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Kerameikos Cemetery, Athens

4.0
#16 of 47 in Historic Sites in Athens
Cemetery Tourist Spot
Keramikos, also known by its Latinized form Ceramicus, is an area of Athens, Greece, located to the northwest of the Acropolis, which includes an extensive area both within and outside the ancient city walls, on both sides of the Dipylon Gate and by the banks of the Eridanos River. It was the potters' quarter of the city, from which the English word "ceramic" is derived, and was also the site of an important cemetery and numerous funerary sculptures erected along the road out of the city towards Eleusis.History and descriptionThe area took its name from the city square or dēmos (δῆμος) of the Kerameis (Κεραμεῖς, potters), which in turn derived its name from the word κέραμος (kéramos, "pottery clay", from which the English word "ceramic" is derived). The "Inner Kerameikos" was the former "potters' quarter" within the city and "Outer Kerameikos" covers the cemetery and also the Dēmósion Sēma (δημόσιον σῆμα, public graveyard) just outside the city walls, where Pericles delivered his funeral oration in 431 BC. The cemetery was also where the Ηiera Hodos (the Sacred Way, i.e. the road to Eleusis) began, along which the procession moved for the Eleusinian Mysteries. The quarter was located there because of the abundance of clay mud carried over by the Eridanos River.
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Where to stay in Athens

If you come to Athens for its ancient history, stay in Plaka, a lively neighborhood located within walking distance of the city's major archaeological sites. Although relatively expensive, hotels in this part of town offer spacious rooms, private swimming pools, and rooftop cocktail bars. For less expensive but equally comfortable lodgings, consider boutique hotels and family-run inns in the quiet residential neighborhoods just a short drive south of Plaka. Good rooms fill up early in the season, so plan ahead and book in advance.
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4.3
  • Part of the 7 sites 30 euros deal, this is a real ancient cemetery more than 3000 years old. And even after so many years they had an archeological team who still excavates the site and find new artif...  more »
  • This is a neat place to visit but without a guide or a guidebook you won't know much often history. It is an active archeological site.  more »
  • depending where you are staying this could be a 10 minute walk or a bit longer but the walk alone is very pleasant leading to the Cemetary once inside it is very informative and not packed with touris...  more »
Google
  • Nice archeological area. Highly recommend facilities (design of museum & field).
  • Really tidy off the beaten path site and a wonderful small museum included. Worths the visit!
  • Worth seeing but just for once; a cozy museum completes the experience
  • I loved my visit here. You might visit the Archaeological Museum first and see all of the beautiful ancient tombstones there, then head to this ancient Athenian cemetery to see where they were located. The site also has a small, excellent museum. Some of the tombstones in place are original, others are reproductions. The road through the cemetery led to Ancient Athens and was called the Sacred Way. The site also includes the location of Plato's Academy. Keep your eyes out for a cool tortoise that wanders through the place. But puh-leeze, don't pound on his shell, like so many tourists do! Poor tortoise.
  • West of the Ancient Agora people often overlook this very cool place! Not only a cemetery ...it's where the ruin of the Dipylon Gate is (the biggest of the 15 gates of Ancient Athens' Themistolceian city wall) It was where all the potters were (Kerameis). Small and easy to see.