Personally when I decided to walk up the hill to the Acropolis I spent more than 2 hours because I just wanted to enjoy the view from up there, take photos as it was a clear day but if you just have so limited time 2 hours are not enough believe me. Walk around Monastiraki and Plaka, see some old ancient churches in the area, (there is a very nice church in Ermou Street and Kapnikarea Street...you cannot miss it) buy some souvenirs and enjoy a relaxed afternoon. You can see the ruins of Palia Agora and many more in that area.
Of course you can take a picture of the hill of the Acropolis from where you are because it can easily be seen from any spot since you will be somewhere out there.
September is a beautiful month....not to mention one of the best because during June or July it gets really hot sometimes!
Get to a nice cheap restaurant and ask for some Greek dishes like -dolmadakia
which is something like meatballs with vine leafs) try some (gyro or kebab)
tzatziki, or drink some wine.
A tip from me: Avoid buying bottled wine because you will have to pay much and it is not worth it. Greece has good quality wines so ask for a carafe instead, as I think it will be much cheaper and better.
The Acropolis hill (acro - edge, polis - city), so called the "Sacred Rock" of Athens, is the most important site of the city and constitutes one of the most recognizable monuments of the world. It is the most significant reference point of ancient Greek culture, as well as the symbol of the city of Athens itself as it represent the apogee of artistic development in the 5th century BC. During Perikles' Golden Age, ancient Greek civilization was represented in an ideal way on the hill and some of the architectural masterpieces of the period were erected on its ground.
The Propylaea are the monumental entrances to the sacred area dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of the city. Built by the architect Mnesicles with Pentelic marble, their design was avant-garde. To the south-west of the Propylaea, on a rampart protecting the main entrance to the Acropolis, is the Ionian temple of Apteros Nike, which is now being restored.
The sacred rock of the Acropolis constitutes one of the most recognizable monuments of the world. During Perikles' Golden Age, ancient Greek civilization was represented in an ideal way on the hill and some of the architectural masterpieces of the period were erected on its ground: the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Nike.
The Parthenon is the most important and characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization and still remains its international symbol. It was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of Athens. It was built between 447 and 438 BC by Pheidias, the famous Athenian sculptor.
Acropolis of Athens is inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1987.
The new museum of Acropolis opened for the public on 20 June 2009! One of the basic reasons this museum was build for was that the greek governement wanted a good place to put the sculptures of Parthenon that are the last 200 years in the British museum. The 5th century B.C. Parthenon Marbles, were removed from the Parthenon by the British diplomat Lord Elgin with the permission of the local Ottoman occupation authorities that were in charge those days in the early 19th century. Elgin removed the priceless statues and sold (!!!) them to the British Museum in 1816, where they have been housed since.
The Museum is much bigger than the old one that had only 1.450 square meters of exhibition space. It houses approximately 4.000 artifacts in 14.000 square meters of exhibition space. The ground where the museum was built is part of the museum itself because during the excavation an old district revealed. There are so many things to see in the museum but the frieze of Parthenon is the most impressive for me. You can see the 130 meters in a row even the parts that are missing in the british museum (you can easily notice the original from the replica parts). Another highlight in the museum are the 5 out of 6 Caryatides statues from Erechteion are here (the 6th is on british museum).
Bernard Tschumi was the lead architect of the museum in cooperation with Michalis Photiadis. The building cost for the museum’s construction was 13 million euro and many lively discussions took place about several issues like “the giant columns slim down the statues” “does the light bring out the artifacts?” or about the stability of the glass floors. I live 3' away from the museum so I will visit it very often and I really dont think the museum should be more impressive than the Acropolis itself, what matters most is the ideal location of it, just there facing the Sacred Rock of Acropolis...
It is open tuesday to sunday 8.00-20.00. The entrance was only 1 euro till the end of 2009 but now is 5 euros (still very cheap for what you get). You cant take pictures inside (pic 2 is the only one I have from the first days before they decide to forbid it, I wish knew about this the first time) but you can take pics towards the Acropolis rock. Pic 3 is taken from the cafe of the museum.
there are some free admission days anyway:
6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri
5 June (International Enviroment Day)
18 April (International Monuments Day)
18 May (International Museums Day)
The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
Sundays in the period between 1 November-31 March
The first Sunday of every month, except for July, August and September
27 September, International Tourism Day
Everybody knows the Acropolis of Athens as the best known acropolis in the world. Acropolis means “high city”, or "Sacred Rock". The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock which rises 150 m above sea level.
While exploring the Acropolis you may see the following sights there:
Parthenon, Old Temple of Athena, Erechtheion, Statue of Athena Promachos, Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Eleusinion, Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia, Chalkotheke, Pandroseion, Arrephorion, Altar of Athena, Sanctuary of Zeus Polieus, Sanctuary of Pandion, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Stoa of Eumenes, Sanctuary of Asclepius or Asclepieion, Theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, Odeon of Pericles, Temenos of Dionysus Eleuthereus, Aglaureion.
Only few of them are of good condition but it’s quite enough to spent the whole day 9better several days) enjoying this “pre-eminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage”.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Acropolis on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 37º 58' 20.34" N 23º 43' 22.96" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Greece Athens Acropolis .
You may watch my 4 min 40 sec VIDEO-clip Greece Athens Akropolis with popular Greek Sirtaki music.
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.
I always liked Erectheion more than the Parthenon that stands just on the right of it!
It was built in between 421 and 406 B.C. entirely of Pentelic marble, in the ionic order, probably by architect Mnisiclis that was also responsible for the Propylaia.
It was named after King Erichtonius (the early ruler of Athens) although some sources focus on Erectheus which came later but some texts confused them into one (eg Euripides in his tragedy Erechteus). The main temple was divided into two big sections, each of them dedicated to the worship of the two principal gods of Attica, Athena and Poseidon-Erechtheus. Here was where a lot of ancient ceremonies were taking place and within the foundations lived the sacred snake of the temple, which represented the spirit of Cecrops (a mythical king) and whose well-being was thought essential for the safety of the city.
The whole building looks elegant but unusual at the same time and managed to survive through many difficulties including bambard by the ottomans during the Greek War of Independence in early 19th century.
What I always liked (and still do) is the famous porch of the Caryatids, the famous Maidens on the south side of Erectheion. Those six massive female statues are sculpted each one in a manner different from the rest and they seem to carry the weight of the roof over their heads! They are replicas of the original statues but don’t worry!... you can see the original ones at the New Acropolis museum (one of them is in London thanks to Lord Elgin…that tried to take a second one but failed causing the destruction of the statue when he tried to have it sawn to pieces!!!…I wonder if he could take everything from the rock of Acropolis)
When I was an art Student way back when I was still young and idealistic....I once attended a summer watercolour workshop. We would take our easels out into nature and paint. We felt no inhabitions. We loved what we were doing, finding a way to express our visions through the medium of paper, colours, brushes and our imaginations.
Today, with modern technology, you can take your digital camera, take the shots, and then open your images in a photo workshop software programme, such as Coral PHOTO PAINT, which is just what I have done with one of my recent photos of the Athens Acropolis.
This was the very first time I had worked in this programme...a long overdue adventure!
I think it turned out rather interesting. What do you think?
The photo itself, was an interesting juxtaposition of the ancient structure and the modern scaffolding that is being used to restore the marble fixtures. The constant appearance of the sky with the Greek Blue and the soft white clouds, naturalize the composition.
A modern day sketch!
The THEATRE OF DIONYSOS, named after Dionysus, son of Zeus, is the most important building on the southern slope of the Acropolis. It is the place where the famous tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripedes and the comedies of Aristophanes were first performed in the 5th century B.C. The irregular shape of the theatre is a consequence of the site restrictions. Fourteen staircases divide the auditorium into thirteen Cunei (segments). The rows of seats consist of large carved blocks of limestone. The most elaborate seat in the middle was reserved for the priest of Dionysos.
A tour of the Acropolis usually begins at the majestic monumental entrance gate called "Propylaea", which covers the western side of the fortress hill. The Temple of Wingless Victory (Athena Nike) was still undergoing comprehensive renovations during my visit in 2006, so it was completely covered up. From the Propylaea people proceed to the Parthenon, a building which is an icon of Athens and is the largest structure on the Acropolis.
Opposite the Parthenon, on the north side of the Acropolis, rises the Erechtheion. It is an artistic building famous for its most interesting feature, the Caryatids. These six ladies serve as columns supporting the roof of the south portico. The second one to the west is a copy, replacing the original that eloped with Lord Elgin in 1801 and moved to the British Museum.
Continue walking to the east side of the Acropolis and you will arrive at the giant flag of Greece, where you can also get splendid views of the city. (See photo #3)
Go behind the Parthenon on your way back down to see two grand theaters that are visible from atop the Acropolis. On the south slope you can see the Dionysus Theater, where comedies of Aristophanes were performed in front of 17,000 spectators. (See photo #4) On the southwest slope is another theater called the "Odeion", which was built in the 2nd century and is still used today for summer concerts and performances of ancient drama. It can seat 5000 people. (See photo #5)
This is Athen's premier and world famous landmark. It was first inhabited in neolithic times but the builidings seen today date mostly from the greek classical period of approximately 400 BC. The Acropolis towers over the city of Athens and can serve as a navigation guide.
The first thing every tourist does, after they check into their hotels that is, is to go to the Acropolis of Athens.
The photos I have posted on these pages were all take by me on January 20th, 2006.
No matter what season, be it summer, fall, spring or winter, the light on the marble will never cease to amaze.
The sun was shining amid the white clouds; the wind was blowing briskly and the people were few enough to get clear and uncluttered shots.
I am especially fond of the sharp angles and the perspectives shot from under the columns. You can clearly see the black residue from the pollution emitted by the cars collecting under the marble structure.
Much restoration has been completed on the Acropolis in the last 25 years and continues to progress. Eventhough I hadn't been to the top of this ancient monument in over four years, I was amazed and astounded at how captivating it feels to stand on this so famous spot. The mind is boggled at the thought of just how this was built...details that I will try to fill in on other spaces on further pages....
keep checking back as these pages are in progress, just as the restoration of the Acropolis...
I always liked the temple of Hephestus (or Thiseion) because we could see it when we were drinking coffee at the nearby cafes of Thiseion! lol The good thing with this temple is that you can see almost the whole of it, like those era back in 5th century BC with all its Doric columns standing up and you can see a big part of the original roof.
The temple turned into church in the 7th century and used like a church until 1834 (with so many orthodox churches it was a stupid move but…) You can easily walk around it and take photos with no problems while the tourist masses gather around the famous Parthenon.
Hephestus was the god of fire and metallurgy and probably the temple took its name because there were many metalwork stores around this area. He was the son of Zeus and Hora but the most important thing I remember about him from school lessons is that he married the goddess of beauty Aphrodite!! :)
Okay i guess you know that one, after all, you say Athens you say Acropolis.
Im not going to talk about its history, im not an history book and there are planty of books websites and even pages here in VT that you can read about its History and all the interesting stories..
I'll just focuse on my impressions and feeling ...
After arriving to the plaka area, where i stayed,
in the first day, i put my stuff in the room and went out to explore the area. I walked just a 2 -3 min' walk and the i saw it, it was right there above me, There it is, The Acropolis !!!
It was already afternoon and a little rainy so i decided to go up there in another day as i heard its closed at 15:00, but then no worries, in the summer its open till 19:00.
I went there 2 days after, it was a warm sunny Sunday, i found my self among so many locals and a bit of tourists, yes sunday is a day which is favorit by the locals cause its free to get in.
it was quite amazing to be up there finally, to see all this amazing historic remains, everything's so quiet but its stories screems out of it...
Admission for the Acroppolis is 12 Euro except for Sundays between November to end of March which are free of admission but then much more crowded.
The ticket is valid for the Archaeological Sites of Athens:
Acropolis site and museum,
Theatre of Dionysos