Destination: ​The Park of Maritime Tradition in Piraeus 

This park which lies near the port of Piraeus is home to numerous famous ships from Greece’s storied naval history. The primary focus is the Naval Museum Battleship Averof. This museum is in the body of a renovated armored cruiser which was part of the Royal Hellenic Navy for most of the 20th century. The ship was instrumental for the Greek navy in the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913 and was used sparingly in various wars until World War II, at which point the ship was nearly sunk by German forces. Ultimately the ship returned to Greece after the liberation of Athens and was decommissioned in 1952, sitting dormant for about 30 years. At present the ship is a floating museum dedicated to the naval history of the country (not just the ship). Other highlights of the area include a cable-laying ship, a 3-masted schooner which became a rescue ship during World War II, the D-16 Destroyer – which was one of the ships offered by the United States in the late 1950s, and the Trireme. The Trireme ship named “Olympias” is an exact replica of an ancient Greek naval vessel. Olympias was built in 1987 and used for research about what the ancient Greeks might have done and what might have worked for them but took some damage while running tests. It was repaired in the late 1990s and was used in August of 2011 to transport the Olympic flame on its way to London. For anyone who is heading to the port area of Piraeus (which is where many of the cruises through the Greek isles depart from), this is definitely worth a short visit. The Naval Museum has an entry fee but the park area is free for anyone who’d like to relax near the port.

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