|An earthcache in the heart of Athens.
The Areios Pagos is the rocky hill across the street from Dionyssiou Areopagitou from the Acropolis. This is where the first courts of the Athenian democracy were based, and is named after Aris (Mars), who was one of the Twelve Olympians gods, a son of Zeus and Hera in Greek mythology, and precisely the god of war.
According to legend, Orestis, haunted by the Furies, came here after killing his mother, Clytaemnystra, and was tried by court, at the behest of godess Athena.
This rocky hill is one of the seven hills of Athens and one of the three limestones hills of the centre of Athens.
During the Archaic period the legislative and judicial council of the aristocracy decided to assume the name of Aeropagus and it is quite possible that they used the hill as meeting grounds as well. However there are no ruins left to verify this assumption. The surface of the hill is uneven and completely unsuitable for any kind of monumental construction. The only thing that remains standing on the plateau of the rocky hummock is a big boulder in the shape of an altar that is assumed to have been dedicated to Athena. There must have been more than one cult established up there, which is very common with all of the hills surrounding the Acropolis.
Access to the rock is from the southeast side of a staircase with stairs carved in rock. Given the slipperiness replaced by a metal construction except the last part of it.
The Areopagus is also associated with the spread of Christianity in Greece. It was on this rock that Paul talked to the Athenians about the new religion in 52 AD. He was actually facilitated in his speech by the pre-existence of an altar in Athens which was dedicated to the Unknown God. He thus managed to persuade a lot of Athenians. A passage from Paul’s speech is carved on a rock situated at the lower part of the steps leading to the top of the hill.
To go there, the nearest Metro stations are Acropolis, Thesseion and Monastiraki.
Be very careful when climbing the stone-cut steps leading up the rock because they are extremely slippery. So is most of the top of the rock. Wear shoes with rubber soles as leather ones might very well get you to the hospital rather then to the top of the Areios Pagos. Do not go up the rock during the warmest part of the day as you will not be able to stay up there for long.
Once you are on top of the rock of Areios Pagos, you have an excellent view over the ancient agora, Plaka, Monastiraki, Omonia, Syntagma and most of the rest of Athens. Lots of people will be on the rock at dusk as you have a great view on the Athens sunset there. At night couples go up to enjoy the lights of the city.
To validate your visit e-mail me the answers of the following questions:
- What is the height of the rocky hill.
- How many hills there are in Athens.
- The geological composition of the hills in the area.
- How many steps are carved into stone at the end of the metal construction which is used for climb on the rock from the southeast side that is the main entrance to the rock.
Post also a photo of the rocky hill or from the view of this spot.
If you want to search for a traditional cache, in the same area there is also the cache Ancient Agora (GC2133H)