An imposing Castle Town from the Byzantine Times and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated close to Sparta. The Franks began building the town in the mid 13th century but it quickly passed into the Byzantine rule. During the next two centuries, it evolved into a powerful political, military and cultural centre. In 1443, Constantine Palaiologos, who in 1448 was appointed Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, became the ruler of Mystras. He was the last Emperor, the man who in 1453 decided to die like a common soldier on the wall of Constantinople. In 1460, Mystras was captured by the Turks and began its decline. In 1821 it revolved against the Turks and in 1825 it was plundered by Ibrahim’s army. From then on, it remains a ghost town. At Mystras, there is a very interesting museum.

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The Archaeological Museum of Tegea houses ancient Greek treasures of immense beauty, which are presented in a masterful way. Amongst the exhibits, the head of Asclepius, a marble relief of Pan, thrones of the Kings and carved marble plates with scenes depicting heroes and demigods. In Tegea stood a temple dedicated to Athena Alea, built by the sculptor and architect Scopas from the Island of Paros. Many of his important works are on display at the museum. Tegea had a population of 40,000, a parliament of 300 men and its own currency. The founder of Paphos, King Agapenor was born there, as was the mythical Pan. Next to the museum there is an imposing outdoor archaeological site. Photographs capture very little of the magical vibes this museum emits.

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Since 1974 and up until today, Nicosia has been divided in two by barbed wire and fortification works. It is the only European Union capital that has been forcibly divided by foreign occupying troops. The free part of Nicosia has changed and is evolving with leaps but the images in the Buffer (Dead) Zone haven’t changed in almost half a century. The young soldiers of the Cypriot National Guard keep watch in the narrow streets of the dividing zone defending the ideal of freedom. Their fathers did the same. But for the powerful of the world, pacts and maintaining the balance with the intruder seem to be more important than these ideals.

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Many Greeks of the diaspora who passionately love Greece visit www.greecewithin.com. One of them is Dimitris Rellos, who was born in Kleitoria, Kalavryta, and migrated to New York 43 years ago. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science and became a manager in large U.S. companies, as well as owner of his own software development consulting firm. Every year, he visits his home village and reunites with family and childhood friends. We recently communicated and learned that he is a master of expressive photography and maintains the notable website www.DimitriRellos.com. We asked him to send us a series of photos he shot during his travels in Greece and to accompany each photo with a caption that describes his emotional response to the visual stimulus of each subject captured. The results are striking and affecting.

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It was a city with a lot of mines where thousands of workers slaved under almost barbaric conditions. The total lack of environmental measures wounded it deeply and the “scars” can be seen up until today. After Lavrio was de-industrialized, the factories were left abandoned and ramshackled. However, this picture of destruction, created over time, is unexpectedly attractive. The area looks like an endless outdoor studio, where the color of rust prevails. Next to the piles of forgotten metals there are old buildings that have been renovated and have acquired significant visual value. The natural habitat is also amazing. And all of this, close to Athens. Photographers will definitely be impressed!

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The “Art Athina 2017” International Contemporary Art Fair took place at the Tae Kwon Do Hall at Faliro from the 25th to the 28th of May. This fair is an annual event in Athens and is highly anticipated by many. The artwork presented in this article is just a small sample of what was showcased and in random order. Photographs don’t do the artwork justice as the pictures were taken with non-specialized equipment, during a tour of the fair.

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The sunset at the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio is breathtaking. Build on a rock 73 meters over the sea, the Doric Temple attracts countless visitors for around the globe. According to Greek mythology, Theseus began his journey to Crete in order to kill the Minotaur from Sounio. His sails were black when he left but he promised his father that if he came home alive his ships would have white sails. Even though he returned to Athens victorious, he was caught up in the excitement and forgot to change the sails. His father, Aegeus, saw the black sails from Sounio and thought his son had been killed. He fell to his death from the cliffs. The sea then was named the Aegean in honor of the fallen king.

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Winter is harsh in the villages of Arcadian Mount Mainalon. The dense forests of firs sigh by the weight of the snow and the sceneries are alpic. These villages during almost all winter are covered by deep clouds. (In order of appearance: 1. Davies, 2. Piana, 3. Chrysovitsi, 4. Stemnitsa, 5. Dimitsana, 6. Alonistena, 7. Arkoudorema, 8. Kardaras, 9. Mainalon Mountain, 10. Arkoudorema)

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The Acropolis Museum is amongst the most modern in the world. It has a weird energy, which can be accredited to the immense beauty of the statues. The most beautiful statues of all times stand one beside the other and enchant the visitors. The Greeks visit the museum with their children. Classic ancient art is part of everyday life for Athenians. The huge glass surfaces of the building let plenty of light in regardless if it’s winter of summer. Sundays at the museum strongly resemble old-style celebrations. Crowds of visitors’ flock to the museum; a tight squeeze, but a wondrous one.

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Livadi is hanging on a slope of Olympus Mountain at an altitude of 1160 meters and it is inhabited by Vlachs, members of a tribe of highlander Greeks, who were latinised by the Romans and speak a language similar to Latin. At their majority they are breeders, mule drivers and woodcutters, who live an authentic life on the mountain and into the forest. Even the children's toys have to do with trunks and animals there. At the same time when other villages are in decline, Livadi keeps its people at it and preserves its rare customs.

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An island with a rich history, untouched natural environment, vast beaches and great sights, such as the Asclepieion of Hippocrates and the Castle of Knights. Many animals roam free in the countryside and as a result the island offers a range of amazing meat and cheeses. The hotel infrastructure, the taverns and the entertainment venues are of a very high level.

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A small, pine-tree covered island of the Saronic Gulf with many beaches. The islands’ only town is densely-built with traditional, neoclassical-style homes. The narrow alleys between the houses form a labyrinth, hiding surprises at every turn. Doors with old coats of arms, windows with embroidered valances, verandas with hanging flowers, shops with handicrafts, old ladies and children sitting on the steps, women hanging out their laundry. Hundreds of incredibly luxurious yachts berth in the port of the island.

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An exquisite city in Thrace, full of picturesque side-streets and traditional houses. It is surrounded by untouched natural environment and it is near wetlands of great importance. It is also the home of a university, with thousands of students who enliven the city. It is inhabited by Christians and Muslims, who live together in harmony.

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A historical village of Gortynia with traditional houses made of stone, surrounded by the fir forest of Mount Maenalus, in Arcadia. Gortynia is where the 1821 Revolution against the Turks began. The village has an amazing folklore museum, one of the best in Greece. Villagers produce local, homemade dairy products, pasta and jams. It is an ideal location for winter and summer vacation.

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The Stavros Niarhos Foundation Cultural Center enchants numerous visitors. The "heart" of the center is the amazing building complex, by the hand of architect Renzo Piano, where all the sophisticated concert halls and galleries are housed. The complex is surrounded by a garden which extends for hundreds of acres and includes outdoor concert halls and a water canal for sailboats. It is truly a monumental project which will be completed in 2016 and will be donated to the Greek state in 2017. (Editor's note: Τhis album includes photographs from the outdoors. An album with photos from the indoors will be created at a later date)

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