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Acropolis Museum,offbeat things to do in Athens
Written by Arjunan on April 19, 2020 Share on

Acropolis of Athens

Located on a limestone hill 156m high above the basin of Athens, Greece, The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architecture and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world. In the second half of the 15th century BCE, Athens, following the victory against the Persians and the establishment of democracy, took a leading position amongst the other city-states of the ancient world.

In the age that followed, as thought and art flourished, an exceptional group of artisans was put to work to give life to the ambitious plans of the Athenian statesman Pericles, under the expert guidance of the sculptor Pheidias. Jointly they transformed the rocky hill into a unique monument of thought and art. Most of the import monuments were built during that time and The Acropolis of Athens is one of them.

The Parthenon, an enormous doric-style temple dedicated to Goddess Athena, built by Ictinus, the Erechtheon, a sacred iconic temple made of marble which honoured Goddess Athena and several other gods and heroes, best known for its porch supported by six Caryatid maiden statues, the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis, built by Peisistratus, designed by Mnesicles and the small temple Athena Nike located to the right of the Propylaea are some of the notable creations.

The Acropolis’ flat top is the result of thousands of years of construction beginning as far back as the Bronze Age. There’s no recorded history of what happened at the Acropolis before the Mycenaeans cultivated it during the end of the Bronze Age. Historians believe that Mycenaeans built a massive compound surrounded by a great wall, almost 15 feet thick and 20 feet high on top of the Acropolis to house the local ruler and his household. Strong fortification walls have surrounded the summits of the Acropolis for more than 3300 years. The perfection of ancient building techniques ensures the resistance of the monuments to natural forces through time.

The Authenticity of the Acropolis Hills, crowned with the masterpiece of the Greek art and architecture, is well preserved. Despite the unavoidable damages of time, they still display their beauty and convey their inestimable artistic and historic value, preserving all the features that directly and tangibly associate them with the events and ideas of democracy and philosophy.

As Greece endured many unwelcome invaders, the Acropolis, its temples and monuments were converted into chapels, mosques and storehouses. On September 26, 1687, the Venetians even bombarded the Acropolis and decimated the Parthenon. After the Greek war of independence in 1822, the Acropolis was returned to the Greeks in despair. In order to maintain the authenticity and the structural integrity of the monuments, an integrated intervention committee for the conservation of the monuments on the Acropolis was established in 1975 and continues even today. They also work to minimize environmental damage caused by pollution and weathering and are identifying ways to limit future damage.

Pickyourtrail asks every traveller, what would a visit to Athens be without going to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon? And still, people ask me why the Parthenon is so important. It’s because it was the most perfect building built by the world’s most advanced civilization and even though we have been studying it for centuries we are still not sure how they did it. The Acropolis of Athens is the most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex that still exists in our times. It is one historical site you can’t miss.

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