Historic Sites in Greece: UNESCO World Heritage List

Greece has an abundance of cultural attractions and resources that tourists flock to. Greece’s is the crossroads of cultures and civilizations. Vacationer love to experience the evidence of the rich historic past in Greece. Greece has an abundance of ancient monuments of outstanding value.

The United Nations, UNESCO, has developed and maintained a list of significant places in the world, known as the World Heritage List, which is selected by a committee. Of the 851 world wide properties selected for their outstanding universal value, 17 are in Greece. Following are the outstandingly significant historic places in Greece.

Temple of Apollo Eqicurius at Bassae: Famous Temple to the god of healing and the sun. The ancient temple was built in middle of the 5th century BC. The temple of Apollo Epikourios is considered one of the most important temples in antiquity. The temples stands in the rocky landscape of Bassae. It is unique in it’s combination of ancient Greek architecture and for it’s variety of novel ideas in external appearance and internal arrangements.

Acropolis, Athens: The Acropolis is the site of four of the greatest masterpieces of classical Greek art. The four famous monuments are: The Parthenon, The Propylaea, The Erecchtheum and the Temple of Sthena Nike. The monuments illustrate the civilizations, myths and religions that flourished for over 1,,000 years.

Archaeological Site of Delphi: In the 6th century BC, Delphi was the center of Greek religious life. The pan-Hellenic sanctuary is were the oracle of Apollo spoke.

Delphi oracle archaeological site, Temple of Athena pronoia
Delphi oracle archaeological site, Temple of Athena pronoia

Medieval City of Rhodes: The city became a stronghold for the Order of St. John of Jerusalem from 1309 to 1523. The town is as beautiful example of medieval urban ensembles of the Gothic period. Significant are the Palace of the Grand Masters, the great Hospital, the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town, The Lower Town and Gothic architecture consisting of mosques, public baths and buildings of the Ottoman period.

Meteora: Monks settled on these “columns of the sky”,located in a region of sandstone peaks. Twenty four monasteries were built , despite incredibly difficult terrain and conditions. The columns were built starting in the 11th century. There are 16th century frescoes that make a key stage in post Byzantine painting.


Mount Athos: Mount Athos has been an Orthodox spiritual center since 1054. Women and children are denied access to “The Holy Mountain”. “Holy Mountain” Currently about 20 of the monasteries are occupied by about 1,400 monks. The recognized artistic site influenced art as far as Russia. The School of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art.

Mount Athos, Monastery Esfigmenou
Mount Athos, Monastery Esfigmenou

Paleochritsina and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika: The seaport of Thessalonika was founded in 315 BC. It became one of the first bases for the spread of Christianity. There are Christina monuments and fine churches. Some churches are building on the Greek cross plan an others are built on the three nave basilica plan. Churches were built over a long period, from the 4th to the 15th century. Mosaics of St. Demetrius and St. David on the rotunda are among the great masterpieces of early Christian art.

Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus: The site, located in a small valley, sprawls out over several levels. In the 6th century BC, the cult of Asclepius began there. The principal monuments, especially eh theatre, are considered pure masterpieces of Greek architecture. Monuments date back to the 4th century. The site is considered a tribute to the healing cults of Greek and Roman times. The site is vast, with temples and hospital buildings devoted to its gods.


Archaeological Site of Mystras: The amphitheater was built in 1249 by the prince of Achaia. It was conquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and Venetian. In 1832 the city was abandoned. Today the city consists of breathtaking ruins standing in a beautiful landscape.

Archaeological Site of Olympia: The site has be inhabited since prehistoric times. Olympia became a worship center for Zeus in the 10th century BC. Olympia has a high concentration of masterpieces from the ascent Greek world Today there are temples and the remains of sports structures. The sports structure were erected for the Olympic Games that were held in Olympia every four years starting in 776 BC.

Delos: Greek mythology says that Apollo was born on the tiny island of Delos. Pilgrims from all over Greece and Delos were attracted to Delos, which was a prosperous trading port. The site conveys a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port.

Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios: Three monasteries, which are geographically distant from each other, that belong to the same series. Daphni is in Attica, near Athens. Hosios is in Phodica, near Delphi. Attica is near Asia Minor. These churches are built in a cross=-in=square plan, with a large dome. The churches were decorated in the 11th and 12th centuries with superb marble works and mosaics on a gold background.

Pythagoreion and Heraion on Samos: Small Aegean island near Asia Minor. Many civilizations have lived here since the 3rd millennium BC. There are remains of Pythagoreion, which is an ancient fortified port.

Archaeological Site of Aigai (Vergina): Ancient first capital of he Kingdom of Macedonia. Important remains of a large palace with with lavishly decorated with mosiacs and stuccos.

Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns: Ruins of cities of the Mycenaean civilization.

Historic Center, Monastery of Saint John The Theologian”, Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Patmos. Small island is believed to be where St. John the Theologian wrote his Gospel and the Apocalypse. A monastery was dedicated to the “beloved disciple”{ in the late 10th center. The island has been a place of pilgrimage every since.

Old Town of Corfu: Island of Corfu is strategically located at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea. The island has roots in the 8th century BC. Corfu was added to the World Heritage List in 2007.

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