Apr 1, 2011

Athens, Greece

Scenes from the View-Master packet Athens (B 206) from the Famous Cities Series.


View-Master Athens (B206), Packet Cover

Packet cover


View-Master Athens (B206), Booklet Cover

Booklet Cover


From the 16-page booklet:


To visit Athens, Greece, is to return to the source of our Western Civilization.

The Acropolis, rising in the heart of the city, was inhabited in the earliest days before recorded history. As Athens grew beyond its wall, this fortified rock became a place devoted to temples and the city-state’s gold hoard.

About the year 594 B.C. an Athenian named Solon drew up a constitution in which all citizens had a right to vote in the business of the city-state. Only a few were considered citizens. Yet with Solon, democracy was born.

Invading Persians, in 480 B.C., burned the Acropolis. The same year the Athenians shattered the Persians’ power once and for all in the naval battle off Salamis.

Under the leadership of Pericles, the Athenians rebuilt their city crowning the Acropolis with monuments to victory and to their patron goddess Athena. This was the Golden Age that has made the name of Athens synonymous with the glory of ancient Greece.

In the centuries that followed, Athens was ruled in turn, by Macedonia, Rome, Byzantine emperors at Constantinople, Frankish dukes of the Crusaders, and the Turks.

When Athens was chosen in 1834 as capital of modern Greece, it was a seedy market town of 300 houses huddled at the foot of a ruined Acropolis.


Scene 2

Venizelos Avenue

View-Master Athens (B206), Scene 2: Venizelos Avenue and the Academy of Athens

Venizelos Avenue, Athens


From the 16-page booklet:



The traveler is overlooking Venizelos (formerly University) Avenue, one of the chief thoroughfares in downtown Athens.

To the right is the 19th century neoclassic Academy, with statues of Apollo and Athena perched on the tall columns.


Scene 3

Constitution Square


House of Parliament & Constitution Square


From the 16-page booklet:



Constitution Square is the social center of Athens. During siesta time a lull settles over the park. By four o’clock the sidewalk cafes are filled with the gregarious, outdoor-loving Athenians who gather here for thick Turkish coffee and pastries, or to linger over a glass of ouzo, the anise liqueur, while nibbling on dried octopus or slivers of dried fish.

The House of Parliament which was formerly the palace of Greek kings, dominates Constitution Square. Otto, an adolescent Bavarian prince became the first king of Greece in 1832. When the capital was moved from Nauplia to Athens in 1834, architects wanted to build the palace on the Acropolis. King Ludwig, Otto’s father, vetoed the idea. Athens was raging with malaria; finding a healthful location was a problem. Scientists, unaware of the germ-carrying mosquito, tested the purity of the air by the rate of decomposition of raw meat placed on selected sites. The chuck that held up the longest was the one exposed on the knoll where Parliament now stands.


Scene 5

Stadium Street Parade

View-Master Athens (B206), Scene 5: The Wedding Parade at Stadium Street

The Wedding Parade at Stadium Street


From the 16-page booklet:



More than a million cheering spectators—Greeks, visiting Danes, and foreign tourists—lines the wedding procession route.

King Constantine, 24 years of age when crowned, is the world’s youngest monarch. By his marriage to teen-aged Anne-Marie, Greece acquired the world’s youngest queen.


Scene 8


View-Master Athens (B206), Scene 8: The Acropolis and Columns of Zeus Temple

The Acropolis & Columns of Zeus Temple


From the 16-page booklet:


Before visiting the Acropolis and its marble ruins, let us pause at the remaining Corinthian columns of the Temple of Zeus, once the largest edifice in Greece. Begun in the sixth century B.C., this sanctuary of Zeus, king of the Greek gods, was finally completed 700 years later by Emperor Hadrian. It was Athens’ last pagan temple, as Christianity moved into the old temples and built new churches.

Hadrian’s Arch, to the west, marks the line between the old Athens and that built by the Romans. The Greek side reads, This is the City of Theseus (a mythical Athenian King). The Roman side reads, This is the City of Hadrian.


Scene 15

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

View-Master Athens (B206), Scene 15: The Odeon Theatre, reconstructed, seats 5,000

The Odeon Theatre, reconstructed, seats 5,000


From the 16-page booklet:


The Odeon, seen from the temple of Athena Nike, was built in the second century A.D. by Herodes Atticus. This was the same public-spirited citizen who first marbled the Stadium.

Roofed with cedar and seating 5,000, it was the most magnificent theatre of its time. The three-story façade was built of red brick and fist-sized stones; statues stood in its arches. The circular floor of the orchestra was paved in a checkerboard pattern with green and white marble.

Reconstructed since World War II, the Odeon is now the scene of the Athens Summer Festival of Music and Drama.


Scene 16

The Theseum

View-Master Athens (B206), Scene 16: The Theseum

The Theseum, Ancient Greek Temple


From the 16-page booklet:


The fifth century B.C. Theseum, overlooking the Agora, is the best preserved of all ancient Greek temples. It has erroneously been called the Theseum in honor of Theseus, the legendary king of Athens. It is now generally believed that this was a bronze-caster’s quarters dedicated to Hephaestus, god of the artisans and blacksmiths.

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