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All eyes are on Greece right now. But that’s not necessarily a new development, and for good reason: The surviving buildings, statues, and monuments of its ancient past have been visited and studied for centuries. Now, the news has thrust it into the spotlight, even as tourists continue to pass through Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos largely unaffected. It got us thinking: What’s the real Greece? It’s a stark intersection between ancient and modern, a reality illustrated best by the not-so-ancient past. Here are eight stunning vintage photos of the country straddling two worlds.
Hello, Athens! Photo, circa 1957, courtesy of U.S. Navy.
Hadrian’s Gate, circa early 1950s. The arch was built around 131 AD in honor of emperor Hadrian. It’s believed by some to be the gateway between the old Athens and the new Athens. Photo courtesy of gichristof.
The hustle and bustle of Omonia square in Athens. Photo, circa 1950s, courtesy of gichristof.
The coast at Kaloi Limenes, 1920. Photo courtesy of Enassallaleon.
Athens miners hard at work, circa 1948-1955. Photo courtesy of DoS photo.
A woman in a Greek costume, 1920. Photo courtesy of Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection.
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