“This site is incredible! Unlike the more heavily touristed sites in Athens, here you are allowed to walk amongst the ruins, touch the stones, and really get a feel of what it was like. Our guide was great and very good with children! Although the name does not suggest so, it is a great tour to have with your children. Ours loved it because they could touch and climb and our guide was interacting with them all the time! They felt like explorers! We loved the fun facts about the place and the little theatre we did with Pericles' oration! The history 'buried' under the ruins is thrilling and we were able to really understand it because of this tour! Do not hesitate to book it - and do enjoy the native tortoises that live and roam around the place!"
- Noah T, Australia
2. What you can expect
“Just before you leave Ermou street, there is a door that, if you cross it, you will enter paradise… small slopes, pieces of shattered marble and grass… and the sweet nightingale of silence.”
These are the words of a Greek poet, written for the site of Kerameikos. After you meet with our travel-teller and licensed guide, you will travel back in time, in 430 BC, when the whole city was gathering at Kerameikos to honor the fallen after the first year of the Peloponnesian War. Our travel-teller will guide you through the world of the Dead and, like Ulysses, you will walk the Way of Graves until you reach the place, where it is said that Pericles, the great man of the Golden Age of Athens, delivered his famous funeral oration. Through an interactive experience, you will come to understand the importance of this oration, and you will not only draw information on the life and beliefs of Ancient Greeks but will also become philosophers yourselves!
But Kerameikos was not just a cemetery. It has been characterized as the historical gateway to Athens! There, you would find Dipylon, the biggest gate of the ancient world and the main gate to Athens. After entering the city, we will satisfy our thirst at the ancient fountain, as the ancient travelers did, and we will reach Pompeion, the life source of Ancient Athens. Pompeion had a key role in the city’s life; it was used during the preparations for the various religious festivals that structured the Athenian calendar, such as the Eleusinian Mysteries and the Panathenaic Games. We will walk around the Gymnasium, where children would play and train for their life as adults, and we will have the chance to know the secrets of the ancient stones and testify to thousands of years ago of human presence!
Then, we will visit the small but excellent Kerameikos Museum. Its collections include key examples of Athenian grave sculpture and a series of very fine relief-decorated grave reliefs, usually depicting the deceased bidding farewell to their loved ones. They are among the finest pieces of ancient Greek stone-carving to have survived. The museum also displays personal objects placed within the graves, as well as a compact but comprehensive gallery of pottery found in or on tombs – an immensely useful and manageable overview of the development of Athenian pottery and vase painting! We will also have a chance to vote for the wellness of our city, like Ancient Athenians, through an interactive experience!