The deme of Rhamnous is perhaps the best preserved ancient deme in Attica. It consisted of numerous smaller settlements, and its name is derived from the word rhamnos Ancient Greek for buckthorn as those thorny bushes have always been abundant in the area. Situated at the northeast of the present-day prefecture, extensive segments of the site and its surroundings still bear a great resemblance to their ancient counterparts. Strategically located on a hill very close to the sea, the town overlooked and controlled two natural ports of vital importance to the Athenians, in terms of both commerce and warfare. The greater area has been continuously inhabited since the Neolithic Era and, in its years of splendour (4th-3rd cent. BC), this ancient polis must have thrived as much as Athens, while the local sanctuaries dedicated to the deity Nemesis and the hero Amphiaraos were among the most illustrious and important cult sites in Attica. With the advent of Christianity, however, Rhamnous followed the inescapable fate of many once-famous Greek settlements; after the sanctuaries were demolished, and the socio-political situation changed dramatically, it gave in to decay and abandonment.

In the political rhetoric of the 5th century BC, the Persian Wars were the cornerstone of Panhellenism, i.e., the notion of independent Greek polises uniting against a common enemy. The Battle of Marathon (490 BC) was the first in a series of successful defensive warfare operations, which triggered numerous legends and anecdotes. As the most important polis close to Marathon, Rhamnous was steeped in this war mythology: the Persians, sure of their forthcoming victory over the Greeks, are said to have brought with them enough marble to erect a victory monument. After their defeat, Pheidias' disciple Agorakritos allegedly used this marble to build the great statue of Nemesis the deified punishment for arrogance to be placed in the temple dedicated to the deity.

What Makes a Polis the Agora, the Theatre, and the Gymnasium

Rhamnous may have been secluded, but it lacked none of the significant components of a city at least as the great travel writer Pausanias defined it: a settlement cannot be thought of as a polis, if it has "no public buildings, no gymnasium, no theatre, no agora, no drinking fountains". As we can gather from epigraphic evidence, the polis of Rhamnous was rather compact, in that the same structure served as both the agora and the theatre: the city 'square' was a rectangular stripe of 250 square metres, including a simple gallery of 140 square metres in its south end that was the social epicentre of the polis, where all formal discussions, ceremonies and celebrations were held.

Opposite from the gallery, in the north end of the agora, five stone thrones for the formal privilege of prohedria (best seats for respected citizens or guests of honour) are the sole architectural element still bearing witness to the use of the structure as a quite peculiar theatre. The rows of seats forming the koilon of the theatre were built in the slope of the hill, while the orchestra the performance space was no other than the northern part of the agora. The dual use of spaces was rather usual in the modestly sized city of Rhamnous: when unoccupied by allies called upon as reinforcements in the protection of the citadel, the lower part of the military premises was used as a gymnasium, where local youths were able to train and practice athletic activities.


Athens Virtual Tour


Athens Virtual Tour



Athens, a modern metropolis, a european capital, a nest for all the Mediterranean cultures. Athens, the meeting point of East and West, the harbor of everyone, who still loves passionately life! There are so many different ways to describe and analyse Athens, that any given effort to do a short depiction of the city is nothing but a try doomed to fail. Nevertheless, we will try to underline some of the main characteristics of the city of Athens. Visit Virtual Tour


Knossos was undeniably the capital of Minoan Crete and is the site of one of the most important and better known palaces of Minoan civilisation. Knossos was inhabited for several thousand years, beginning with a neolithic settlement sometime in the seventh millennium BC, and was abandoned after its destruction in 1375 BC which marked the end of Minoan civilization. It was damaged several times during earthquakes, invasions, and in 1450 BC by the colossal volcanic eruption of Thera, and the invasion of Mycenaeans who used it as their capital, while they were ruling the island of Crete until 1375 BC. Knossos was ruled by the dynasty of King Minos and is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur. Visit Virtual Tour


Known from the Homeric myth, as the mythical island of Phaeacians where the shipwrecked Odysseus was soothed by princess Nausika, Corfu continues to welcome visitors from all around the world. Be a synchronous Odysseus and follow the new destination of YouGoCulture initiative. Having the Central Corfu and its old town which is in the list of the Unesco World Heritage Sites, a journey begins in the history, the traditions and the unique beauties of the island. Visit Virtual Tour


Situated in continental Greece on Mount Parnassus, Delphi was considered to be one of the most important cities of ancient Greece. It was believed to be home to the goddess Gaia, or Earth, and later to Apollo after slaying Gaia’s son, the snake Python. The Pythian games—similar to the Olympic Games—were held here every four years to honour Apollo’s slaying of the Python dragon. Visit Virtual Tour


A breath away from Athens, the birth place of Eleusinian Mysteries and goddess Demeter challenges you to explore it! Eleusis or Eleusina, as now known, one of the five sacred cities of antiquity enjoys the privilege of being located only thirty kilometers from the historic Athens. But let me refresh it! It could be the privilege of Athens to have so nearby a city full of life and history! Visit Virtual Tour


Even today’s visitors feel that they are in a sacred place as soon as they set foot in the Asklepieion of Epidavros. The place where healing was a religious mystery. The sick were cured by the god Asklepios in their sleep (enkoimesis) or received from him instructions on the therapy they should follow. From the sixth century BC until the end of antiquity, hosts of people resorted to the Sanctuary of Asklepios in expectation that their prayers for healing would be heard and answered by the god. These were patients and pilgrims who arrived there bringing precious votive offerings from all parts of the then-known world. Visit Virtual Tour


Peering over the plain of Argolis, up there from the heights of the acropolis, one comes to terms with the superiority of the Mycenaean civilization. It reached its heyday in the Late Bronze Age (1350 - 1200 BCE) and then disappeared, leaving to eternity its legendary acropolis, built on an inaccessible, rocky hill between two ravines. The footprints of the Atreidai, the mythical royal dynasty, are visible to today's visitor and inspire awe in an era like ours, in which myth meets the history of the most important period of the ancient world. Visit Virtual Tour

Ancient Olympia

What can be said of Olympia and not sound like a cliché? The significance of the archaeological site is self-evident, even if one is not familiar with the fascinating historical details and the political background, which literally span thousands of years. Known to the world as the cradle of the Olympic ideal, this open-air museum of imposing ruins and unique artefacts tells a story of religious piety, fair play, political ambition, and demonstration of power. All the buildings you can still admire were erected to please the gods and send a message to the thousands of visitors who swarmed to the sacred grounds. Walking around the Stadium, the Gymnasium and the Temples of Zeus and Hera – both instrumental in the ritual and competitive part of the Games – modern visitors will be able to understand why the event remained relevant even when the rest of the Ancient World was long dead. As an added bonus to the splendour of the site, the Museum of Olympia boasts some of the most famous works of art produced in the long course of Hellenic culture. Visit Virtual Tour


Travelling in the Messenian land from Mount Taygetus to the coast, our glance dives, following the sunlight dipping onto the Messenian plain. From the mountainous volumes to the fertile valley, the olive groves and herbs, we see a landscape of culture, myth, and history, unfold before our eyes. In the heart of the region of Messenia, one town stands out: Ancient Messene. This "blissful plain" as Homer calls it, became a theatre of war and mythical narrations offering a viewpoint on the past and the present. Visit Virtual Tour