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The Friends of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens




Sunday 8th May 2011

Dr. Mary-Lee Coulson

The monastery of Hosios Loukas on Mt Helikon in Boiotia is one of the mediaeval gems of Greece. Its architecture, mosaics and wall-paintings are recognised internationally as being of first rate importance, and it has –of course– also been an important religious centre for over a millennium. Established by the monk (Hosios) Loukas (896-953), who was born in nearby Kastorion (the village built over Delphi), the monastery is comprised of two tenth-century churches as well as a collection of auxiliary buildings. The Church of the Virgin is particularly important as it incorporates many features which are best evidenced in contemporary ecclesiastical architecture in the imperial capital of Constantinople. Indeed, it is very likely that the church was actually financed by the Emperor Romanos II, who Loukas had predicted, would re-take Crete from the Saracens as, indeed, he did. We are particularly fortunate in that Dr. Mary-Lee Coulson has kindly agreed to unlock for us the historical, architectural and art historical secrets of this important religious and cultural monument. We shall stop for lunch at Thebes.

This will be an idyllic Spring outing in the beautiful Greek countryside.

Cost: Members: € 25.00 Guests: € 35.00
Charge includes entrance fees, but not lunch.

You may pay on the day but PLEASE CALL the Office of the AAIA on 924 3256 to BOOK.

Owing to the longer trip duration than usual (approx. 2 ½ hours) the bus will leave from the corner of Philhellinon and Mitropoleos Sts., just off Syntagma at 9:30 am and will return at about 7:30 pm.

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By Athensguide

How does a little girl from Skokie, Illinois find herself in historical Athens, leading curious explorers through the winding streets of Plaka, down "pezodromos" to hidden ouzeries for tempting mezedhes and homemade barrel wine? The journey began more than twenty years ago, and regardless of whether the wanderlust comes from the spiritual and culture DNA flowing through my veins, or the alignment of the stars on that cold mid-December day this Sagitterian came into the world, I never seem to tire of exploring my adopted homeland of Greece. Here you'll join me as I explore Athens: be it the back streets of Psirri and Gazi, or through the National Gardens and Zappeio where a family of turtles makes their home, or down wide, treelined Imittou Street in Pagrati, which pulses with Athenian life 24 hours a day. And while Athens has stolen my heart, the rest of Greece vies for my curiousity and wanderlust. My two guys (that'd be the Greek God, Vasilis and our Greek dog, Scruffy) and I can often be found settling in for a long weekend in some charming mountain village, or a quaint fishing port on a nearby island, or learning how Greek vitners are producing wines that rival some of Napa Valley's finests productions, or celebrating a panayeri in Epirus or sharing in the festivities as a family of Cretan sheepherders come together to sheer their 1500 sheep in the spring ... And if you happen to find yourself heading to Athens, consider finding yourself a real home for your stay. Living amongst the locals, be it for 3 nights or 3 weeks, will offer you the chance to experience true Athens, beyond the Acropolis. Choose from one of our 5 beautiful penthouse and historical homes, and who knows, I may be leading you down that winding "pezodromo" to our favorite hidden ouzerie!