THE ACROPOLIS AND ITS MONUMENTS
|For thousands of years the Acropolis has been the symbol of Athens, connecting the magnificent ancient civilization with the modern. The Acropolis and its monuments are rightly the pride and the glory of this city, the envy of all other cities in the world. There is no Greek or foreign visitor who does not want to make the pilgrimage to the sacred rock and absorb its magnificence and beauty. If you have never been to the Acropolis we assure you it is a unique and unforgettable experience. The Acropolis you see today dates back to the 5th century B.C., when Athens set the tone for civilization in Europe. On the sacred rock of the Acropolis the monuments date from the prehistoric period to the end of antiquity. On the rock is located also the Acropolis Museum. To climb up the sacred rock, demands concentration and patience, but what you will see at the top certainly rewards you.|
PROPYLAEA: This is the
glorious entrance to the Acropolis and its monuments,
erected between 437 and 432 B.C. and constructed as part
of the Perikles programme by the famous Athenian
architect Mnesikles. The Propylaea
prepare you for the sight of the Parthenon.
THE TEMPLE OF ATHENA NIKE ( Apteros Nike ): Erected to the south of the Propylaea, about 420 B.C. to commemorate the victories of the Greeks over the Persians. The architect of this temple was Kallikrates. There has been a temple on this exact spot since prehistoric times. On the left is Erecheion and straight ahead the Parthenon.
|THE PARTHENON: The Parthenon is the masterpiece of the world. You will realise it yourself the moment you stand in front of it and learn a little of its history and the secrets of its construction. The beauty, harmony and grace of this monument make a really lasting impression on everyone who sees it. Restoration works at Parthenon have been taking place there since 1983. This will not prevent you from admiring this unique temple dedicated to the goddess Athena and built of white marble from the mountain of Penteli. None of its lines are absolutely straight. Under the Parthenon of the Classical times there are remains of the monumental Ur-Parthenon, an Archaic temple dated in the late 6th century B.C. The architects of the classical temple, which was constructed between 447 and 432 B.C. during the Golden Age of Perikles, were Iktinos and Kallikrates. The Parthenon housed the golden-ivory statue of Athena, work of the famous sculptor Pheidias.|
STATUE OF ATHENA
A statue 10m high which stood inside the Parthenon. The interior was of wood and the naked parts made of ivory. The dress and the helmet were made of hammered plates of gold which could be removed. The statue of the goddess Athena, armed and holding a two meter high ivory statue of Nike (Victory) in her right hand, was lost during the first years of the byzantine period. Our knowledge of its existence comes from Pausanias detailed descriptions (2 century AD). Information about the statue has been obtained also from the copies found, of which the most famous is the Varvakeion Athena.
The Erechtheion was built in 420-406 B.C. on the most sacred part of the Acropolis; the place that goddess Athena had caused her most sacred emblem, the olive tree, to sprout. This tree was destroyed by the invading Persians but it grew miraculously again when the Persians were driven off. The Caryatids are the figures of maidens that you see supporting the roof of the south porch of the temple are copies. Five of the original six Kores can be seen in the Acropolis Museum, the sixth one can be seen in the British Museum in London. The temple is built in two levels, it is asymmetrical and has two porches. The eastern part was dedicated to Athena Polias and the western to Poseidon Erechtheus.
***Pictures from Greece