades) worked on its construction from 1958-1963. In 2003, Alexandros Tombazis and Charis Bougadelis added a seven-floor northern wing with 74 rooms ahead of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Description: A mix of classical and modernist elements evoke the contradictions of 60s architecture, that reflected the incongruities of the lifestyle at the time. The undeniable crowning glory is the monumental relief by prominent 20th-century Greek artist Yiannis Moralis, etched onto its facade.

{Info: 46 Vasilissis Sofias Avenue • Tel. (+30) 210.728.1000}

ATHENS CONCERT HALL (MEGARON MOUSIKIS)

Function: Two large and two small concert halls offering first-class performances, conference centers, an auditorium, a digital library, gift shop, restaurant, new ice-skating rink for the winter and a lawn for starry, outdoor summer concerts.

History: Soprano Alexandra Trianti’s vision for an opera house to rival the world’s finest took the form of bricks and mortar with the inauguration of the first two classical halls of the Megaron Mousikis in 1991. Initially known as the Lambrakis shrine, thanks to the efforts of reclusive press tycoon Christos Lambrakis and the backing of the Friends of Music Society which he headed.

Architects: Acoustic studies were commissioned first, laying specifications adhered to by architects Emmanouil Vourekas, Ilias Skroumpelis and their international colleagues.

Description: The structural divisions created for optimum acoustic quality are a modern retelling of the great rectangular halls of a megaron (ancient Grecian palace complex). Despite the austere Doric lines and garish exterior, the venue is a warm and welcoming place inside. Polished marble, dazzling chandeliers and magnificent foyers are ideal for a chat between arias and bel canto.

{Info: Corner of Vasilissias Sofias and Kokkali streets • Tel. (+30) 210.728.2333 • Access: Megaron Mousikis metro station}

ACROPOLIS MUSEUM

Function: A new Parthenon ‒ displaying artifacts from the ancient site ‒ standing as a monument of the modern Greek image and custodian of Greek heritage.

History: Greek statesman Konstantinos Karamanlis chose the site in 1976, but its grand opening decades later, in 2009, reignited the age-old debate of whether the Parthenon Marbles should be repatriated from Britain.

Architects: Swiss-French deconstructivist Bernard Tschumi wanted to create a modern building that would fit into the picturesque landscape using light, movement and mathematical precision inspired by the clarity of Ancient Greek structures.

Description: A glass floor allows visitors to peer into the ruins found during the construction stage of the museum while the sloped floor alludes to the upward ascent towards the Parthenon. Highlights include the caryatid statues of the Erechtheion minus the missing kore removed by Lord Elgin. The Parthenon gallery, on the third level, is rotated 23 degrees from the rest of the building so as to be aligned directly with the Parthenon.

{Info: 15 Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, Athens • Tel. (+30) 210.900.0900 • Access: Akropoli Metro Station}

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Function: Modern art museum with library, labs, project rooms, auditoriums, a restaurant and a terrace with 360-degree views. Though still not officially open, visitors can get a sneak preview from time-to-time: June 21 (Concert on International Music Day) | Oct-Jan 2017 (Temporary display) | Nov (‘The Young Soloist’ children’s workshop).

History: Constructed by Ioannis Fix of the Bavarian Fuchs family in 1893, the FIX brewery, towering over scattered homes around the west banks of the now-buried Ilissos River, was once synonymous with feta cheese and souvlaki.

Architects: Post-war modernist architect Takis Zenetos renovated the building in 1957 into a state-of-the art facility with a glass-covered ground-floor facade so passers-by could enjoy the beer-making process. Abandoned in the 70s, part of the building was demolished in 1994 to make way for a metro station of the same name. Following a public uproar, 3SK Stylianidis architects were finally contracted to revamp the building.

Description: The Kallirrois Street entrance conjures the image of the now-defunct river bed. Inside, escalators lead visitors through 18,142 square meters of white-colored surroundings with sunlight filtering through the glass to create a contrast of light and shade.

{Info: Flanked by Frantzi Street and Kallirrois and Syngrou avenues • Tel. (+30) 210.924.2111 • Access: Fix Metro Station}

ETHNIKI ASFALISTIKI (HELLENIC GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY)

Function: Two sets of office buildings with the curved building housing the national insurance company. There is also an independent 500-seat conference center, library and cafe with a concealed 5-level underground parking lot for 550 vehicles.

History: The main issue during the construction of the building that opened to the public in 2006, just before the inauguration of the Onassis Cultural Center across the block, was to best utilize the view of the Acropolis. The aim was to create a building complex that would interact with the city.

Architects: Swiss architect Mario Botta is known for his use of brick and geometry. For this building he collaborated with local-based Sparch architects.

Description: The curved 6-floor building facing the Acropolis conveys motion, breaking the monotony of the curtain of boxed-in buildings that define Syngrou Avenue. The sharp corner is dramatic, giving emphasis to the slightly elevated plaza between it and the other 4-level oblong structure of office blocks. Inside the buildings there is are lighting holes that let in a confetti of natural light.

{INFO: 103-105 Syngrou Avenue, Athens • Tel. (+30) 210.909.9000}

ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTER

Function: The building’s architecture screams its very raison d’etre! A space to host modern cultural expression in all its forms, it has two state-of-the-art theaters with superb acoustics, exhibition spaces and lecture centers. There’s also a ground-floor cafe and a top-floor Michelin-starred restaurant, Hytra, with knock-out views from the Acropolis to the Saronic Gulf.

History: Soaring on the euphoria of Greece’s euro entry, the idea for the modern facility was conceived in 2000. The foundations were laid on a 3,000-square-meter plot of land covering a city block in 2004, the year Athens hosted the Olympics. Six years later, the building was inaugurated in December 2010, in the wake of the financial crisis.

Architects: French architectural practice, Architecture Studio’s design of white marble bands encapsulating the building’s facade was chosen from 66 other proposals in an international competition.

Description: An excellent sample of contemporary design. Simplicity with a twist thanks to the facade’s outer metal bands that play with the use of light, doubling the exterior as a projection screen. Popping out of the corner is a 30-meter high painting by Greek graffiti artist iNO, depicting a face emerging from crumpled paper. The real surprises lie within the art facility that covers 18,000-square-meters of internal floor space over 16 levels (though you wouldn’t know it because nine of these are underground).

{Info: 107-109 Syngrou Avenue, Neos Kosmos • Tel. (+30) 213.017.8000}

STAVROS NIARCHOS FOUNDATION CULTURAL CENTER

Function: A modern-day agora and a new home for the National Opera that has outgrown its current Academias Street address, with a 1,400-seat opera hall, 400-seat black box theater, school of dance as well as a National Library housing 2 million books, and a research center right at the center of a 170,000 square meter park.

History: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced its ambitious gift to the Greek people in 2006. Construction work started in 2012 with a cheeky industrial “dance of cranes” to celebrate. Now, the €596 million project is ready and set to be handed over to the Greek state in June in the hopes of heralding a new era for Greek culture (and architecture!)

Visitors, however, can still enjoy the park and a treasure-trove of activity – a taste of bigger and better things to come – at the Visitors Center.

Architect: Award-winning Italian Renzo Piano, responsible for iconic buildings round the world such as the Shard in London, the Nemo in Amsterdam, the Living Roof in California and more, was selected as one of the most influential people by TIME in 2006, the year the building was conceived. Piano says that he wanted to design a vibration more than a monument.

Design: Piano, in a playful mood, envisioned a monument rising out of the ground like a dislodged piece of the earth’s crust. As you walk up a 5-degree slope you don’t even realize you’re going upwards until it occurs to you that you’re walking onto a living roof, covered by an energy canopy that utilizes the wind and sun. With its back to the Acropolis, it looks to the future with its gaze to the sea.

{Info: Faliron seafront, southern Athens • Tel. (+30) 210.877.8396}

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The New Greek Americans Documentary

 

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Part 3 of our documentary series, THE NEW GREEK AMERICANS, crowdfunding campaign will blast off on MAY 24, 2016 @1:00 pm PST. The site will be available to you exactly at 1:00 pm PST on Tuesday. Please help complete the 3rd and final doc feature of the Greek American trilogy, highlighting the 2nd and 3rd generations. Please share this with your friends and family!!

 

Please help us complete THE NEW GREEK AMERICANS. We need your help and support! Greeks Supporting Greeks! Έλληνες Υποστηρίζουν Έλληνες!!! CLICK ON LINK BELOW AND MAKE YOUR PLEDGE! www.seedandspark.com/studio/the-new-greek-americans

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Jazz acts tuning up for annual festival at Athens’s Technopolis

Portugal’s Mario Laginha Trio will play the last concert on the opening night of the festival.

A total of 18 bands with some serious chops are slated to perform at the 16th Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival in the hip downtown Athenian district of Gazi from May 25 to 29. The event will also feature a series of parallel activities aimed at all ages. Admission to all of the concerts, which start at 9 p.m., is free of charge.

Organizers hope this latest edition will match if not surpass last year’s attendance success, which saw around 30,000 jazz fans flocking to the open-air Technopolis venue for the various concerts and special events that are organized in parallel.

The festival opens on Wednesday, May 25, with performances by two local acts, the municipal Athens Big Band and Momo Trio, which presents original work from its latest vinyl album release. The evening will close with Portugal’s Mario Laginha Trio performing contemporary numbers.

Israel’s Gilad Hekselman and Yotam Silberstein, Hungary’s Veronika Harcsa and Balint Gyemant, Norway’s Marius Neset and the Kratochvil, Ackerman and Zangi Jazz Trio from the Czech Republic will go on stage on Thursday, May 26.
Friday, May 27, the festival’s third day, kicks off with the Ineke / Dimitriadis / Stanik / Guilfoyle Group from the Netherlands, followed by Luxembourg’s Pol Belardi’s Force and Switzerland’s Beat Kaestli and Marc Perrenoud Trio. The Hidden Orchestra, founded by British musician, composer and producer Joe Acheson, is the evening’s final act.

The Military Big Band of Athens will get things under way with some big sound jazz standards on Saturday, May 28, followed by Belgium’s Pierre de Surgeres Trio, Spain’s Nono Garcia and Pablo Novoa and the Naoko Sakata Trio from Sweden.

An appearance by Greece’s TriCoolOre featuring Cypriot trumpet player Pantelis Stoikos will open the festival’s final day on Sunday, May 29. Next on stage is Quadro Nuevo from Germany, while the festival will close with Turkey’s Erkan Ogur and the Telvin Trio.


Technopolis, 100 Pireos, Gazi. For more information, go to www.technopolis-athens.com.

SOURCE: eKathimerini

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POWER MUSE PRODUCTIONS – GIORGOS TSALIKIS

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By popular demand, Giorgos Tsalikis joins us in Las Vegas for a Live Summer Kick Off concert at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino.  Giorgos is considered one of Greece’s most upbeat performers right now.  His high energy dance hits and classic laika tunes promise everyone a fun and memorable night! Joining Giorgos is Eleftheria Eleftheriou.  You might remember Eleftheria Greece’s X FACTOR where she was a favorite to win.
Greetings from Giorgos
Greetings from Giorgos
Contact us at 877-679-9715
to purchase tickets
#PMPinVegas    #Tsalikis_in_Vegas
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Orthodox Easter in Greece: A Celebration of Spirit, Traditions and Nature

Considered to be the most important holiday on the Greek calendar and one of the richest in folklore, the celebration of Orthodox Easter is extraordinary throughout Greece. While there are many local customs associated with Easter, there are several observed by all, which herald the rebirth of nature and spirit, and constitute a vibrant aspect of Greek folk culture that is rich in meaning and symbolism.

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Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday (Pascha), celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, and rose from the dead after three days on Easter Sunday. Preparations for the Orthodox Easter come to a climax toward the end of Holy Week between Palm and Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayer and penance, and is followed by a 50-day period called Eastertide, which ends with Pentecost Sunday.

PASXA SANTORINI

Feasting around Greece at Easter

Easter is also for Greece the most joyous celebration of spring, with numerous festivities, deeply rooted traditions anddelicious culinary offerings, celebrated throughout the Greek countryside and islands.

From Crete to Macedonia, Easter customs become a herald of the spirit’s and nature’s rebirth. Even in today’s modern society, centuries-old traditions are still being kept alive and respected by younger generations. It is the one time of the year when families are expected to be together and people travel all over the country to celebrate Easter with their loved ones. There are many places of exquisite beauty to visit at Easter time, promising a festive and traditional atmosphere to locals and visitors alike.

easter table

The Easter table is a reflection of tradition combined with the seasonality of Greek cuisine. Slowly roasted whole lambs on a spit, red easter eggs, braided sweet breads (tsoureki), Easter soup (mayiritsa) and grilled tripe-roll (kokoretsi) are among the most typical Easter dishes throughout the countryside. Local specialties like the traditional ‘mastelo’ roast on the island of Sifnos, lazarakia sweet bread buns of Astypalaia, and Zakynthian traditional kouloura cake are among the many other goods decorating the celebration tables around the country.

SOURCE: greeknewsagenda

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National Museum of Contemporary Art to receive its first visitors in May

The museum’s grand re-opening after being revamped is scheduled to take place later on in the year

Thursday, April 28, 2016

National Museum of Contemporary Art to receive its first visitors in May

The National Museum of Contemporary Art is set to receive its first visitors on Thursday, 19 May, while the grand re-opening is scheduled to take place later in the year.The renovation work on the Museum is funded by the NSRF.

Visitors at the museum in May will have the opportunity to watch a performance entitledLagune by Swiss artist Denis Savary and choreographer Marcella Manoliadi.

The performance, which is the first in a series of cooperation between the Museum and the Fluxum Foundation in Switzerland, will celebrate 100 years of the dadaism in Zurich.

SOURCE: TO VIMA

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LA HELLENIC RADIO Kicks Off April 24!!!

LA HELLENIC RADIO

Almost there! FIRST live show this Sunday, April 24th 1pm-4pm Pacific Time, (4-7pm Eastern Time and 11pm-2am Greek time!) Taking requests for your fave songs and singers!

Κοντεύουμε! ΠΡΩΤΗ εκπομπή αυτή την Κυριακή, 24 Απριλίου 1-4μμ ώρα δυτικής ακτής ΗΠΑ, (4-7μμ ώρα ανατολικής ακτής ΗΠΑ και 11μμ-2πμ ώρα Ελλάδος!)

Πείτε μας τα αγαπημένα τραγούδια και τους αγαπημένους ερμηνευτές σας!

www.lahellenicradio.com

or on your android, iphone, tablet and in your car

via the free TuneIn radio app—>LA Hellenic Radio

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Αφιέρωση στην αφιέρωση δεν γίνεται…Σάκη Ρουβά!

Στέφανος Κορκολής
Απορημένος!

”Η τελετή απονομής των βραβείων Madame Figaro Γυναίκες της Χρονιάς 2015 πραγματοποιήθηκε την Πέμπτη 14 Απριλίου 2016 στο Δημοτικό Θέατρο Στροβόλου. Οικοδεσπότης της εκδήλωσης ήταν ο κορυφαίος σταρ Σάκης Ρουβάς, που με το σπάνιο ταλέντο του και την μοναδική του λάμψη έκανε τη βραδιά των βραβεύσεων, μια βραδιά που θα μας μείνει αξέχαστη! Η εκδήλωση κορυφώθηκε με την προβολή της ιδιόχειρης αφιέρωσης του Σάκη Ρουβά που ήταν οι στίχοι του τραγουδιού ”Της θάλασσας νανούρισμα”, το οποίο και ερμήνευσε, αφιερώνοντας το σε όλες τις γυναίκες τις Κύπρου. http://www.tlife.gr/…/I-idioxeiri-afierosi-toy-Sak…/0-100529

«Θέλω να πω το δικό μου “ευχαριστώ”, αφιερωμένο σε κάθε γυναίκα», είπε ο κορυφαίος Έλληνας σταρ και άρχισε ένα ερμηνει το τραγούδι «Της Θάλασσας Νανούρισμα».
http://www.star.gr/Pages/Lifestyle.aspx…

”Ο τραγουδιστής έγραψε τους στίχους του τραγουδιού «Της θάλασσας νανούρισμα» και το ερμήνευσε, αφιερώνοντας το σε όλες τις γυναίκες της Κύπρου, ενώ το κοινό τον αποθέωσε για μία ακόμη φορά.”
http://www.youweekly.gr/…/apothewthike-o-sakis-rouvas-sta-…/

ΠΟΙΑΝΟΥ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΟΙ ΣΤΙΧΟΙ;;;

Απορώ, πως ο κύριος Σάκης Ρουβάς αφιερώνει εν αγνοία μου, χωρίς καν να αναφέρει ότι οι στίχοι ανήκουν στην μητέρα μου…απεναντίας, ο ίδιος μιλώντας στο κεντρικό δελτίο ειδήσεων του καναλιού Σίγμα, αποκάλυψε πως έχει ετοιμάσει μία ιδιόχειρη επιστολή αφιερωμένη στις γυναίκες και τόνισε ότι θα την ερμηνεύσει κιόλας στη σκηνή του Δημοτικού Θεάτρου Στροβόλου.
http://www.tlife.gr/…/Sakis-Royvas-I-megali-ekplik…/0-100511

Ελπίζω σε κάποια στιγμή, επειδή αυτή την στιγμή βρίσκομαι στην Κύπρο και φίλοι της μουσικής μου, με ενημέρωσαν για το συγκεκριμένο απόσπασμα της σχετικής αφιέρωσης που έκανε ο ίδιος στη βραδιά των βραβείων, ο αγαπητός Σάκης (του οποίου για να μην ξεχνιόμαστε, του έχω γράψει μαζί με τον Γιώργο Παυριανό, το τραγούδι ‘’Σ’ έχω ερωτευτεί’’), να έχει διευκρινίσει, αν μη τι άλλο ότι αυτά τα λόγια, αυτοί οι στίχοι της ιδιόχειρης επιστολής που συγκίνησαν τον κόσμο, όπως αναγράφει και το σχετικό δημοσίευμα http://www.gossip-tv.gr/…/royvas-to-sygkinitiko-tragoydi-po… , ότι ανήκουν στην ΜΗΤΕΡΑ ΜΟΥ, επίσης μια σπουδαία γυναίκα (η οποία πολύ πρόσφατα έχασε τον σύζυγό της και πατέρα μου).
Εύχομαι πραγματικά, ο κύριος Ρουβάς να υπέδειξε αυτή την ανάλογη συναισθηματική διάθεση και προς τη δημιουργό αυτού του τραγουδιού κι απλώς το συγκεκριμένο απόσπασμα που μου μεταφέρθηκε να είναι ένα λάθος του μοντάζ ή ο ηλεκτρονικός δαίμον του τυπογραφείου (αναφερόμενος στα διάφορα site που αναπαρήγαγαν την είδηση). Για να γίνω πιο κατανοητός, είναι πάντα χαρά μου να ακούω τα τραγούδια μου, αρκεί να αναφέρονται οι δημιουργοί.
Να το θεωρήσω λοιπόν, άγνοια, παραπληροφόρηση ή έντεχνη παραπλάνηση του κοινού;
Πείτε μου και θα το δεχτώ.
Και τέλος να αναφέρω ότι εκτός από την Νάνα Μούσχουρη όπως αναφέρεται στο σχετικό βίντεο https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA2f2MXTIN4

Το τραγούδι αυτό έχουν ερμηνεύσει:
Μαρία Σπυροπούλου (Πρώτη Εκτέλεση) στο δίσκο ”Ήλιος Θάνατος”
Άλκηστις Πρωτοψάλτη
Λυδία Σέρβου
Μάριος Φραγκούλης ντουέτο με την Σοφία Μανουσάκη
Με πολλές εκπλήξεις πραγματοποιήθηκαν, για ενδέκατη συνεχόμενη χρονιά, τα βραβεία “Madame Figaro Γυναίκες της Χρονιάς”.
TLIFE.GR
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Greece’s Larissa ancient theatre opens to public after 20 centuries

One of the largest and well- preserved theaters of Greek antiquity opened to the public for the first time after 2,000 years last week in the city of Larissa.

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Dated back to the early third century BC, the Larissa ancient theater lies on the south slope of a hill called Fortress at the city’s heart, archaeologist Stavroula Sdrolia, head of the seventh Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

In antiquity, apart from theatrical performances, it also hosted the assemblies of the senior regional authority, while at the end of the first century BC, it was turned into a Roman arena, she explained.

Constructed almost exclusively of marble with rich relief decoration, the theatre could host up to 12,000 spectators.

After an earthquake in 1868, a big part of the theatre was covered by the ruins of the houses but excavation works in recent years have uncovered it.

Starting last week, visitors have access to the area of the orchestra and the stage, since restoration works are still in progress for the other parts of the theatre.

“Many locals and especially schools came in the first day of the opening. We hope that also tourists from abroad will seize the opportunity to enjoy this unique ancient theatre,” Sdrolia said.

Entrance to the site, some 200 km north of Athens, is free.

Source: Xinhua, TheToc.gr

Photos: http://www.larissa-theatre.com

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Ai Weiwei to present first solo show in Greece at Cycladic Art Museum

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