Eternal Greece Ltd

Underground Athens by Athens Underground: Sections Through Soil and History, plus Kerameikos

Ancient treasures such as houses, streets, sanctuaries, cisterns, workshops and aqueducts, as well as more than 50,000 ancient artifacts lie underground...

Introduction

Athens and it illustrious monuments attract millions of visitors every year; few visitors however are aware that treasures also lie underground, as this is a very ancient city; some of these treasures are on display at a number of Athens Metro (subway) stations, as the works to create the subway network were combined with meticulous and painstaking archeological excavations. The resulting findings exposed through the sections of hospitable Athenian soil include ancient houses, streets, sanctuaries, cisterns, workshops and aqueducts, as well as more than 50,000 ancient artifacts.

A large part of the findings is exhibited in six Athens Metro stations, thus affording the latter the rare dual function of being modern constructions full of movement and technology whilst also serving as museum and stratigraphic sections of their particular localities.

This novel and delightful half-day tour focuses on the exhibits of three modern Athens Metro stations, in combination with an illuminating visit to the open-air archaeological site of Kerameikos and Agora.

The programme is led by a licensed archaeologist-guide, lasts approximately four hours and thirty minutes and is offered round the year.

Duration (approximate)

4 hours and 30 minutes

Schedule

Due to the closing times of Kerameikos archaeological site as well as to make the best use of daylight, we have two versions of this tour, namely one for the summer period opening times and the other for the winter period, as follows:

Winter schedule: (November-April):
Kerameikos archaeological site (12:00 hrs start) – Monastiraki metro station – Syntagma metro station – Acropolis metro station (18:30 hrs end).

Summer schedule: (May-October):
Acropolis metro station (15:30 hrs start) – Syntagma metro station – Monastiraki metro station – Kerameikos archaeological site (20:00 hrs end).

Points of Interest and programme highlights

Monastiraki metro station: Of particular interest to archaeology buffs will be an underground exhibition showing a portion of the course of Eridanos, a stream repeatedly mentioned in accounts of ancient Athens and which flowed from Lycabettus hill, through the Agora of ancient Athens to the archaeological site of Kerameikos. The stream’s bed was covered with earth for the most part since antiquity, only to be revealed during the Athens Metro excavations.

Syntagma metro station: Excavations here during the construction of the station revealed a sculpture workshop dating from the Classic Era, a Roman bath complex, a cemetery dating back to the sub-Mycenaean and the Byzantine times, a section of the Peisistratian Aqueduct, the ancient road leading from the gates of the walls of Athens to the municipalities of Messogaia and the bed of Eridanos stream.

Acropolis metro station: The first level of the station houses copies of sculptures of the Parthenon, along with findings from the excavations at the station, including items from the daily lives of ancient Athenians as well as artifacts of public life, spanning in all from the 17th century BC to the 12th century AD. A stratigraphic section of and ancient road is exhibited in the second level, whilst in the third level and along the train platforms for a length of 25 m (82 ft) there are replicas of the Parthenon zophoros, the originals of which are in the British Museum.

Kerameikos archaeological site: Kerameikos (meaning ‘the place of the ceramics’) was the main area of production of the famed pottery of Attica. As the region was crossed by a stream and was prone to frequent flooding, Kerameikos was not suitable as a settlement and gradually became a place of burial, becoming in the end the most important necropolis of ancient Athens.

At Kerameikos our licensed archaeologist-guide will be enlightening us about the findings housed in its little museum as well as about the functions of this very important part of ancient Athens.

Meeting points and times

The below two meeting points have been selected conveniently to cover most central Athens hotels, both by foot and via the nearby metro stations:

(A) Winter schedule (November-April):
At 11:45 just outside Monastiraki metro station.

(B) Summer schedule (May-October):
At 15:15 hrs just outside Acropoli metro station.

Please note that all times and durations are indicative and may vary.

Drop off points

(A) Winter schedule:
The tour ends at Acropoli metro station.

(B) Summer schedule:
The tour ends at Monastiraki metro station.

Are you more independent-minded?
This programme is also available in a self-drive version!
Find out more on Self-Drive Tours

Winter schedule

Summer schedule

Included

  • Licensed archeologist-guide throughout the tour
  • Museum and metro tickets

Not Included

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Refreshments

Testimonials

  • “A stunning tour of UNESCO sites.”

    The tour I undertook with Eternal Greece was great – we covered a large number of UNESCO sites in a relatively short space of time, with time spent at each site tailored to my interests. The accommodation also met all expectations, so all in all this was an outstanding experience from which I gained a greater appreciation of Greek history and culture. Thank you Eternal Greece.

    Read more reviews about Eternal Greece…
    S Bassett
  • “There is a difference between a tour and an experience. We had the last one.

    It was in every aspect challenging and full of information. We have learned so much and coming back to Athens we will use your expertise once again.”

    Read more reviews about Eternal Greece…
    Norbert Wohlfahrt
  • “Fantastic tour of the well known as well as lesser known sites, particularly in the Peloppenese, and including some travel off the beaten track. You think you know Greece, and then find that there is a whole new aspect to explore.

    I can thoroughly recommend Eternal Greece as a tour operator. They will bend over backwards to ensure your needs are met.”

    Read more reviews about Eternal Greece…
    Silva Bassett
  • “A memorable experience!”

    …We visited all the places my friends were interested in, our guide was very knowledgeable, the hotels where we stayed could not have been better and Eric was an amazing tour leader. Everything ran smoothly and because of his love and enthusiasm for the land and the people, he made everyone fall in love with Greece. And made me even prouder of my roots than I was before!!! We all had a wonderful time!
     
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    Saisurya
  • “Wonderful Athens Museums and City Tour arranged by Eternal Greece”

    Mr. Eric C B Cauchi, the director of Eternal Greece arranged a superb Athens Day Tour comprising the National Archaeological Museum, a city tour, and the Acropolis Museum for my family which took approximately five hours. We would recommend Mr. Cauchi for his politeness, professional manner, and excellent care and concern that we should be happy with our tour in every respect. He also followed up to make sure that everything was to our satisfaction, which it was. Most highly recommended!

    Read full review…
    Robert K

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