Athens METRO stations – Discovering the most fascinating Museums..
Starting in 1991, at the same time with the works on the underground metropolitan railway, started also the largest archaeological excavation in Athens covering an area of 79 square kilometres, which brought to light more than 50,000 archaeological findings. The seven thousand years of continuous habitation of the Greek capital made the construction of the metro railway system a daunting task full of challenges and discoveries.
The history of Greece was revealed in layers. Roman baths, a section of the Peisistratian aqueduct, the bed of the Iridanos River and the ancient road which led to the municipalities of Messogia were all unearthed at Syntagma station. Two mass graves which date back to the beginning of the Peloponnesian War were discovered not far from the station at Keramikos. The archaeological excavations carried out at Monastiraki station exposed the remains of settlements dating from between the 8th century BC (Geometric Period) and the 19th century AD. The embedded Iridanos river bed, which has been made accessible to passengers, was also unearthed at this spot. At the Acropolis station, the excavation revealed graves from the Mid- and Post-Helladic periods, as well as dwellings, workshops, roads and baths.
The Athens Metro can boast that it is the only subway - museum as six of the metro stations have archaeological findings exhibited in public, while all of the stations host artwork by contemporary artists. The long history of the city of Athens is revealed on the spot, with modern Athenians going through the same place that their ancient ancestors have lived and worked in the past. In addition, the subway is also the mean of transport that provides easy access to important sights and museums.
From an architectural viewpoint, every station is compatible with the area where it has been built. Different building materials (such as marble, granite or tiles), different aesthetics and variations in the use of space all characterize the city beneath the ground. Artistic works of the most famous Greek artists have also been put on display. One example is the two works of art created by Alekos Fasianos especially for Metaxourgio station, which is located in the neighborhood where he grew up. Users of the Athens Metro can see an illuminated statue of Taki (at Fix station), a work of art created by Nikos Kessanlis (Omonia station), and a structure with trees created by Kostas Tsoklis (Ethniki Amyna station) to mention but a few. It is worth planning to make a few stops to get a taste of both contemporary and ancient Greek civilization. The whole scheme is of an informative nature.
The metro does not just take us from one point to another but with its exhibits communicates the roots of the long history of the city, a city that continues to march on what was built by the people who lived here before us.