Ottoman Walking tour in Athens between East & West
- Discover the various empires that were installed in Athens
- Learn about the contemporary Greek cuisine, language, music and daily habits
- Watch the Parthenon and its evolution throughout time
- See how the current shape of the city was formed during the centuries
- Learn how the Christian-Greek tradition held its character under the long Muslim regime
- Experience an authentic hammam in total relaxation and wellness
STARTING POINT AND DEPARTURE TIME
- At 09:30a.m at Monastiraki Metro Station at Monastiraki Square at the entrance of Church Pantanassa (aka Kimisi Theotokou Mitropoleos Church)
AVERAGE EXCURSION DURATION
- 5 hours
Discover the intense influence of the long Muslim regime in Athens and experience the transformation of the city into the Modern Greek state. Our activity starts from the heart of the historical city center, at Monastiraki Square where we can see the three landmarks of the long Greek history: the Roman Handrian’s Library, the Ottoman Mosque (Fethiye Mosque) and the Byzantine Church standing next to each other, while the quintessence of the Athenian classical past, the Acropolis, is overlooking at them.
We stroll around the most popular narrow streets and explore the Ottoman influence to the city together with our friendly historian who informs us in detail about the history of all the points of interest.
Admire the evolution of the city’s architecture throughout the centuries and observe hidden evidence of the reuse and the damage of the monuments. We learn about the story behind the name of Monastiraki Square; the big local market and landmark of the historical center located there since the long Ottoman period. We also hear the story behind the Tzisdarakis’ Mosque that led to the fall of its founder. The tour continues under the dominant presence of the Acropolis, talking about its transformation under the Ottoman rule and about the social structure of Athens during the early modern period.
Our next stop is the oldest house of Athens (16th-18th century), the Benizelos’ mansion, admiring a characteristic example of the Ottoman mansion that can be found all over the Balkans and Anatolia. Our historian will also guide us to ‘’Kadis House’’, the Muslim Judge and we will learn about the co-existence of Christians and Muslims under the Islamic law.
The oldest Hammam Baths of Athens is our next visit where we know about the construction of the baths, its long tradition that dates back to the Ancient times while we get prepared for our own hammam experience! Don’t forget your swimwear! (optional & upon availability)
Enjoy a coffee-break at the lovely vintage café, in order to taste the debated Greek-Turkish coffee. Instead of this we can either move to the ‘’Al Hammam Traditional Baths’’, in order to have a relaxing experience, enjoying a cup of tea at the balconies of the bath against the great view of the Acropolis.
Later on, we reach the point where the most imposing Ottoman complex of buildings was located, where we can still admire most of them. We observe the first mosque of Athens and hear stories about the sultans and the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed II. Imagine the incredible stages of reuse of the monument of the Tower of Winds and the dervishes dancing inside it! We talk about Education in the Ottoman period, as we observe the remaining of the Muslim school, the “Medrese”.
We also talk about the evolution and the destruction of the monuments during the period of the Greek Revolution, the famous plane tree of this square and its connection to the Ottoman tortures.
At the end, we enjoy our meal at a traditional restaurant with the special delicacies of the local cuisine of the Christian community in Turkey, and discuss about our multicultural experience!
Don’t miss the chance to spend a beautiful cultural morning as a local Athenian in the early modern Greece with a friendly local historian!
THE PRICE OF THE EXCURSION INCLUDES
- Archaeologist-historian (Greek/English)
- Full walking-tour to the various historical monuments
- Entrance fee to the Museum of the Baths: 2€/person
- Hammam experience: 25€/person (upon availability)
- Personal Expenses
- Our escort -archaeologist will be waiting with a marking of Ammon Express at the entrance of Church Pantanassa (aka Kimisi Theotokou Mitropoleos Church)
- You should be at the departure point 10΄ before the time indicated in the schedule
- Bear in mind to have your swimwear for the Hammam experience (upon availability)
- In summer season bear in mind to have a bottle of water, sunglasses and a hat
- Comfortable shoes are recommended for your convenience during the tour
- Wear the appropriate clothing according to the weather forecast
- Be ready to have a great time!
- Share pictures and comments from your experience!