Category Archives: Archaeological Sites

Palatine Hill and Domitian’s Palace- Roman History, Mythology and Ruins

One of my favourite days in Rome was the day I visited Palatine Hill. As I walked around this beautiful hill, past gardens and remnants of opulent palaces, I imagined how luxurious it must have been when it was ancient Rome’s most exclusive neighbourhood. History of Palatine Hill As Rome’s most central hill, the Palatine…

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  • Franca - This post makes me a little bit homesick. Even though I’m not from that part of Italy, I love Rome and I go every time I have the opportunity, it’s so full of history every corner you turn, love it! :)March 17, 2014 – 7:34 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - This is my favorite part of Rome. No matter how many times I’ve been, the Forum and Palatine Hill is where I head first. It’s just SO Roma!April 24, 2014 – 6:10 amReplyCancel

  • Danial -  Such majestic buildings I could imagine how imposing they looked like in their full glory.March 19, 2019 – 2:44 amReplyCancel

Ancient Olympia- Birthplace of the Olympic Games

As we made our way over to the dirt covered track in Ancient Olympia, my heart started to beat a little faster. Could I do this? Was I ready? Or would I be left behind in the dust? The Greek sun mercilessly beating down on me, I started to feel flush as I stepped up…

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  • Stacey Veikalas - Great Article ~ we have never been here, but now I will have to add it to my bucket list! Thank you for sharing! :)February 20, 2014 – 11:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Good for you for running the track! It was about 100F when we were in Olympia, I was wearing flip flops, and the sun was relentless that day. I decided not to run it because I’d just be even hotter and sweatier for the rest of the day. I really should have just run it though!March 22, 2014 – 9:38 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I was in flip flops too, so it’s a bit of a stretch to call what I did “running”. It was still fun though and a great memory!March 22, 2014 – 9:48 amReplyCancel

Ancient Delphi- The Navel of the World

Nestled between the rugged peak of Mount Parnassus and a spectacular valley of cypress and olive trees is Delphi, regarded by ancient Greeks as the most sacred site in the world. About Ancient Delphi- History and Mythology Delphi is said to have been founded by Zeus, who determined it to be the centre of the…

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  • Marsha - Delphi was probably my favourite ancient site outside of Athens. I loved the history and myth behind it; and it’s quite well-preserved and just a fun place to visit. I love the Treasury of Athens and the Sanctuary as well – glad you were able to quickly pop over to get a picture of it. My tour went there and I was veryyyy happy! Great pictures!January 8, 2014 – 11:48 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks! It really didn’t make sense why my tour wouldn’t have gone down to the Sanctuary of Athena. It was the place I had wanted to see the most! I would always see pictures of the Tholos, so that’s how I found of about Delphi in the first place. Oh well, at least I was able to run down and see it. I’ve never run so fast (and probably so far) in my life! I was very afraid of the tour bus leaving me behind!January 8, 2014 – 12:03 pmReplyCancel

Ostia Antica- Harbour City of Ancient Rome

One of my favourite archaeological sites in Italy is the Roman port town of Ostia Antica. You may not have even heard of it because it’s often overlooked by visitors to Rome, as evidenced by the lack of crowds. I know Rome has so much to see, but Ostia is only 45 minutes out of…

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  • Darren McLellan - Great post. My wife and I spent an afternoon in Ostia Antica in 2004. It was quiet and almost empty. To be able to walk among the ruins without guides and crowds was wonderful.
    Somewhere I have a picture of myself standing in the pedimented portico.December 13, 2013 – 10:19 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Great photos! I love places like this that are off the tourist radar. We’ll have to check out Ostia Antica next time we head down that way.January 7, 2014 – 4:20 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - You definitely should! It’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Rome for the day.January 8, 2014 – 12:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Ashley Babin - I used to be a guide at Ostia and I always loved spending my mornings here! The archeology and diversity of the site is so wonderful and the lack of crowds make it just that much more enjoyable!January 23, 2016 – 2:52 amReplyCancel

  • SEB - Best archeological site in Rome!!April 30, 2018 – 10:01 amReplyCancel

  • Michele - Ostia Antica is such an interesting site! like mentioned above it doesn’t get the attraction of Pompei so you can enjoy every mosaic, sculpture and structure to yourself with the suffocating crowds. It also has a small little museum of all the original statues found during the excavations. March 7, 2019 – 4:35 amReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Temple of Hephaestus, Athens

The Temple of Hephaestus is the best preserved Doric temple in Greece. It was built on the western edge of the Ancient Agora in honour of God of the Forge, Hephaestus. The temple has 34 columns, a frieze depicting nine of the Twelve Labours of Heracles and was once surrounded by foundries and metalwork shops….

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Coba, Mexico- A Mad Dash Towards a Terrifying Climb

In a race against the clock, we each hopped on a bicycle and pedalled as quickly as we could down the dirt road leading us into Coba’s ancient jungle. Tires flicking up dirt, handle bars creaking and rattling, pedals spinning as fast as our legs could turn them, we laughed loudly all the way to…

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  • Ellen Christian - Absolutely stunning!August 18, 2013 – 5:12 amReplyCancel

  • Julie - Great post and pictures! I have always wanted to visit Coba. I’ve only made it to Chichen Itza for Mayan sites. It’s definitely on the list!August 18, 2013 – 3:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - It looks like you managed to see quite a bit even with arriving late in the afternoon. Great photos!August 20, 2013 – 2:07 amReplyCancel

  • Brittany Maria - Coba was one of my favourite ruins in the Yucatan! I loved climbing to the top of the Nohoch Mul and admiring the incredible views of the jungle treetops. Amazing! There were a group of three nearby cenotes that I swam in afterwards that were also gorgeous.March 7, 2016 – 3:38 pmReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: The Pantheon, Rome

The Pantheon was first built in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa (whose father-in-law was Augustus). The temple was rebuilt around AD 120 by Emperor Hadrian but Agrippa’s name was left inscribed over the entrance. The Pantheon is famous for its extraordinary dome, the largest masonry vault ever built. It’s considered the most important achievement of…

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Tour of the Acropolis- Athens’ High City

From almost any point within Athens you can see the Acropolis standing high above the city, a monumental beauty built in homage to Athena, the goddess of wisdom. When I arrived in Athens, I could not wait to see the Acropolis, one of the most famous ancient Greek sites. Walking towards it and getting my first…

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  • Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com - Love this post! It reminds me that I haven’t written yet about the Acropolis. I miss Greece!August 4, 2013 – 11:43 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Fantastic photos! We’ve been to Greece but not to Athens yet. I do really want to see the Acropolis.August 5, 2013 – 6:46 amReplyCancel

  • Abby - When I went to Greece, people actually told us to skip Athens! But we could have stayed there for weeks — and actually had a much more special time there with the ruins than on the islands.August 9, 2013 – 11:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I’ve heard of a lot of people not liking Athens. It took me a little while to warm up to it, but I blame that on being grumpy from jet lag.

      Athens is definitely worth seeing for the history alone. The National Archaeological Museum is great as well! I think people tend to overlook the mainland in general, which is a shame, because there is so much more to Greece than just the islands.August 9, 2013 – 11:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Edsel Sismar - Great post! These shots is truly amazing, I loved them. I’ve always wanted to visit Athens, still hoping that one day I may have the chance to go there and feel and see the wonderful things in Athens and not just in photos or videos anymore.December 4, 2013 – 3:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandy Allain - Wow, look at these amazing structures and architectures of ancient times. Truly stunning and amazing. Wish I could see them in person.December 19, 2013 – 2:47 amReplyCancel

  • Anna - As an Athenian I really have to thank you for this post. I get it why people would like to skip Athens and go straight to the islands or spent a few days in Athens, see the sights and ruins and then head to the islands.

    The mainland as you wrote in the comments is of course interesting but I guess that anyone coming from a non Mediterranean country is accustomed to seeing mountains and lakes. Plus driving in the mainland is a a bit difficult sometimes. Yet there are so many interesting things to see in the mainland (from the top of my head I’d say Meteora is the most importand sight in the mainland). Phew I would go on for ages writing about the sights of Greece, so I’d stop right now!March 17, 2014 – 1:53 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Anna! Thank you for your comment. I love Greece and have written quite a lot about it on my blog. All the history and mythological stories make it such a fascinating country. While the islands are no doubt beautiful, I definitely connected more with mainland Greece. Ancient Delphi was one of my favourite places I visited and the landscape of Meteora was impressive! I would definitely return to Greece if I had the opportunity.March 17, 2014 – 9:40 amReplyCancel

  • Norman - Lovely overview! The Erechtheion has always been a favorite of mine. Like you wrote – they seem to carry the weight so effortlessly.

    it’s weird to think that all that probably has been covered in thick paints and probably looked quite kitschy to begin with. Makes you wodner what the first european archelogist would have made of it and if european art history (thinking of the renaissance and classicism) would have gone down a totally different road!August 12, 2015 – 9:31 amReplyCancel

Ephesus- Exploring an Ancient City

It was a scorcher of a day. 45 degrees Celsius, not a cloud in the sky, and I was off to visit one of the largest open-air archaeological museums in the world- Ancient Ephesus. The weather conditions weren’t ideal for visiting a place where shade was non-existent, but with only one day in port at…

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  • Jennifer - I love visiting ruins like this! Your photos remind me a lot of Jerash in Jordan.July 15, 2013 – 7:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - We haven’t been to Jordan yet, but it is definitely on our list. I will have to go check out Jerash and see how it compares to Ephesus.July 16, 2013 – 9:29 amReplyCancel

  • Michael - Wow – your guide is so indepth. Much more than I could ever write. Nice to see you mention Hadrian’s Gate. For some reason, a lot of people miss that outJuly 16, 2014 – 1:41 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it- it took me a long time to write!July 16, 2014 – 2:35 pmReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: El Castillo, Chichen Itza

Chichén Itzá is Mexico’s most famous, and most visited, ancient Mayan sites.  The spectacular focal point of this pre-Columbian/pre-Hispanic era city, is the Temple of Kukulkan, more commonly known as El Castillo. El Castillo has 365 steps, one for each day of the year.  There are 91 steps on each side and the top platform makes…

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The Roman Forum- History, Monuments and Tips for Visiting

Nestled in a valley between Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Roman Forum still impresses, just as it must have centuries ago when it was the centre of Roman public life. During my tour of the Roman Forum, I was engrossed in its rich history and fascinated by the remaining structures. Walking along the ancient streets,…

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  • Ron - Thank you, Rhonda !January 4, 2017 – 7:37 amReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Sanctuary of Athena, Delphi

The Sanctuary of Athena is the most picturesque spot at Ancient Delphi and the Tholos, backed by a valley of olive trees, is Delphi’s most stunning monument. Built between 380 and 360 BC, the Tholos may have sheltered an important statue, although the exact purpose of the structure is unknown. The three columns that stand have…

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Knossos Palace- Discovering Minoan Culture and Mythology

If you have an interest in Greek mythology and archaeology, then the ruins of Knossos Palace make for an interesting stop during a visit to the island of Crete. As the capital of the Minoan civilization on Crete, Knossos is associated with many great stories in Greek Mythology. According to legend, it was here that…

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Off the Beaten Path in Rome- 4 Places to Escape the Tourist Crowds

One of the biggest challenges of visiting Rome is dealing with the crowds of tourists. Everyone wants to see the most famous sites and I am no different. I’ve travelled thousands of miles to Italy, of course I am going to go see the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, and Vatican. These places are popular…

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  • Just Go Places - Fab! I always wanted to check out the Appian Way after hearing about Spartacus and his failed rebellion at school. January 27, 2014 – 9:57 amReplyCancel

  • Urska - Great choice of attractions! If you like roman ruins and not to many tourits I would also suggest the Basilica of San Clemente. It’s a curch from 11th centruy but underneath are roman ruins of a sanctuary of Mithras. It’s really amazing and quite in the centre of Rome, but still hidden from the masses.March 22, 2014 – 9:48 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks for the great suggestion. I will have to try and visit if I am ever in Rome again!March 22, 2014 – 9:55 amReplyCancel

  • Jeff Titelius - What a fascinating post! While I have heard of some of the places, there were a few that were new to me too! The Caracalla Baths look amazing!! Can’t believe so much remains in tact after all of this time.

    Reading the comment above, I couldn’t agree with Urska more about a visit to San Clemente for the first-century pagan temple and the Altar of Mithras. But there’s more. The Scala Santa or Holy Stairs are equally as fascinating!

    Thanks for all of the great tips! Now I have even more to see on my next trip to Rome!May 9, 2014 – 5:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks, Jeff! Caracalla Baths and Ostia Antica are my favourite sites on this list. Even though I spent an entire week in Rome, there is still so much to discover!May 9, 2014 – 5:50 pmReplyCancel

The Colosseum- Iconic Symbol of Rome

The Colosseum has been regarded as an iconic symbol of Rome since the Middle Ages.  The significance of the Colosseum was reflected in Bede’s writing when he wrote in 7th century AD, “As long as the Colosseum stands, Rome shall stand; when the Colosseum falls, Rome shall fall; and when Rome falls, the world will end.”…

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