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Posts tagged ‘ruins’

Byzantine Fort City of Mystras, Greece

Monestary of Pantanassa, Mystras

Looking up from the ruined domestic buildings of the lower city, you can see the active Monastery of Pantanassa further up the mountain in the the Upper City of Mystras, Greece.

So many European cities are jumbles of art and architecture, a testament to the evolving history of the urban area.  Beneath these modern cities are fractured layers of a Renaissance, Gothic and Ancient past, but you have to try hard to imagine how things looked during any one period.  It’s truly amazing to find a city that retains its character from one specific age.  The abandoned Byzantine city of Mystras in the mountains just above Sparta in the Southern Peloponnese, is one such frozen city.  You can walk through the ruined streets and largely intact religious buildings of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and be right back in 1350 AD.

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Swimming in Apollo’s Pool

Every good ancient Roman knew that bathing was important for one’s health.  Thermal springs were seen to be something divine and precious, often visited for their purported healing properties.  But why rely on historical accounts when you can see for yourself?  The thermal spring in the ancient city of Hierapolis, Turkey is active today, open for swimming, and even comes with some very authentic decorations!

Hierapolis thermal pool, natural spring spa with Roman columns, Pamukkale

Underwater archaeology? Not quite.

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Photo of the Week – Ghosts of Gladiators

ancient gladiator blocks in Ephesus

I found these blocks tucked in a corner at the Ephesus Museum.  The figure on the right looks to me like an Eques gladiator (medium round shield and short sword) although the helmet is small.  I imagine that this fragment was part of a celebrity fighter’s tomb, now broken and nestled in some overgrown plants.

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