Some non-Greeks have told me that Athens exists because of the Acropolis, perhaps the most important ancient monument in the Western world. Still standing sentinel over Athens, it’s visible from almost everywhere in the city and its crown jewel, the Parthenon, is unsurpassed in grace and harmony. From near or far, the rows of columns gleam white in the midday sun, softening to a honey hue as the sun sinks, then becoming floodlit at night, center stage and shining in the spotlight of a city fueled by history.
Just after I left Crete, the Greeks started a restoration program on the Parthenon. They didn't ask me, but I would not have done that. The Project began in 1975 and is now nearing completion. The aim of the restoration was to reverse the decay of centuries of attrition, pollution, destruction by acts of war, and misguided past restorations. The project included collection and identification of all stone fragments, even small ones, from the Acropolis and its slopes and the attempt was made to restore as much as possible using reassembled original material - with new marble from Mount Penteli used sparingly. All restoration was made using titanium dowels and is designed to be completely reversible, in case future experts decide to change things. A combination of cutting-edge modern technology and extensive research and reinvention of ancient techniques were used.
The Parthenon colonnades, largely destroyed by Venetian bombardment in the 17th century, were restored, with many wrongly assembled columns now properly placed. The roof and floor of the Propylaea were partly restored, with sections of the roof made of new marble and decorated with blue and gold inserts, as in the original. The temple of Athena Nike is the only edifice still unfinished, pending proper reassembly of its parts, all of which survive practically intact.
The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the preeminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007.
A place not to be missed when visiting Greece.Nothing much special in Acropolis but ancient ruins.The tall,huge structure of marbles Parthenon is amazing.From the entrance you will pass the Dionyssos Theather.Entrance ticket of 12euros includes the Theater of Dionyssos , Ancient Agora,Roman Agora,Ceramics,The temple of Olympian Zeus and the Hadrian's Library.These are spots nearby the Acropolis.
If there was something in Greece that everybody knew before arriving there, it was the Partenon.
The sensation of being there, felling the sizes and distances, understanding the damage of the crowds stepping or even jumping in the stones, while remembering the old days in school, does worth the trip. But be prepared to be pushed, trodden, squeezed.
The local museum could be a oasis in the heat of the violent sun, but it is another place to get pushed, and trodden and squeezed. Anyway, no one complaints - being one of the few universal meeting points, it has to be shared!
Rocky height with only access by the west side, the acropolis is the must visit to athens, the Parthenon the most famous building is there, rather the ruins of the Parthenon and some other buildings because the site has suffered greatly through the ages.Destructions, looting and other degradations including, the monuments were transformed in churches by the Byzantines, under the ottoman occupation the parthenon was a mosquée and after a powder store.Lord Elgin a british ambassador in the early 19 th century, removed and transported to the British museum the most beautiful sculptures still adorning the monuments.
Today the site has not finished with misfortunes, because the pollution of the city causes serious damage to the stones
The Temple of Erechtheum, built between 421 and 406 BC and possibly dedicated to the Greek hero, is not just another temple on the Acropolis; it is, in my opinion, the most beautiful of them all. The reason is simple: the amazing Porch of Maidens – also known as the Porch of the Caryatids.
Placed on the south side of the temple, the porch uses six draped female figures (the caryatids, indeed) as supporting columns. Each one, by the way, is a unique figure.
A visit to Athens without seeing the Acropolis would be incomplete. Although the Acropolis is quite a crowded tourist destination, it's a must see! I felt that only in that place I could really comprehend the very soul of Athens, what it was back then and what it is now. Not surprising that the Acropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Most of the major temples were built and rebuilt under the leadership of Pericles during the golden age of Athens from 460 through 430 B.C. It takes half a day minimum to visit them all, not including picture taking. I was totally fascinated by this ancient, well preserved and restored city within a city.
To name just a few highlights: the Parthenon, the old temple of Athena, the Erechtheon, the Nike temple...and there's so much more.
I was lucky with the weather as it was not too hot when I climbed and walked around. Although the Acropolis (as its name indicates) is a city in an elevated location (with good views of Athens and the Plaka), it is fortunately not in a high enough place to make acrophobics feel uncomfortable visiting it. Or so I heard.
The acropolis opened at 8am. We got an arranged cruise ship tour to take us there and we arrived soon after 8am and had the place to ourselves. It's really worth getting up early and going asap. When we came away the place was packed and all the chaps selling tat had turned up.
Even if you arrived in Athens without knowing what akropolis is(which would be hard to believe), you'd wonder what's that white building you see on the hill almost from everywhere in the town centre. Acropolis means upper city and there are many all around Greece but the one in Athens is definitly the most popular. You can easily arrive at Acropolis using the underground or having a nice walk from Plaka. It's open from 8 to19 (from april to october) and from 8 to 17(from november to march). The 12€ ticket allows you also to visit: ancent Agorà, Roman agorà, hadrian library, Zeus temple and Dyoniso's theater, theater where dramas of Sofocle, Eschilo and Euripide were played.
The Acropolis is the hill that the buildings were constructed on. The Propylaea was the entrance area for the temples, and served as a gateway. Processions would have passed through it. The Athena Nike temple is a small square building with 4 front columns. It has been reconstructed, using a lighter color stone for the new parts.
The Parthenon has 8 columns on each short side, and 17 each on the long side (but the corners were counted twice.) The columns are wider at the bottom, and they lean slightly inward to add strength. Temple entrances are always on the east side because it provides more light. The lion heads on the long sides are water spouts. The marble came from a hill a little over 10 miles away. Slaves did the hauling, but the craftsmen were free citizens. Construction took 7 years.
Most of the destruction took place in the 17th Century. The Christians destroyed the outside sculptures around that time, and the building was blown up when the Turks stored gunpowder in it in 1687 and someone shot a cannonball.
The Erechtheion is a temple dedicated to Athena and Poseidon, and it has symbols of both. The porch of the Caryatids is part of the Erechtheion, and the statues were used in place of pillars. The Caryatids represent beauty (the women from Karyai were supposed to be the most beautiful in Greece.) The statues there now are copies. One of the originals is in the British Museum. The other five Caryatids are in the new Acropolis Museum.
From the Acropolis you can look down at two ancient theaters. The Dionysus Theater (4th Century BC) is one of the oldest, and seated 17,000 people. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a Roman theater from the 2nd Century AD. It seats 5,000, and is still used for summer theater. The ruins of the Agora (the ancient marketplace) are at the base of the Acropolis. There are some massive walls on one side of the hill—this fortress was built in the 6th Century BC, and the Athenians fought the Persians from the top of it.
The path to the top goes steadily up and up, and was a difficult climb for me. (Getting back down was worse!) It was well worth the struggle.
Open daily, 8-7:30 Ticket package – 12 euro
I don't know how this site didn't make the new list of the 7 wonders of the world. But it should be on it. The walk itself is not as steep as you think, and it's somewhat pleasant. Admission price is 15 Euro's that includes various other sites, but it's free on Sunday's from November to April. It's open from 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m.
We got there at 8:00 am and we had the whole place to ourselves, we went thru it in no rush and we spent 2 hours up in the site..... the views from there are amazing.
I always thought there was just 1 building, but in fact it's a complex of 4 different building.
A must do for any world traveler !!!!!!!!!
Another thing they have been renovating the site since 1984, so it's hard to get great photo's without the scaffolding ....
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