The Early Christian Basilica
The ruins of the Early Christian Basilica of Glyfada are found beside the night club “Asteria”, just after the coastal avenue, at the place of the ancient port of Aexoni. The church, dated in the late 5 th century A.D., had been found by chance in 1927, during the excavations of some ancient tombs carried out by the Greek archaeologist N. Kyparissis. Later on , professor A. Orlandos gave more accurate details about the church and its dating.
It is a three-aisled basilica with a narthex and a semi-round apse. It is 17,50 meters long and 15,75 meters wide, that is to say almost of square shape, a rare feature for the churches of the period in Greece; in fact this type of basilica is common in the Orient and more particularly in Syria.
The western side of the narthex had an outdoor. A main opening with two columns and two smaller side entrances served for the access from the narthex to the northern and to the southern aisles. The floor was paved with white and light blue marble. Later on two walls were constructed on both sides of the main entrance. The walls were based on the floor of the narthex, thus reducing its width to the width of the central aisle.
The church was divided in three aisles by two series of five columns without fluting. Only one of the columns of a height of 2,65 meters has been preserved intact up to now. The columns were made of white and light blue marble, a characteristic feature that resulted in a very nice contrast. The bases of the columns were conical and were made of white marble. The capitals were of conical shape and also made of white marble. They had no decoration, but they were toped by an additional piece of marble in the shape of an inverse pyramid. The series of columns were linked by nice arches and the church had no additional storey.
Judging from the width of the external walls, which are thin enough, we can suggest that the church had a pretty light roof, made of wood. The two lateral aisles were of a width of some 3,50 meters each, whereas the central aisle was much bigger, of a width of some 6,80 meters. Only a part of the altar was found; the decoration of the external part of it, a wave motif, indicates that it belonged to an ancient Greek temple, parts of which were used in the first phase of the construction of the Christian church.
Today the basilica is visible, but access is not possible, as it is enclosed by balusters.
The Theater of Aexoni
The small open stone theater of Aexoni has been established in the area where in antiquity there was also a theater, which has not been excavated up to now. According to the written sources, it was in this theater that Sophocles presented some of his works for the first time. In early 1930s’ the eminent Greek architect Demetris Pikionis had designed in detail an entire settlement for this area; apart from residencies, the architect had previewed for a church, a central market, several stores, public buildings and all facilities and amenities necessary in a modern settlement. Unfortunately, the project was never realized, mainly due to lack of money. The actual theater has been realized by Nella Golanda, who had extensively studied the designs of Pikionis, in cooperation with the corresponding Ministry and the Municipality of Glyfada. The theater was inaugurated in September 1992 and the first activities it housed were dedicated to the eminent Greek composer Ianis Xenakis. Ever since the theater houses several summer cultural events organized by the Municipality of Glyfada.
The church of St. Constantine and Helen
The imposing church of St. Constantine and Helen, the metropolitan church of Glyfada, is situated at the square of the Old Town Hall, at a distance of a few meters far from the old homonymous small church which was destroyed by bombings during the World War II. The construction of the actual church started in 1938 and was accomplished in 1940, just before the outbreak of the war. The designs and the supervision were entrusted to the architect and civil engineer Georghios Dragazikis. Today, due to its size the church commands the area of the square and attracts a lot of religious people. One of the chapels that belong to this church is that of Aghios Demetrios, which is situated within the territory of the Golf Court of Glyfada.
Museums and Collections
D. Pierides’ Gallery
The D. Pierides’ Gallery was established in 1980 to house the art works of the collection of the Cypriot Dimitris Pierides. Today the collection counts more than a thousand of art works, paintings, sculptures, engravings and artistic ceramics. Most of the works have been realized after the World War II, mainly by Greek and Cypriote artists. Since 1983 the Gallery has an intense cultural activity, not only in Athens, but also in the rest of Greece and abroad. The Gallery has also a very good library on topics about Modern Greek art, and fully encourages studies and editions about archaeology in Cyprus and about Greek art of the 20 th century. The Gallery is housed in a nice building, situated in Vasileos Georgiou A’ street.
The Golf Court
Constructed with international standards and covering a space of some 125 acres, the Golf Court of Glyfada started to operate in early 1960s’. Around the main court of 18 holes, there are additional constructions and facilities, as training courts, two tennis courts, restaurant, bar, an Academy of Golf , a lobby, a club for younger athletes, nice reception halls, parking and several constructions for other services.
Both the Court and the surrounding space have been designed by the eminent architect of athletic grounds, the Scotish D. Harradine. It was restored and updated twice: in 1979, when it took place the World Cup Tournament, and in 1991 on the chance of the XI Mediterranean Games held in Athens the next year. The experts of the game and the important athletes consider it as one of the best Golf Courts in Europe and worldwide. Its 15 thousands of pine trees and the difficult courses it has, along with an impressive landscape, make it a pole of attraction for famous golf players, but also for celebrities and VIPs of Greece and Europe. Expert staff with very modern equipment is responsible for the maintenance of the court. Apart from the golf tournaments and events, the place is available also for receptions. Since 1992, the administration of the Golf Court is in the responsibility of the Municipality of Glyfada.
Actually, there are several projects to extend the Golf Court in the space of the adjacent former International Airport of Athens.