athens-greece-guide

Acropolis the symbol of western civilisation

acropolis-athens-greeceThe Acropolis of Athens, is the most important archaeological site in Greece and is located on a hill in the center of present-day Athens. On the Acropolis there are three ancient temples, the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the temple of Apterus Nike.
There is also the monumental entrance, the Propylaia. All the monuments of the Acropolis are made of Pentelic marble and were built during the Golden Age of Pericles, during Classical Period (450-330 BC).
The Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena, the patroness of the city. It was built by the architects Iktinos and Kallikratis under the supervision of the Athenian sculptor Phidias.

In the area there were also two colossal statues of the goddess Athena, works of Pheidias. One of the two statues was inside the Parthenon, it was made of gold and ivory and was 9 meters high. The other, equally large, was made of copper and was located outside the temple. Directly across from the Parthenon is the Erechtheion. It is the temple whose 6 columns have the form of young girls, the Caryatids.

Builders, coppersmiths, stone workers, painters, metalworkers, carpenters, smiths, dyers, goldsmiths, ivory craftsmen, artists, and many others worked for eight years to construct these magnificent and unique monuments dedicated to the Gods. As Pericles said “they were made by men for men”.
All these monuments on the Acropolis of Athens were preserved for almost 25 centuries, for a whole 2500 years. They were saved from fires, earthquakes, invasions and invaders, raids, wars and conquerors. Unfortunately they could not be saved though from robbers, vandalism worst of all the bombardment of Athens by the Venetians of Admiral Morozini.

On the rock of Acropolis there are several monuments from the Greek Antiquity , most of the monuments was build on the Prehistoric temples of the Sacred rock during the golden age of Pericles of Athens during the 5th century BC.
 Among those monuments of the Acropolis, Parthenon is the most magnificent, the temple of Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena, protector of the Ancient city of Athens.
 Parthenon is one of the most most famous buildings of the world and if it was build some centuries before, then probably we would be talking about the 8 wonders of the world instead of 7. Its unique architecture inspired the architectural style of the western world. Universities, Public buildings, Palaces, Parliaments, libraries have been build inspired from the Dorian style and the Architecture of Parthenon. Parthenon was build during the Golden Era of Athens under Pericles administration. by the architects Iktinos and Kalikrates. For its construction they used marble from the mount of Penteli.
P arthenonThe Magnificent statue of Athens was made by Phidias one of the most famous sculptors of this time. Phidias used for the creation of the statue wood, ivory and gold. Unfortunately the statue was disappear during the middle ages.
 The most amazing architectural achievement of Parthenon is the harmony of this massive building with the Attica landscape. The external pillars of Parthenon are not exactly straight , they are slightly curved so they give an optical illusion as they where straight from every angle you will look.
 Parthenon was kept as it was in the Antiquity until 1687 when it was almost destroyed during a siege of Athens by the Venetians from a bomb that came from the fleet of admiral Morozini. The bomb had strike inside the temple where the Turks had used it as a gun powder store.
 The most important remains of the Partenon freeze are today in display at the British museum.

ERECHTHEUMAnother monument on the sacred rock of Acropolis is the Propylea build by Mnesicles during Pericles administration. Near by is the Temple of Athens Nike that was build on the same period by Kalikrates. The temple was dedicated to the victory of the Athenians during the Persian wars and especially during the battle of Marathon and the sea battle of Salamis.
 The Erechtheion temple was build also during the golden Age in the area where use to be the olive tree that Athena offered to the Athenians. The most famous statues of Erechtheion are the Caryatides, the statues are today in display at the new Museum of the Acropolis.

The term acropolis refers to the highest and most defensible part of an ancient Greek city. In classical Greece every important settlement had an acropolis, on which were placed temples, treasuries, and other important civic buildings. In times of attack the acropolis became the last bastion of defence.

propylaeaThe best-known acropolis is that of Athens, upon which the ancient Greeks built one of the finest groups of temples in the ancient world. The Athenian Acropolis rises from the plain of Attica to 152 m (500 ft) above sea level. First settled during the Neolithic Period, by the Bronze Age (c.3000 ©) the plateau was occupied by houses and a royal palace. The buildings that survive date from an extensive building program initiated by the 5th-century statesman Pericles. The major monuments, in the order in which they were built, are the temple of Athena Parthenos (the Parthenon), 447-432, the Propylaea , 437-432bc; the temple of Athena Nike, 427-424 BC and the temple of Erechtheus, the Erechtheum, 421-405 BC. Sizeable portions of these structures are still standing, and the area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An extensive restoration project designed to protect the monuments from industrial pollution was under way in the 1990s.