2011 Cultural Trip - Greece At the Theatre at Epidaurus

At the Theatre of Epidaurus

The 2011 UHON Cultural and Fine Arts Tour took as its theme a study of the culture of Greece, both classical and medieval. Twenty-five  excited Honors students, along with assorted UHON faculty, staff and alumni toured various sites in Greece. Here are some highlights from our itinerary:

 

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Lion Gate at Mycenae

13th century B.C. entrance to the ancient city which dominated southern Greece in the Bronze Age

May 9-11 – Nafplion

The beautiful coastal city of Nafplion, the first capital of an independent Greece, was our home base for several day trips, which included visits to the following sites:

  • The Corinth Canal - (opened in 1893) which connects the Gulf of Corinth to the Saronic Gulf, thereby separating the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland
  • Ancient Corinth and archaeological museum - the excavated site around the Temple of Appollo from the mid 6th century BCE, and the archaeological museum containing artifacts from the surrounding area dated from prehistoric times (around 6500 BCE), the Geometric, Archaic and Classiscal periods, and the Roman and Byzantine eras
  • Tiryns - site of one of the most important centers of the Mycenaean world, Tiryns at its peak (around 1300 BCE) had a population of around 10,000
  • Mycenae - the fortified acropolis for which the Mycenaean period is named (c. 1600-1100 BCE, Mycenae had a population of around 30,000 at its height around 1350 B.C., when it dominated a large part of southern Greece
  • Epidaurus - site of the Asclepieion (c. 350 BCE), the most revered healing site in the ancient world, and the acoustically exceptional theatre, built in the 4th century BCE funded from the prosperity brought by the Asclepieion
  • Mystras, near the site of ancient Sparta - a fortified medieval town on Mt. Taygetos, which was a major center of Byzantine scholarship and trade

 

Tholos at Delphi

The Tholos at Delphi

Dedicated to Athena Pronoia ('of Forethought'), the 4th century BCE structure had 20 Doric columns encircling 10 Corinthian columns

 

May 12-13 - Delphi

Delphi served as our home base to see the following:

  • Rio-Antirrio Bridge - built in 1998-2004, connects the Peloponnese to the Greek mainland near Patras.  It is the longest multi-span cable-stayed bridge in the world at 2,883 m
  • Ancient Delphi and archaeological museum - site of the famous Oracle (or Pythia) renowned throughout the ancient world, and a major religious and cultural center from c. 800 BCE up through Roman times until decree of Theodosius in 393 against pagan sites
  • Monastery of Osios Loukas - an important site of Byzantine architecture and mosaic art

 

 

Parthenon

The Parthenon

Constructed 447-438 BCE and dedicated to the Athena, patron goddess of Athens

May 14-17 - Athens

Our stay in the capital city featured group excursions to the Acropolis complex, including the Parthenon, Erechtheion and Temple of Athena Nike; the Acropolis Museum, including a gallery with a recreation of the frieze of the Parthenon; and the National Archaeological Musuem.  Students also had free time to visit sites of their choice.  Some favorites were:

  • The Ancient Agora
  • The Roman Agora
  • The Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Temple of Hephaestus
  • Syntagma Square & the Changing of the Guard (Evzones) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the Greek Parliament Building
  • The Benaki Museum
  • Theatre of Dionysus
  • Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea

 

 

Knossos

Palace of Knossos

A reconstructed section, showing the characteristic columns that are wider at the top

May 17-19 – Heraklion, Crete

  • Palace of Knossos - built between 1700 and 1400 BCE, it was the center of the Minoan culture (named for the mythological King Minos).  The site includes the Throne Room and restored frescoes depicting Minoan life and customs
  • Archaelogical Museum - houses artifacts and reconstructed frescoes from the palace complex.  The collection includes pottery, sculpture and frescoes with the characteristic Minoan geometric designs, as well as fantastic depictions of dolphins, octopi, birds, mammals and people, including the famous bull-leapers