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From Marathon to Thermopylae Greece Eyes Military Tourism

Military tourism Greece
Statue of Leonidas in Sparta, Greece. Credit: Dmpexr/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Greece has set its eyes on opening up a new opportunity to attract new visitors to the country: Military tourism.

Military enthusiasts, academics, students would perhaps be interested in visiting the places where the greatest battles in history took place.

Some of the battles are even taught as case studies in military academies and war schools around the world to this very day.

The outcome of these battles had unquestionable value in the preservation of Greek culture and values. It was because of the outcome of those battles that the Greek culture and values remained alive and were able to develop and flourish. Those values would later become the foundations of Western Civilization as we know it today.

Last week the Secretary-General of the National Tourism Organisation (EOT) Dimitris Fragakis met with officials of the War Museum in Athens on the promotion of military tourism by the EOT.

The Ministries of National Defence, Culture and Sports, and Tourism are coordinating to take advantage of this relatively new but rapidly growing military tourism sector. They agreed to include 27 war museums and military monuments across the country on EOT’s official website.

The coordinators plan to promote Greek military tourism at international tourism exhibitions. The creation of an interactive section on the EOT application for mobile devices was also discussed.

EOT said that it will also organize visits for journalists from abroad to areas with rich military history and museums.

Heroic battles of Ancient Greece to attract military tourism

The 300 movie series has immortalized the battles of Thermopylae and Marathon, but many people throughout the world have seen these famous places.

The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. The battle was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate Greece. The Greek army inflicted a crushing defeat on the more numerous Persians, marking a turning point in the Greco-Persian Wars.

Both ancient and modern writers have used the Battle of Thermopylae as an example of the power of an army defending its native soil at the narrow coastal pass in August or September 480 BC. The performance of the defenders is also used as an example of the advantages of training, equipment, and use of terrain as force multipliers.

The Battle of Salamis in 480 BC is often seen as the first ever-recorded naval battle and one of the most important battles of antiquity, that took place about a month after the Battle of Thermopylae.

The Battle of Plataea was the final clash during the second Persian invasion of Greece with  the victory of the allied Greek forces putting a final end to Persian military ambitions. This decisive battle took place in the city of Plataea, in Boeotia in 479 BC.

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