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Greek history & culture

Demeter (literally meaning Mother Earth) is one of the most ancient deities of the Greek pantheon. Dearly loved by ancient Greek people, Demeter was commonly thought to be a benevolent deity, tending to the people's needs but with her dark side too when challenged. Many myths and legends orbit around the figure of Demeter often symbolizing different qualities of nature. One of them is the moving story of Demeter and her beloved daughter Persephone.

The ancient open Theatre of Epidaurus dates back to 4th century BC and is located in the lush hills of the Peloponnese, just a 30-minute drive from the Saronic Gulf. This is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece, but is undeniably unique for a multitude of reasons. It is argued that the Theatre of Epidaurus is the grandest and best preserved in all of Greece, making it a must-see for travelers who come to Athens (Epidaurus is only 2 hours away from Athens!). Although the Theatre is most definitely the highlight of the area, the city that surrounds the Epidaurus Theatre is also an exemplary archeological site, with a gymnasium that is recently excavated and a museum with beautiful works of art like statues and replicas.

World renowned and truly a remarkable man of talent and integrity, Mikis Theodorakis has composed over 1000 songs, written heartbreakingly beautiful music and been awarded the Lenin Peace Prize. Politically active and a man of deep conviction he has also demonstrated the power of music to bring unity where there is discord. He is a living - breathing giant of the Greek music scene, and, at the age of 92, is living proof that abiding by one’s convictions and striving for the common good is, in effect, an elixir for longevity.

The Parthenon, almost 2,500 years old, inspires and bewitches. Who could fail to be enchanted by its pediments and columns, its reverential gaze over the city of Athena and its magnificently rich story of stony resistance in the face of unending challenges? But perhaps there is still more to learn about the Parthenon in the entrails of history.Here are ten facts (plus 1) we hope will interest – and inspire – you.