Acropolis Greek: Ακρόπολη
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis is from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, "highest point, extremity") and πόλις (polis, "city"). Although the term acropolis is generic and there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as "The Acropolis" without qualification. During ancient times it was known also more properly as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the supposed first Athenian king.
While there is evidence that the hill was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495–429 BC) in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site's most important present remains including the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The Parthenon and the other buildings were seriously damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians during the Morean War when gunpowder being stored in the Parthenon by the Ottomans was hit by a cannonball and exploded.
Vergina Greek: Βεργίνα
Vergina is a small town in northern Greece, part of Veroia municipality in Imathia, Central Macedonia Greece. Vergina was established in 1922 in the aftermath of the population exchanges after the Treaty of Lausanne and was a separate municipality until 2011, when it was merged with Veroia under the Kallikratis Plan.
Vergina is best known as the site of ancient Aigai (Αἰγαί, Aigaí, Latinized: Aegae), the first capital of Macedon. In 336 BC Philip II was assassinated in Aigai's theatre and his son, Alexander the Great, was proclaimed king.
The most important recent finds were made in 1977 when the burial sites of several kings of Macedon were found, including the tomb of Philip II which had not been disturbed or looted, unlike so many of the other tombs there.
It is also the site of an extensive royal palace. The archaeological museum of Vergina was built to house all the artifacts found at the site and is one of the most important museums in Greece.
Aigai has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as "an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilization, at the transition from classical city-state to the imperial structure of the Hellenistic and Roman periods".
Epidauros Greek: Επίδαυρος
Epidaurus (Greek: Ἐπίδαυρος) was a small city (polis) in ancient Greece, on the Argolid Peninsula at the Saronic Gulf. Two modern towns bear the name Epidavros:Palaia Epidavros and Nea Epidavros. Since 2010 they belong to the new municipality of Epidaurus, part of the regional unit of Argolis. The seat of the municipality is the town Lygourio. Epidaurus was independent of Argos and not included in Argolis until the time of the Romans. With its supporting territory, it formed the small territory called Epidauria. Reputed to be founded by or named for the Argolid Epidaurus, and to be the birthplace of Apollo's son Asclepius the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary situated about five miles (8 km) from the town, as well as its theater, which is once again in use today. The cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC, when the older hill-top sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas was no longer spacious enough.
Knossos Greek: Κνωσός
Knossos (also Cnossos, both pronounced /(kə)ˈnɒsɒs, -səs/; Ancient Greek: Κνωσός, romanized: Knōsós, pronounced [knoˈsos]; Linear B: Ko-no-so) is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been called Europe's oldest city.
Settled as early as the Neolithic period, the name Knossos survives from ancient Greek references to the major city of Crete. The palace of Knossos eventually became the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. The palace was abandoned at some unknown time at the end of the Late Bronze Age, c. 1,380–1,100 BC. The reason why is unknown, but one of the many disasters that befell the palace is generally put forward.
In the First Palace Period (around 2,000 BC), the urban area reached a size of as many as 18,000 people. In its peak, the palace and surrounding city boasted a population of 100,000 people shortly after 1,700 BC
Ancient Messene Greek: Αρχαία Μεσσήνη
Messene, Modern Greek Messíni, ancient city, southwestern Peloponnese (Modern Greek: Pelopónnisos), Greece, not to be confused with the modern township of the same name farther south. It was probably founded in 369 BCE after the defeat of Sparta by Athens and the Boeotian League in the Battle of Leuctra (371) for the descendants of exiled Messenians as a fortified city-state independent of Sparta. The site dominates the Messenian plain; with Megalopolis, Mantineia, and Árgos, it formed a strategic barrier, conceived by the Theban Epaminondas, to contain Spartan ambition. The summit of Mount Ithómi, 2,618 feet (798 metres) in altitude, served as the acropolis, but apparently it had been fortified earlier as well.
Delphi Greek: Δελφοί
Delphi (/ˈdɛlfaɪ, ˈdɛlfi/; Greek: Δελφοί [ðelˈfi]),[a] in legend previously called Pytho (Πυθώ), in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia, the major oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The oracle was international in character and also fostered sentiments of Greek nationality, even though the nation of Greece was centuries away from realization. The ancient Greeks considered the centre of the world to be in Delphi, marked by the stone monument known as the omphalos (navel). The sacred precinct was in the region of Phocis, but its management had been taken away from the Phocians, who were trying to extort money from its visitors, and had been placed in the hands of an amphictyony, or committee of persons chosen mainly from Central Greece. According to Suda, the Delphi took its name from the Delphyne, the dragon who lived there and was killed by the god Apollo (in other accounts the serpent was called Python).
The sacred precinct occupies a delineated region on the south-western slope of Mount Parnassus. It is now an extensive archaeological site. Adjacent to the sacred precinct is a small modern town of the same name. The precinct is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in having had a great influence in the ancient world, as evidenced by the various monuments built there by most of the important ancient Greek city-states, demonstrating their fundamental Hellenic unity. It would be impossible to remove the influence of the Delphic oracle from the written history of the times.