On the old road from Thessaloniki to Ouranoupolis, the celestial city where you start the great journey to the monastic realm of the Athos, there is an original, educative park, which is almost out of the picture, dedicated to the great thinker Aristotle.
Aristotle, Alexander the Great mentor
Aristotle was born in 384 BC in the Greek city of Stagira, the thematic park being close to the ruins of this city. He became orphan while a small child, being raised by a family friend, who has married his elder sister. This took care of Aristotle as if he were his own child and sent him while a young man, aged 17-19, to Athens, the centre of the ancient art and philosophy, where Aristotle joined the school of Plato, who in his turn had been Socrates’ student.
Plato was so impressed by the intelligence of his young disciple that he nicknamed Aristotle “O Nous”, the Mind, and his house “the Reader’s House”. Having become a famous personality in the Hellenic world, he was invited by the Macedonian king Philip to educate his son, Alexander, the future Alexander the Great.
After Alexander the Great accomplished his education, Aristotle went back to Athens in 335 BC, where he established the place called Lyceum, his Peripathetic School. Its name derives from the Greek word περιπατητικός, “walker”, because the great professor would teach outside, while walking along the alleys of the Lyceum.
During his 13-year stay in Athens, Aristotle combined teaching with writing the most important and elaborated scientific works.
After the premature death of his student and protector Alexander the Great, the Athenians reveals their anti-Macedonian feelings and searched for pretexts to accuse Aristotle of disrespect for deities, forcing him to take refuge in the city of Chalkis, in the island of Euboea. There, the great philosopher died, his body being taken to his native city, Stagira. He was received there in honour, as a hero, and celebrations were organized to praise him.
Since then, he has been praised on numerous occasions, some celebrations still existing today.
In Aristotle’s park one can play, learn and experiment physical phenomena described by or inspired from the ideas of the great ancient philosopher, using the inventions placed in the park. One of these inventions is the two parabolic deflectors, which amplify the sound waves starting from the centre of one deflector towards the other.
Basically, when someone speaks towards the centre of a deflector, he or she may be heard by a person standing next to the other, even if he or she whispers.
The water turbine is also impressive. A whirlpool is generated by pulling a lever. You can have fun by observing how energy travels from the first to the last sphere, thus playing with the inertia spheres.
These are not the only inventions that make the place so interesting. The pentaphone, the solar clock, the lenses, the optical discs, the prism and the pendulum complete the collection of the “live” physics instruments in this original park.
Quotes from Aristotle’s works are engraved here and there in stone plates that seem to be rising from the ground.
At one end of the park there is a telescope through which visitors can watch the gulf of Ierissos and the superb Athonite peninsula.