Showing posts with label Greece. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greece. Show all posts

Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Lion Gate, Greece

In Southern Greece “The Lion Gate” of Mycenae was the entrance to the city erected during the 13th century BC in the northwest side of the acropolis and is named after the relief sculpture of two lionesses in a heraldic pose that stands above the entrance. Atop the gate, two lions fecund are carved in stone relief. Alike bas-reliefs of two lion’s rampant facing each other are found in a number of places in Phrygia in Asia Minor. The “Lion Gate” is the sole surviving monumental piece of Mycenaean sculpture, as well as the largest sculpture in the prehistoric Aegean. Therefore, the greater part of the cyclopean wall in Mycenae, including the “Lion Gate” itself, was built during the 2nd extension of the citadel extended fortifications also included Grave Circle A, the burial place of the 16th-century BC royal families inside the city wall. Although, this grave circle was establish east of the Lion Gate, after the expansion, Mycenae could be entered by two gates, a main entrance and a postern, while the most extensive feature was unquestionably the remodeling of the main entrance to the citadel, famous as “The Lion Gate”, in the northwestern side built circa 1250 BC.

The Lion Gate was come up to by a partly natural, partly engineered ramp on a northwest-southeast axis. Because, the eastern side of the approach is flanked by the steep smooth slope of the earlier enceinte. Hence this was embellished with a new facade of conglomerate. Therefore, on the western side a rectangular bastion was erected, 49 feet long and 24 feet wide, built in pseudo-ashlar style of enormous blocks of conglomerate. Moreover the term "Cyclopean" was therefore applied to imply that the ancient structures had been built by the legendary race of giants whose culture was presumed to have preceded that of the Classical Greeks, as described in their myths. Between the wall and the bastion, the approach narrows to a small open courtyard measuring 49 feet × 24 feet, possibly serving to limit the numbers of attackers on the gate. The bastion on the right side of the gate facilitated defensive actions against the attackers' right hand side, which would normally be vulnerable as they would carry their shields on their left arms. At the end of the approach stands the Lion Gate. Read out The Lion’s Mound of Battlefield of Waterloo.

The Lion Gate is a huge and imposing construction, standing 10 feet wide and 10 feet high at the threshold. It narrows as it rises, measuring 9 feet below the lintel. The opening was closed by a double door mortised to a vertical beam that acted as a pivot around which the door revolved. The gate itself consists of two great monoliths capped with a huge lintel that measures 15×7×3 ft. Well, above the lintel, the masonry courses form a corbelled arch, leaving an opening that lightens the weight carried by the lintel. This relieving triangle is a great limestone slab on which two confronted lionesses carved in high relief stand on either sides of a central pillar. The heads of the animals were fashioned separately and are missing. The pillar, specifically, is a Minoan-type column that is placed on top of an altar-like platform that the lionesses rest their front legs on.

Furthermore the imposing gate of the citadel with the representation of the lionesses was an emblem of the Mycenaean kings and a symbol of their power to both subjects and foreigners. It also has been argued that the lionesses are a symbol of the goddess Hera. Nevertheless the Lion Gate may be compared to the gates of the Hittite Bronze Age citadel of Hattusa, in Asia Minor. Since the heads of the animals were of an unrelated material from their bodies and originally were fashioned to look toward those approaching below, a number of scholars have recommended that they were composite beasts, perhaps sphinxes, in the typical Middle Eastern tradition. Therefore, on the top of the pillar is a row of four discs, actually representing rafters supporting a further piece of sculpture that has since been lost?

The design of the gate had precedents in other remaining artworks of the time; a related design was depicted on 15th-century Minoan seals and a gem found at Mycenae. Well, several other pieces of Mycenaean artwork share the same basic pattern of two opposed animals separated by a vertical divider, such as two lambs facing a column and two sphinxes facing a sacred tree representing a deity. Beyond the gate and inside the citadel was a covered court with a small chamber, which probably functioned as a guard post. On the right, adjacent to the wall, was a building that has been identified as a granary because of the Pithoi found there enclosing carbonized wheat. The Lion Gate is popular tourist destination in Mycenae for many centuries, and it was mentioned by the ancient geographer Pausanias in the 2nd century AD. Moreover, as you walk in through the gates, there is a little compartment within the rock wall, inside the gate, which several legends believe was either a guard post or meant to keep guard dogs. The Lion Gate has become over the years the trademark of the entire archaeological site of Mycenae. In the ancient times, there was a wooden door to shut the entrance. The door opened inwards and it used to lock with a wooden bar. 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Hidden Rocky Island “Monemvasia”

Well, Monemvasia is just like a Gibraltar. Monemvasia is a like a rocky island on the east coast of the Peloponnese in Greece, interconnected with mainland by a small causeway. This is natural beautiful island, which are 300 meters wide and a one kilometer a long approx. It rises in a plateau, almost a hundred above sea level. Therefore on the slope of this plateau, on the seaward side and hidden from the mainland lies a beautiful small town. This oddly dreamy walled town, nestled under the shadow of the towering rock is a living museum of Byzantine, Ottoman, and Venetian history dating back to the 13th century.

The name “Monemvasia” is derived from two Greek words, mone and emvasia, meaning "single entrance" and refers to the narrow causeway which is the only way to enter the town. Monemvasia was settled in the 6th century by the residents of ancient Laconia seeking refuge from the Slavic invaders who ruled much of Greece in between 500 to 700 AD. Due to massive earth quake the rocky island had been separated from the mainland in 375 AD. But with the passage of times, the several centuries changes the history, Monemvasia changed hands again and again, back and forth, between the Venetians and the Turks, until it was liberated during the Greek War of Independence in the early 19th century.

Therefore in the World War II the New Zealand six Brigades numbering quite a few thousand men was successfully evacuated on April 28th 1941 mostly from the causeway and the two piers. But soon after the Germans entered in Monemvasia, and which was not used as a defensive position but rather as a place for wounded soldiers to recover. This attractive island was originally settled on the top of the plateau, which is now referred to as the “Upper Town”. However; progressively the settlement spread down the hill, and big thanks to its exclusively well-defended position, developed into an influential town. However; in the declining days of the Byzantium Empire, Monemvasia becomes emerge a main city and one of the great commercial centers of the Byzantium world and a key trading port, with a population of just 40,000. However by the 18th century, Monemvasia went into decline until it was re-discovered by travelers in the 1970’s.

Slowly, but gradually the town is resurging in rank, and emerging into unique tourist destination with an increasing numbers of tourists visiting the region during the summer. The medieval buildings have been restored, and many of them converted to hotels, and there’re plenteously of places to eat. There’re quite few places to visit, and most popular places of interest are Christos Elkomenos Square, and The Fortress. There’re myriad hotels available here, which are offering comfortable and tastefully decorated rooms and suites are fully equipped and have balconies overlooking the sea and the rock of Monemvasia offering guests a quiet and friendly environment. The friendly atmosphere, outstanding service and amenities offered will make your stay memorable. Sour: Charismatic Planet

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Little Tourlitis Lighthouse perched on the islet of Tourlitis Greece.

The charismatic little Tourlitis Lighthouse is beautifully perched on the islet of Tourlitis, a chunk of rock opposite the harbor at Chora, on Andros Island. The lighthouse is situated about 200 meters out to the sea. This is Greece’s first modern lighthouse and the most striking lighthouse in the world. A flight of stairs carved into the rocks lead to the lighthouse.

The Tourlitis Lighthouse is the only Greek lighthouse to be built completely by Greek hands, and also the nation’s only wave-swept rock sentinel, visible to the brunt of heavy seas. This is the first automatic lighthouse of the Greek lighthousing system, as the lighthouse keeper doesn't really reside there. The history tells us, the first lighthouse here was built in 1897.

However it was destroyed after the Second Word War, a simple scaffold tower was erected on Tourlitis. The present lighthouse is a striking replica of the original, and was built in 1990s at the expenses of Alexandros Goulandris, an oil tycoon of Andros Island. Goulandris and his wife devoted the lighthouse in memory of their deceased daughter Violanda.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Lion of Kea Greece

Lion of Kea is the leading tourist attraction in Kea. And we do not think anyone leaving the island without having seen the laughing lion. Lion of Kea is an ancient statue that has come to light over the years and it is located a country mile from the center of the village, and reclines regally halfway up a steep slope, smiling at all who come to pay their respects. 

Lion of Kea is carved sometimes prior to 600 BCE and it is massive 6 meter long rock, by an unidentified artist from an indefinite period; this powerful but friendly fellow holds his own secret. Lion of Kea lounging near a Grecian hilltop, the ancient stone Lion of Kea is amazing not only for its comparatively good condition, but also for its strangely sunny demeanor. 

Lion of Kea is a natural stone slab, and few people say it is created by Acropolis. Alternately recognized as the Lion of Loulis, the beast is a chosen among both tourists and locals who’ve named the lion, "Liontas." The creature's ancient existence, if not his odd smile, are thought to be linked to the local mythology. Some legend says; the island of Kea was once home to population of water nymphs whose beauty, long with their lovely island. As this was almost always a recipe for disaster in ancient Greece, then sent a lion to lay waste to the island. The lion statue remembers the fabled kerfuffle to this day. 

No one is sure whether the smile on the lion's face is an intentional feature or just the product of hilarious weathering, but either way, it continues to be a preferred feature on the island it once supposedly destroyed. This smiley stone feline is meant to represent a mythical lion that almost destroyed the island of Kea.