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A guide of Athens for the Easter holidays

28 March 2010 / 17:03:47  GRReporter
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The Athenians this year started their vacations from March 25th as so it happened that the national holyday of Greece on March 25th and Easter are ten days apart from each other. Many citizens of the capital will continue to leave this week as well, however millions will also stay in the cosmopolitan city for the Easter holydays.

The ones who will chose to spend their holydays in the capital will have the opportunity to do things that otherwise probably they don’t have the time to do. Here are some interesting suggestions about where to go for a walk, which churches are making impressive processions with candles on the streets of the town in the evening of the Good Friday, what is the working time of the museums and the shops in case you decide to catch up for the cultural events or to rush in the shopping tours.

As for the festive weekend the weather service promises a sunny weather, this is the most appropriate moment to visit the parks in the city. They are perfect for a walk on foot, with a bicycle or even for a picnic because they give you the feeling that you have really gone out of town. At the Philopappou hill you will enjoy the spring days, walking on the small alleys some of which are leading to a vast lawn with a view towards the Acropolis, the Irodio theater and the Likavitos hill.

The famous park “Andonis Tritsis” is located at the border between the neighborhoods Ilion and St. Anargyroi and Kameteros. It is one of the biggest parks in town and it is the favorite place of the people who enjoy watching the birds. The Kesariani park is also quite green with cobblestone paved alleys and with carefully made benches, a playground for the children and lawns.

In the Singrou park which is located between the neighborhoods Amarusiou, Melisia and Kifisia, you could make a picnic, but also have a wonderful walk. In the park is located also the only neo gothic style orthodox church in Greece, as well as the house of the Singrou family which was designed by the architect Erensto Chiler. In the park there is also a play ground so that the young visitors are not bored.

If you wish to rush into a shopping tour throughout the town you have to know that from Good Monday until Good Thursday the shops will be opened all day long from 9:00 until 21:00. On Good Friday the shops will only work in the afternoon – starting from 13:00 until 19:00 o’clock and on the Good Saturday from 9:00 until 16:00. On Sunday and on Monday after Easter (April 5th) the shops will be closed.

The Holy week is perfect if you wish to visit a museum or some of the archeological sites in the capital as the visitors will be a lot less. In the museum of the Acropolis you could enjoy the exposition without having to walk through a crowd of people or to hurry. If you go there, then take a walk on of the most pleasant routs in Athens – the pedestrians’ zone on the Dionysiou Aeropagitou str. all the way to Tisio square where you could have a coffee enjoying the view towards the holy hill. If you decide, on your way you could take a turn and go to visit the ancient Agora with the temple of Hephaestus and the museum and to exit through the other entrance which is located on Adriano str. at Monastiraki. It is worth seeing the Museum of Kerameikos where you could see finds from the most important grave yards in the ancient Athens.

The museums and the archeological sites will be working on Good Monday from 12:00 until 17:00, on the Good Saturday and on Monday after Easter from 8:30 until 15:00. Only on Sunday – Easter they will be closed.

Even if you are not a believer, the experience of going to the church during the days of the Easter holydays is unique. On Good Friday in the evening there is a tradition for the priests in each church to decorate an epitaph and with a festive procession, followed by the believers they make a circle with candles in their hands around the entire neighborhood where the church is located. This is a very spectacular thing to view from the Likavitos hill, from where you could see the entire Athens and all the lighted with fire processions. One of the colorful places where you could take part in the procession with candles on Friday is the church “The Savior” at Plaka which starts from Kidatineon str. and follows the small streets of the “neighborhood of the Gods”. Here you will forget that you are in Athens and you will have the feeling that you are in some small village. The procession of the church “St. Ekaterini” again in Plaka is also remarkable, going around the ancient monuments around the church which give a different shade to the festive atmosphere.

At 12 o’clock on Friday if you visit the monastery Kesariani you will be able to take part in the procession throughout the magical, filled with green area in the foot of the mountain Imitos.

On the good Saturday, no matter in which church in Athens you go – from the bishopric to the nearest church in your neighborhood the holiday atmosphere will be there to remind us that the most important thing is “to love our fellow men”.

Tags: News Easter shopping museums churches procession
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