SIGHTSEEING IN ATHENS: THE ACROPOLIS
No doubt the Acropolis is the most important historical monument in Athens-Greece attracting millions of tourists who swarm to experience its ambiance and aura. For my part, the Acropolis brings back the memories of these perfect sunny Sunday mornings of happy childhood as I walked through the ancient trails holding my father's hand. On today's post, next to the wonderful images through the lens of photographer Chris Gouberis, we'd like to share a little chapter and verse on the history and architecture of this magnum opus.
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient sacred area, a rocky hill in the southern part of Athens, including what has been preserved from the ancient constructions of great architectural and historic significance, most famously the Parthenon. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is bound to be preserved as best as possible for the generations to come. There has been found some evidence that the Acropolis hill was inhabited probably from 4.000 BC onwards. Archeologists found some Mycenaean remnants dating from the 15th century BC, but it was Pericles (495 – 429 BC) in the 5th century BC, Athens’ Golden Century, who decided the construction of the rocky hill's sacred buildings. The Parthenon and other buildings were gravely damaged during the 1687 siege by the Venetians when the Parthenon was being used by the occupying Turks for gunpowder storage and was hit by a Serenissima (Venice) cannonball with disastrous results.
The entrance to the Acropolis was a monumental gateway called the Propylaea. To the south of the entrance is the small temple of Wingless Nike. At the centre of the Acropolis is the Parthenon or Temple of the Virgin Athena. East of the entrance and north of the Parthenon is the complex temple known as the Erechtheum (with the Caryatids' lodge). South of the platform that forms the top of the Acropolis, and much lower, there are also the remains of a classic outdoor theatre called Theatre of Dionysus. A few hundred meters away, and even lower, there is the now partially reconstructed Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a Roman construction still in use, which houses the Athens Festival of music, theater and dance during the summer months.
Photography: Chris Gouberis