It's not the honor that you take with you, but the heritage you leave behind...
Greece has a rich and long-term history and heritage. Greece’s Classical Heritage both in the south and the north, marks the birth of Western civilization. Macedonian Heritage signifies the birth of Hellenistic period and the globalization of Greek values. Byzantine Heritage marks the establishment and victory of previously persecuted Christianity and stands as a counterweight, to the declining “medieval” West, while, Modern Heritage imprints, objectifies and demonstrates the interactions of cultures and the cultural and spiritual rebirth of Greece.
Mycenaean, Archaic & Classical Heritage
Mycenae was one of the greatest centers of Ancient Greek civilization and it is indissolubly linked to the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Olympia held every 4 years the Olympic Games, the greatest sport event of the ancient world. The Acropolis of Athens and its surroundings represents the birth of Western civilization: democracy, science, philosophy and performing acts. The Oracle of Delphi was indeed the religious centre and symbol of unity in the ancient Greek world. In Epidaurus, Tholos and the Theatre are considered one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture. Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae is one of the best-preserved monuments of classical antiquity and an evocative and poignant testament to classical Greek architecture.
The end of classical period coincided with the rise of Macedonians as the leading force of Greeks. Initially, Phillip II unified Greeks (for the first time) in a single kingdom, and eventually his son Alexander the Great spread Greek spirit to the east introducing that way the Hellenistic period. Aiges (Vergina) the first capital, It is unique for the Palace, considered to be not only the biggest but, together with the Parthenon, the most significant building of classical Greece and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli. Pella was the birthplace of Alexander the Great. Philippi was a vibrant Hellenistic city, reshaped by the Romans into a “small Rome” and the first place in Europe where Christianity was preached. Amphipolis was the place where Alexander the Great prepared for campaigns leading to his invasion of Asia and his wife and their small son were exiled and later murdered.
After the transfer of the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinoupoli and the split with west, a magnificent, prosperous and formidable empire rose, known as the “Byzantine” empire. Combining Christian religion, Roman law and Hellenistic culture it is the most endured empire in history leaving its indelible marks. Thessaloniki has been listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites for its Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments. Hosios Lucas is one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, enlisted also by UNESCO. The Monastery of Great Meteoron in Meteora and the Monastery of St John the Theologian in Patmos Island are examples of the chaplain Byzantine architecture and monastic art.
Athens, the current capital of Greece, and Nafplion the first capital, demonstrate a series of monuments associated with Greece’s recent history and independence. Ioannina and Kavala are examples of cultural and architectural interactions between Ottoman, Jewish and European influences. Traditional and picturesque villages such as those in Zagori and Pelion are examples of the countryside life preserved up to nowadays.