As one of the major cradles of Western civilisation, Greece laid claim to many of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Sadly, all of these incredible creations from pre-history have vanished, with the notable exception of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
**This article was written by First Choice Holidays for Life Beyond Borders**
However, the number of budding archaeologists who go on holiday to Greece are testament to the many important sites that are unofficial wonders of antiquity. If you’re thinking about a sightseeing visit, and want to explore some great attractions, read on for some recommended top seven wonders of Greece.
- Looking for some ideas of what to pack when visiting Greece? My Greek island all round packing guide will help you.
The Seven Wonders of Greece
1. The Oracle of Delphi
Situated in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, the Oracle was a woman who predicted future events. It’s likely that she developed her seer-like powers thanks to noxious gases that slipped into the holy building. One of the reasons it’s considered a top seven wonder of Greece is due to its location and the fact that Delphi is reputed to be the navel of the universe – the centre.
2. The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus
A well-preserved example of ancient Greek theatres, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus – located in the Peloponnese region of mainland Greece – was a religious and cultural centre. The theatre demonstrates the impressive architectural symmetry and acoustic engineering of the time. Dedicated to the God of Healing – Asklepios – the theatre is surrounded by verdant vegetation that adds to its appeal of being classed as a top seven wonder of Greece.
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3. The Palace of Knossos
Did you know that the Minoans of Crete are regarded as one of the earliest most powerful cultures in Europe? Ruled from the Palace of Knossos, this race of seafaring traders forged an incredibly advanced civilization that had plumbing, bathtubs, toilets and sewers. Their culture was devastated by a tsunami from a volcanic explosion on modern-day Santorini.
4. Akrotiri Ruins
As a result of the volcanic eruption mentioned above, the bronze age settlement of Akrotiri on the Greek island of Santorini has become known as “the Minoan Pompeii”. The settlement was destroyed in the same eruption, but archaeological investigations have uncovered three-storey buildings with balconies and frescoes. Some historians attribute the myth of Atlantis to the eruption of Thera and the Minoans’ decline, perfect for the category of a top seven wonder of Greece.
- Looking for some souvenir ideas to take home? Read my guide on the Best Souvenirs from Greece to help you.
5. The Parthenon
One of the most iconic ancient structures in the world, the Parthenon in Greece’s capital city – Athens – is a temple to the Goddess Athena. It’s famous for its highly advanced architectural features including the curvature of the top step and the slight inward lean of the columns to protect the structure against weather and earthquakes.
6. The Temple of Hephaestus
Perhaps fittingly, the most well-preserved of the Greek temples is the one dedicated to Hephaestus, God of craftsmanship (and metalworking). Located near the Parthenon in Athens and designed by Ictinus, who also worked on the Parthenon, the temple contained foundries and metalworking facilities.
7. Temple of Olympian Zeus
Only a few columns remain of this ruined structure in Athens, but you can easily see that the original was enormous. Over 600 years in the making, the Olympieion (as it is also known) was not actually completed until the Roman Emperor Hadrian was in power. It was to be the greatest structure in the world, but it only survived little longer than a century.
Do you have a favourite Greek ruin that you feel should be on the list of top seven wonders of Greece? Mine is a whole island: Delos – an historical site like no other. Leave a comment below.
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