First Cemetery of Athens

Athens, Greece

The First Cemetery of Athens is the official cemetery of the City of Athens and the first to be built. It opened in 1837 and soon became a prestigious cemetery for Greeks and foreigners. The cemetery is located behind the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Panathinaiko Stadium in central Athens.

In the cemetery there are three churches. The main one is the Church of Saint Theodores and there is also a smaller one dedicated to Saint Lazarus. The third church of Saint Charles is a Catholic church. The cemetery includes several impressive tombs such as those of Heinrich Schliemann, Ioannis Pesmazoglou and one tomb with a famous sculpture of a dead young girl called I Koimomeni ('The Sleeping Girl'). There are also burial areas for Protestants and Jews, however, this segregation is not compulsory. The cemetery is under the Municipality of Athens and is declared an historical monument.

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Address

Iolis 13, Athens, Greece
See all sites in Athens

Details

Founded: 1837
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Greece

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Richard Hoggard (2 years ago)
The main cemetery of the city of Athens. It's one of the two cemeteries of the municipality and it's the cemetery where most famous and important people of Greece are buried.
Kat C. (2 years ago)
Beautiful and interesting to visit. A historic, quiet place, its good to go for a walk and see the unique tombstones. As it is still actively visit this place with respect.
Athanasia Kokkinogeni (2 years ago)
A stroll around the cemetery is a true memoire to the important Greek figures that shaped Greek history, politics, and culture. The most beautiful cemetery in Athens where you will walk by the graves of Archbishops, Presidents, Ministers, important people of the art, theatre, and cinema. It is worth a visit!
Laura (2 years ago)
Wonderful place with a really special "mood" and energy. A place to calm down, walk and meditate.
Panagiotis Boulougouras (3 years ago)
Built in 1837, the First Cemetery of Athens is the final resting place of revolutionary heroes, actors, poets, politicians, and important figures of society and the church. The cemetery is open to the public and a spectacular place for visitors to admire sculpture. At night, however, the place takes on a creepier vibe. Many report encounters with the resident ghost of Nikolas Batsaris who is oblivious to human presence and seen sitting by a wreath. Surely one of the places you should visit when you come to Athens for the first time.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.