The Byzantine and Christian Museum was on our to do list in Athens and we can highly recommend spending an afternoon here if you want to learn more about the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe during the first thousand years of our western era. We had read about the museum beforehand and our awesome Airbnb-hosts also recommended the museum, so we had high expectations on our visit and we were not disappointed.
Museet “Byzantine and Christian Museum” var på vår att göra-lista i Aten och vi rekommenderar starkt att spendera en eftermiddag här om du vill lära dig mer om den starkaste ekonomiska, kulturella och militära kraften i Europa under de första tusen åren av vår västerländska tideräkning. Vi hade läst om museet på förhand och våra fantastiska Airbnb-värdar rekommenderade också museet, så vi hade höga förväntningar på besöket och vi blev inte besvikna.
The Byzantine and Christian Museum was recommended by our Airbnb-hosts. We wanted to learn more about the early days of Christianity, so why not acquire the knowledge in Athens.
The Byzantine Empire sprung from the fall of the Roman Empire during the 5th century AD. The Byzantine Empire is actually the surviving part of the Eastern Roman Empire. Its capital was Constantinople, which today is a part of Turkey, with the name changed to Istanbul. The Byzantine Empire existed for a thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
The Byzantine Empire was founded by Constantine I in the 3rd century AD, and Christianity was legalized and became the official religion in the empire. In the 6th century AD, the Byzantine Empire switched from Latin to Greek as their official language.
There where different sections covering art, culture, everyday life, governance, administration and religious activities from different parts of the Byzantine Empire. They even had a section covering the Copts, the Christian population in Egypt. This is clothes and shoes that a Christian child would wear in the Egyptian part of the Byzantine Empire.
One part of the museum that we found very interesting, was the huge controversy and religious division over Iconoclasm (breakers of icons and religious images) over iconodules (supporters of icons and religious images) during the 8th and early 9th centuries. The iconoclasts banned all religious pictures of icons and christian heroes and wanted the cross to be the only symbol for worship, whilst iconodules wanted to keep the worship and veneration of images of Jesus, the Apostles and saints.
There were religious art hanging in the museum.
There were plenty of jewelry on display in the museum.
and equipment for everyday life like oil lamps.
Parts of houses where also displayed in the museum, so you got a feeling for Byzantine architecture. More pictures from the museum can be found in the slide show below.
Athens is huge, but we managed to get a feeling for the neighborhoods we where surrounded by. They grow non-eatable orange allées in the city.
Athens has a lot of smaller and bigger parks. We had a lovely pine forest park near us that we explored.
And their balconies are filled with green plants.
Sometimes there is a tree right on the streets. Vehicles be aware!
We walked by a beautifully painted school and we had to take a picture of it.
And we found a car repair shop with a go-cart like car on display showing the mechanism behind how a car works. Just small things that we love finding while walking around in a new city,
Pontus got himself a fresh haircut whilst in Athens.
OKEIO is our favorite restaurant in Athens. which is near the Byzantine Museum and the cliff railway that takes you up on the Lycabettus hill.
Both the interior design and food is lovely.
They serve a mix of Greek and European dishes.
We tried a local restaurant that we got recommended by our Airbnb-hosts and we got to taste many kinds of traditional Greek food here.
And eat meat German style here in Athens, which they call “Kotsi”, 8 euro for a huge chunk of tender meat.
We also got to hang out with our awesome Airbnb-hosts Khatchig and Matina. Blurry pictures, but lovely times!
Thank you M and K for all your help and recommendations while we stayed in Athens. It made our time in Athens so much easier!
Next up Acropolis. We just had to visit this place before we left Athens. More about this historical landmark in our next blog post.