A Travellerspoint blog

Puerta del Sol

Madrid, Spain

sunny 28 °C

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The Puerta del Sol (Spanish for "Gate of the Sun") is one of the best known and busiest places in Madrid, Spain.

More images at: KEVREKIDIS PHOTOGRAPHY

[ FujiFilm FinePix HS10 ]

© 2011 Jordan Kevrekidis

Posted by Kevrekidis 16:05 Archived in Spain Tagged spain madrid puerta_del_sol Comments (0)

Mendrese

Athens – Greece

sunny 31 °C

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Opposite the Roman Agora of Athens, is the doorway of Mendrese or Medrese (from Arabic: Madrasah) originally a Muslim religious school founded in 1721 by Mehmet Fahri. 100 years later, in 1821 during the Greek War of Independence the Turks used it as a prison and hung many Greeks from a maple tree (platanos) and after the war the Greeks used it for the same purpose. In the minds of the Athenians it became a cursed place. In 1914 during archaeological excavations in the area the building was demolished except for the door.

  • I would like to thank the archaeologists Maria Leni and Alexandra Kostarelli for their assistance.

More images at: Kevrekidis Photography

© 2010 Jordan Kevrekidis

Posted by Kevrekidis 07:05 Archived in Greece Tagged photography Comments (0)

Macedonian Christmas

Aristotelous Square, Thessaloniki.

semi-overcast 14 °C

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Aristotelous Square, Thessaloniki.
Macedonia – Greece.

Every December, Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki, erects a huge, illuminated metal structure in the shape of a three mast ship next to the Christmas tree in its main square. The ship, and not the tree, is the traditional Greek symbol of Christmas.
Even the vast majority of Greeks who continue to stick to the Christmas tree consider it a foreign import. The modern Christmas tree entered Greece in the luggage of the country’s first king, Otto of Bavaria, who ascended to the throne in 1833 but the tree did not become popular before the 1940s. The ship, by contrast, is viewed as a quintessential Greek symbol. Greeks have been seafarers for thousands of years and the country is today one of the world’s mightiest shipping nations.

In some of the Greek islands huge ships are built, symbolic of the new life Christmas heralds. Children are singing Christmas carols (the word carol comes from the ancient Greek word choraulein, meaning a circle dance performed to flute music) holding illuminated model boats in their laps. For children, they serve as a lantern in the dark or as a box for presents collected in return for singing carols. It is believed that the history of caroling goes deep into the past and connects with ancient Greece. In fact, they have even found carols written in those distant past days which are similar to the ones sung today. In ancient times the word for carols was Eiresioni, and children of that era held an effigy of a ship which depicted the arrival of the god Dionysus. Other times they held an olive or laurel branch decorated with red and white threads, on which they would tie the offerings of the homeowners. The Christmas tree, assumed to be foreign, may even have some Greek roots. Use of decorated greenery and branches around New Year is recorded as far back as in Greek antiquity, as it is in other pre-Christian cultures. Christmas was meant originally to replace the pagan celebration of the winter solstice. Tree branches and green bushes called “Christwood” always had a place in Christian households during the medieval Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Probably that’s why the tree and the boat coexist today in Thessaloniki’s Aristotelous Square.

More images at: Kevrekidis Photography

© 2009 Jordan Kevrekidis

Posted by Kevrekidis 03:12 Archived in Greece Tagged educational Comments (0)

Eastern Barbarian

Ancient Corinth – Greece

sunny

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Ancient Corinth – Greece.

Statue of captured Eastern barbarian at the Archeological Museum of Ancient Corinth.

Four marble statues, decorated the pillars with Corinthian capitals which supported the roof of the "Facade of the Captives", a two-storey stoa to the west of the Propylaia. Dated to the 2nd century A.D., this Facade was probably constructed to commemorate the victory of the Roman emperor Lucius Verus over the Parthians. Many of the construction materials, however, date back to the Augustan period, and this means that it reused materials from other Augustan monuments, or that the Facade itself is a re-composition to an Augustan building. The name "Facade of the Captives" comes from the larger than life statues of captured Eastern barbarians that supported the second storey. The remaining two statues (originally there were at least four) are housed in the museum.

More images at: Kevrekidis Photography

© 2009 Jordan Kevrekidis

Posted by Kevrekidis 00:35 Archived in Greece Tagged educational Comments (0)

Piraeus Station

The Athens - Piraeus Electric Railway

sunny 34 °C

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The Terminal Station of Athens - Piraeus Electric Railways.

The Athens - Piraeus Electric Railways (ISAP) is the oldest urban rapid transit system of Athens metropolitan area in Greece. The line from Piraeus to Thision was inaugurated in 1869 as a steam train connecting Athens and its port, Piraeus. In the early period (1869-1904) the railway used 22 steam tank locomotives. Steam traction on underground railways was far from satisfactory and electrification came in 1904. Today the only line of ISAP connects the port of Piraeus with the northern suburb of Kifissia and is connected with the Athens Metro (Subway).

Piraeus station is found opposite of the central port of Athens (Piraeus port). It is housed in an imposing building that was built in 1929. After the recent renovation, the building recovered its old glamour. The stately eclectic building with the arched dome, replicates the relevant European stations of the period.

More images at: Kevrekidis Photography

© 2009 Jordan Kevrekidis

Posted by Kevrekidis 08:11 Archived in Greece Tagged train_travel Comments (1)

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