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Before walking the Acropolis we went to the Acropolis museum. It’s light & airy – the main showpiece is on the top floor: the Parthenon Gallery. In an 1:1 representation the Parthenon pediments, metopes & the fries (160 m long) are reconstructed: you may stroll around & admire the work at eye level! Original parts of the Parthenon (very few!) are complemented by replacements and/or paintings/drawings to give a hint of its ancient beauty.
(…& it’s meticulously noted which original parts ended up deliberately in the British Museum in London…)
Next day we finally went to the Acropolis. The main part of the Acropolis is the Parthenon, the ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena – the largest Doric temple in Greece completed almost 2500 years ago.
Comparing the photos so far you’ll notice:
- there are tourists (i. e. it’s difficult to get any photos w/o them!)
- there is serious restoration & preservation work ongoing!
However, let’s start with the access & some views…
On our way up we had a breathtakingly view of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an amphitheater about 1800 years old, restored & used for concerts now.
Views of the Saronic Gulf, part of the Aegean Sea… & tourists!
There’s the bottleneck at the entrance of the Acropolis w/ tourists, the way around the Parthenon w/ tourists, the way back w/ tourists…
Coming to the Parthenon… (we had some rough weather: again & again there were dark clouds shooting along the blue sky, but there wasn’t any rain!).
There are both narrow sides of the Parthenon w/ the famous pediments (east & west). There are the long sides missing some pillars… The Parthenon was badly damaged during the centuries especially when stored gunpowder exploded in the 17th century, cannons fired at it & would-ben archaeologists in the 19th century pilfered the Parthenon. Only few details survived…
While the Parthenon was dedicated to Pallas Athena (in her role as goddess of wisdom) there is another rather small temple dedicated to Athena Nike (in her role as the goddess of victory). You are not allowed to access the site.
These are the remains of a temple dedicated to Athena & Poseidon (& Erechtheion (an ancient mythical king)) which flags the place where Athena & Poseidon claimed their authority of Athens: Athena by planting an olive tree (the winner!) & Poseidon by striking a rock w/ his trident to let a spring emerge…
This was the most sacred part of the Acropolis in ancient times!
The maidens on the porch (the Caryatids) are now in the Acropolis museum – these are replicas: nevertheless beautiful!
(Also: no access to the site!)
…& there are lost of snapshots of pillars & of the debris around the Parthenon (there’s a real lot of it – my admiration to all the archaeologists who dealt w/ it in order to restore parts of the pediments, metopes & the fries!).
It was a long & slow walk – the Acropolis is a vast area full of rocks & stones & rubble…
After all the rocks during the day… we decided that we’d need some more for chilling out…
Once again our reliable travel companions*: