Coins issued by certain cities or empires took the leading role in dictating which coins were readily acceptable for trade in the Mediterranean lands. One such city was Athens , which established the “Attic standard” that was to be adopted later by Alexander the Great. Silver was used to pay civil servants, soldiers and mercenaries, and it is believed that the latter is the reason that many Greek silver coins were struck in the first place. The non-Greek lands of the Near East issued large quantities of silver coins, most notably the Parthians, Sassanians and Baktrians. These coins vary in style and fabric, the thickness and purity of the planchet on which the coin was struck, and are relatively under valued compared to the more widely collected issues of Greece proper.
In Greek mythology, Athena was the goddess of warfare and wisdom. Later known as Minerva by the Romans, she was the goddess of not only wisdom and battle, but of certain crafts and the protector of all cities and states. At birth, according to one myth, she sprang from the forehead of Zeus, the king of the gods, fully grown and dressed in armor. Athena is usually shown wearing a helmet and a magic shield called the aegis. The goddess Athena was not only wise in war but also in the arts of peace. She supposedly invented the plow and taught men how to yoke oxen. Athena’s chief symbol was the owl and in Greek mythology, the owl is firmly linked with Athena who is usually picture with her owl perched on her shoulder. Some say that is why the owl, in modern times, associated with wisdom.
Athenian coins were used in exchange throughout the Greek world, hoards have been found as far away from Athens as Babylon, Afghanistan and Iran. The quantity of Athenian coins minted in last half of the fifth century BC, reflect the changed and powerful position of Athens in the eastern Mediterranean, from a small city-state defending itself on land against the onslaught of Darius at Marathon, Athens grew to be the center of an empire whose power was dependent on its control of the sea. From being a partner in and administrative head of the Delian League, Athens became its leader and its many city-state members paid Athens tribute.
Huge sums must have been necessary for the commercial activities of Athens port city , Piraeus, construction atop the Acropolis and in the city, financing of the Athenian fleet, and perennial warfare. The money was derived not only from annual tribute received from the Delian League city-states , but from rich silver deposits Athens owned and mined at Laurium, close to Cape Sunium as well. The mines provide the silver that paid for construction of the fleet that destroyed the Persians at Salamis in 479 BC.
Common to all issues of the coin are the goddess Athena, in profile on the obverse, and the owl, her constant companion, standing on the reverse, a sprig of olive leaves with a berry above its shoulder. Variations in design exist among denominations of the coin.
For additional local buy concert tickets now visit buyconcertticketsnow.
A city break is an ideal way to learn something of a different culture in a few days. A city break gives you a chance to absorb a new experience. The Balkan region has a diverse mix of geography, history and culture.
City breaks in the Balkans offer something for everyone no matter what your age, taste, or whether you are part of a group or travelling alone.
Here are 10 cities that reflect the character of the Balkans.
1. Belgrade – Serbia
Belgrade is known for being a vibrant and trendy city and has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife the best features of which are the barges spread along the banks of the Sava and Danube Rivers.
Belgrade boasts two opera houses, a number of museums, including the National Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. There is also some stunning architecture
A former river island, Ada Ciganlija, on the Sava river, is Belgrade’s biggest sports and recreational complex. It is the most popular destination for Belgraders and visitors alike during the city’s hot summers.
2. Bucharest – Romania
Bucharest is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Epoque buildings and a reputation for the high life, which at one time, earned it the nickname of “Little Paris”.
Bucharest has much historical charm – from the streets of the Old City Centre, which are slowly being restored, to the grand architecture of the Royal Palace and the lush green of Cismigiu Park. The city also claims a large number of museums, art galleries, exquisite Orthodox churches and unique architectural sites.
3. Dubrovnik – Croatia
Dubrovnik is one of the world’s finest and best preserved fortified cities and features two kilometres of walls, some 6 metres thick in places lined with turrets and towers, that run around the city. George Bernard Shaw said in 1929: “If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik”.
4. Ljubljana – Slovenia
Ljubljana is a charming city, the numerous parks and a vibrant cultural scene. There are numerous art galleries and museums and a mediaeval castle located at the summit of the hill that dominates the city centre.
Ljubljana Zoo covers has 152 animal species. An antique flea market takes place every Sunday in the old city. Tivoli Park is the largest park in in the city, has 3 main avenues, planted with chestnut-trees.
5. Sarajevo – Bosnia
Sarajevo is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated around the Miljacka river, commonly known as the Sarajevo River. This river is one of the main features of the city. In December 2009, Lonely Planet listed Sarajevo as one of the top ten cities to visit in 2010
A great way to get around this city is on the electric tram system. Sarajevo was the first city in Europe to have a full-time operational electric tram network running through the city.
6. Skopje – Macedonia
Mother Teresa was born in Skopje, and the Memorial House of Mother Teresa commemorates this. There are many old churches and mosques to visit for those who love history and architecture.
Many famous worldwide artists have attended the music festivals over the years. The Skopje Jazz Festival is part of the European Jazz Network. The Blues and Soul Festival in early July is part of the Skopje Cultural Summer Festival and the May Opera Evenings have been one of the most visited events in Skopje.
The City Park is home to the main museum, several monuments, small lakes, cafes and restaurants. The city Zoo and stadium are also here along with several nightclubs.
7. Sofia – Bulgaria
Sofia is nestled in the foothills of Vitosha Mountain, which makes it an ideal location for hiking and skiing. The city of Sofia is a lively, bustling and cosmopolitan city with many nightclubs, live venues and traditional Bulgarian taverns and restaurants. Many famous musicians have played in Sofia.
Sofia houses numerous museums and art galleries, including the National Historical Museum, the Bulgarian Natural History Museum, the Museum of Earth and Men.
The city has many places of special interest, museums and churches, and has a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Boyana Church
8 Split – Croatia
The city is located on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and offers great links to surrounding seaside towns and to the numerous Adriatic Islands.
The city centre is taken up by the Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian, which is UNESCO World Heritage Site.
9. Athens – Greece
Athens is home to the world famous Acropolis? The Parthenon and the other main buildings on the Acropolis were built by Pericles in the fifth century BC as a monument to the cultural and political achievements of the inhabitants of Athens. You could spend some days exploring this and it is best to start early on the hot summer days.
The Plaka is the oldest section of Athens. It is now a pedestrian area of restaurants, tourist shops, and cafes and is an enjoyable place to relax.
The National Archaeological Museum ranks among the top ten museums in the world.
10. Istanbul – Turkey
Istanbul, the historic city that stands in Europe and Asia and has the status of 2010 European Capital of Culture is an ideal venue for a city break.
In Istanbul’s steep and bustling streets, and visitors can spend hours buying or viewing the wonderful products on offer in the markets, where bargaining is essential. The Grand Bazaar, has over 4,000 craft shops, selling carpets, pottery, jewels, and antiques in its labyrinths.
There are many monuments and historical sites including the Hagia Sophie and one of the greatest examples of Islamic architecture, the “Blue Mosque”
Be sure to take a ferry along the Bosphorus Strait, and enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the city especially at sunset.
There are many more places in the Balkans that make it ideal for a short city break.
Many talk extensively about New York and how it has evolved to be the most commercialized metropolis in the United States. The State of New York includes Buffalo, the silent sibling who has contributed to the state’s growth in an almost invisible way. Among the many things in Buffalo that attract tourists to get a glimpse of a more laid-back atmosphere in cacophonic New York, the One M&T Plaza stands tall in the city center. It’s not an exceptionally tall building, nor is it an architectural marvel. But then, why is it so popular among the many who visit Buffalo?
Standing just 317 feet tall and housing 21 floors, the One M&T Plaza was built in 1966 and is the current home to the M&T bank’s corporate headquarters. The building was designed by Minoru Yamasaki & Associates, the same people who designed the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York City. This is probably one reason for its immense popularity. During holidays, the building’s top band is illuminated, creating a very celebratory mood around the place. On normal days, this band is simply illuminated in white. Hockey season sees the building colored in blue and gold, cheering on the Buffalo Sabers.
The land space used to build the One M&T Plaza was the highest real estate transaction ever made during that time in Buffalo. Its construction required an entire city block to be demolished. The One M&T Plaza has a promenade facing the Main Street and hosts various lunchtime concerts in summer. A farmer’s market can be found between the plaza and Lafayette Square, mostly during late spring, summer and early autumn. The One M&T Plaza is located nearby to everything in central Buffalo.
If you are in Buffalo for business, you’d most likely to have to pay a visit to the One M&T Plaza’s promenade for a business lunch. Whether you are traveling for leisure or business, choose a Buffalo hotel with a good reputation to avoid hassles. Try the Millennium Airport Hotel Buffalo for a difference, as they offer modern amenities,excellent services and very cozy accommodations for all their guests.
The city of Athens has a history that dates back about three thousand four hundred years. The city of Athens has a population of about seven hundred and forty five thousand five hundred and fourteen. The city covers the area of about fifteen square miles.
Athens is a cosmopolitan city and nowadays it is at the center for finance, economics, industry, culture and also politics. Research has revealed that Athens is the thirty-second richest city within the world. Traditionally Athens was known as a city-state that was powerful.
The heritage that dates back to the classical era is actually still evident within the city and this era is represented by a number of different works of art and ancient monuments and this includes the Parthenon, which is very famous. Even nowadays the city is still home to vast array of Byzantine monuments and Roman monuments. There is also an array of Ottoman monuments and these represent the long history of the city. If you have an interest in monuments and culture then book online and get cheap tickets so you can enjoy what the city has to offer whilst saving money.
The city of Athens is able to enjoy a climate that can be described as subtropical Mediterranean. The southern part of Athens tends to experience a semi arid climate that means that it tends to have hot weather. This city is able to enjoy lots sunshine all through the year and it averages at two thousand eight hundred and eighty four hours per year. Most of the rain falls between the middle of October and the middle of April. There is not a lot of rainfall during the summer months and any rain that does fall during these months tends to be in the form of thunderstorms or showers. It’s worth booking cheap airline tickets and making the most of the nice weather that this city has on offer.
For many years now the city of Athens has been very popular with tourists and this is assisted by the fact that the city is easy to get to from any where in the world and it is possible to get cheap flights. Over the last decade the infrastructure within the city and the social amenities have great improved. The city of Athens hosted the Olympic Games in 2004 and this was part of the reason why the city made such a massive improvements in its facilities. The Greek government worked within the European Union in order to undertake major projects such as the state of the art international airport that is known as Eleftherios Venizelos and also the expansion of the Metro System in Athens. The city of Athens is home to about one hundred and forty eight theatrical stages and this is more than any other city within the world.
Athens is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and this means that there are ample places to see and visit in the city. The home of famous philosophers like Aristotle, Socrates and Plato has many things to offer visitors.
Acropolis is the considered to be one of the biggest attractions in the city. It is the site where ancient Athens was situated and home to temples dedicated in the honor of Athena, the patron goddess of the city. The main buildings in this ancient city were designed by Pericles, and most of them were constructed between the years 460 BC and 430 BC. The most popular attractions are Parthenon, Erechtheion, the Temple of Nike and Propylea. At the very foothills of the Acropolis is Plaka, where you can visit numerous museums. The Jewish Museum, the Greek Folk Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Greek and European Paintings are located here.
You should not miss a chance to visit the ancient agora in the city. Marketplaces played an important role in ancient Greece, and when visiting modern-day Athens, you will have a chance to see the ruins of the ancient marketplace in the city. There is an entrance fee levied, but it is worth it. You can also visit the Ancient Agora Museum to see the exhibits and also admire the marvelous architecture of the building.
If you are not a fan of history, then modern-day Athens will not disappoint you. The main square in the city is known as Syntagma Square and this where all the hot spots of the city are located. Here you will find restaurants, shops, hotels and bars situated around a huge water fountain. To the north and south of the square are some great gardens that house a number of cafes where you can sit down to sip a cool drink or take a quick bite. The square is also close to the Greek parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Kolonaki District is located close to Syntagma Square where you can visit designer stores and boutiques to purchase branded labels. The District also has posh eating places. It is considered to be one of the richest suburbs of the city.
If you are in Athens, you should not miss a trip to the local flea market situated at Monastiraki. You can get good bargains and souvenirs to take home. Finally, take the metro to get some information about this city. While the metro was being constructed, many ancient artifacts were found which are now displayed in some of the stations.
There is a conundrum with many historically significant cities. Guidebooks tend to send you off to every site with any potential historical significance, but leave out any mention of the modern attractions of the city. In the case of
As with any
The charm of
One particularly good spot is in the Plaka neighborhood. A nineteenth century quarter, Plaka has a mix of Turkish and Greek influences. From Plaka, you can head to the shopping bazaars found throughout the city. The bazaars in Athinas and Eolou are a bit touristy, but no excessively. With a mideastern feel, you can sit down and drink tea with local shop owners while they hock their wares.
From there, the city is wide open. If you dare, grab a taxi and tell the driver you just want to see the real city. It will be the ride of your life.
Barcelona, as one of Spain’s most important and largest cities, offers the visitor an abundance of cultural things to see and do. Famous sights include the impressive Sagrada Família, the bustling Ramblas, several outstanding Gaudí buildings and a good selection of museums and galleries. Also, a rather unique characteristic of the city is the fact that it also lies on the coast and offers the rarity of sandy beaches and sunbathing; an ideal situation for those looking for culture as well as a bit of sea-side relaxation.
Of course accommodation will play a relatively large part in how much you enjoy your visit. A 3-star hotel will usually provide at least the minimum in the services and amenities expected for a comfortable and relaxing stay. Like many major cities, there is a good choice of 3 star hotels in Barcelona. They can be found all over the city, but for convenience it would probably be best to stay in a hotel in or close to the city centre, so that you can easily discover Barcelona on foot, even though the city’s public transport system is both cheap and efficient.
The centre of Barcelona is quite compact, making it viable to explore on foot. Furthermore, the centre is well connect via the city’s comprehensive metro network. In the centre you will find the Cathedral, Gaudí’s La Pedrera, the main shopping centre, some of the city’s best restaurants and cafes and many of the museums, such as the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Picasso Museum, the Maritime Museum and much more.
The following Barcelona hotels are well located in the city centre, one near Plaza Catalonia, one close to the Sagrada Família and the other directly on the Ramblas.
3-star Hotel Gran Ducat Barcelona: This hotel is a modern place to stay and run by friendly, professional staff. Located just off Plaza Catalonia, you will be close to where the Ramblas begin and where the city’s main shopping area can be found. There are 64 good-sized guest rooms in total, all en suite, air conditioned and well equipped with today’s mod cons.
The Acropolis. This has been the heart of
Athensfrom antiquity and remains so today. The Parthenon, a massive marble temple in the center of Acropolis, is visible from almost everywhere in the city. The Acropolis actually has more than this and is a whole complex well worth exploring in detail.
Plaka. To get a sense of the modern city, visit the Plaka district. Full of souvenir shops, small cafes, restaurants and other local attractions, this is where you should go to get a feel of modern
Athensand its people.
Psirri. This district has been fully renovated since the 2004 Olympics and is now the
centerof the Athensnightlife. If you want to find a party, head on down. The Gazi district is also happening, but is more popular with the gay scene.
Anafiotika District. To get a feel for the real city and escape the tourists in Plaka, visit this district. A maze of tiny, winding streets and alleys, this is more like the real
Athensand is very picturesque.
National Archaeological Museum. This is an absolute must for those interested in Greek history and features the largest collection of ancient Greek artifacts anywhere. These come from all over Greece, not just
The Agora. Outside of, and below, the Acropolis, this was the marketplace of ancient
Athens. Some of the ancient buildings still stand and some of the newer additions are quite notable in their own right.
Delphi. Along the same theme of ancient Greece, you can take a day trip from
Athensto visit the ruins at Delphi, home of the famous Oracle. The organized tours are expensive, so consider just renting a car and going on your own.