Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Little-known Factoids about Greece

Just as the anthropoid apes are the human-like ones, and a cuboid is something vaguely rather than precisely cube-shaped, so a factoid is something like a fact.

When the site for the Royal Palace (now the Parliament Building) in Athens was being chosen, joints of meat were left in various places around the city. Of course, one by one they went rotten. The palace was built where the meat lasted longest.

When the first railways started operating in Greece, there was a need for railway stations. (Duh.) Nobody had much idea what a railway station was supposed to look like, so they asked the king, who did them a little drawing. Now in England of course the railway companies at once demolish any station of architectural interest and replace it with a heap of giant Lego, but even now, all over Greece, one sees little railway stations built of brick and dressed stone, with tall slightly arched window embrasures and steeply-pitched roofs. They’re nothing like any other buildings in Greece, but very like the little country railway stations in Bavaria, which is where the king was from.

When the first railway engine arrived puffing and snorting at the little town of Pharsala in Northern Greece, the kind inhabitants rushed out to offer it a bale of hay as sustenance after its long tiring journey.

No comments:

Post a Comment