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Agios Eleftherios Church, also known as Mikri Mitropoli, is a Byzantine church situated in the Mitropolis Square in the city of Athens. It lies very close to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens. It was built in the beginning of the 13th Century, by the command of the bishop of Athens, Michael Choniates. The building is made entirely with white marbles and has a lovely dome. There are ornate carvings made on the frieze and it definitely induces a sense of aesthetic pleasure.
The decision to move the capital of the young Greek state to Athens in 1834 made it imperative to build a large new cathedral here. Construction started in 1839 and was completed in 1863. Since that time, this imposing building, decorated with fine murals and icons, has been Greece's most important church, used for official occasions. People wanting an insight into contemporary Greek culture and wishing to listen to splendid Byzantine music should attend Sunday mass which begins at 8a.
Tiny, yet noteworthy Byzantine church in the pedestrian zone.
This 11th-century edifice is among the oldest churches in the city. The Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea also just known as Kapnikarea is a beautiful example of Byzantine architecture and was erected on the ruins of a pagan temple. Though it is smaller in size, its complex four-pillar pattern and interiors are indeed worth a look. Its kufic brick design, domed chapel and mosaic paintings are well preserved. It is now owned by the University of Athens.
One of the most unusual landmarks of the old town of Plaka is a cyclical marble tower constructed in the 4th Century BCE. On top of the tower stood a bronze tripod awarded by the city to the Maecenas Lysicrates, who sponsored the winning performance of a musical competition held in 334 BCE. The frieze above the inscription depicts the god Dionysos petting a panther in the company of satyrs who are pouring him wine. The monument, also called the "Lantern of Diogenes", was later used as a library, when it became part of a Catholic monastery in 1669.
One of the most interesting sights of Roman Agora, in Plaka, is the Tower of the Winds. This unusual marble tower (which served as a water clock) was built by an astronomer in the 1st Century BCE. On each of its eight sides is a depiction of a directional wind. The tower was a part of the Roman marketplace which incorporated buildings with a spacious courtyard that also dates back to 1st Century BCE. It is flanked by two gates east and west of the market. A 15th-century mosque can also be seen on the site.
The tower owes its name to the artistic reliefs depicting the eight wind deities.
One of Plaka's largest mansions housed Athens University during the 19th century. Today, it is used as the Museum of the History of Athens University, where a collection of 19th-century mementos are on display. Among the exhibits are rare books and old scientific instruments, photos, teaching aids, manuscripts, maps and numerous portraits. The museum's collection gives an insight into how law, medicine, philosophy, theology and natural sciences were taught more than 150 years ago. During the summer, the courtyard is used to stage theatrical performances.