Harmoniously blended with its natural surroundings, the Acropolis towers gracefully over the archaeologically-rich and modern city of Athens, often referred to as the most important historical compound left behind by Greek Antiquity. The Acropolis, or city on the edge, was erected on a flat-topped rock high above the rest of the city as a form of defense. Its location atop a rocky crag doesn’t stop hundreds of tourists from climbing up to it every day and admiring what was formerly the cradle of one of the grandest civilizations of all time.
The Acropolis of Athens is only one of many acropolises that were erected in Ancient Greece, but it is by far the most famous having been the greatest cultural center during the peak of Ancient Greek civilization. Many decisive events in Ancient Greek history are connected to this majestic compound. Although archaeological evidence shows that it has been used since the Neolithic times, the famous monuments and buildings that make up the Acropolis we recognize today were built under the authority of the statesman Pericles during the second half of the 6th Century BC. The most famous sites at the Acropolis include the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike, all of which were built in dedication to different aspects of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. These sites housed religious rituals and worship, as well as opulent statues which are now exhibited at the Acropolis museum. One can’t help but feel the power and splendor that emanates from this ancient complex when climbing up the steps to its majestic entrance.
Taking in the sheer magnitude and significance of the ruins is a sensation much compared to being swept back to the birth of Ancient Greek civilization. This lofty perch also offers some of the best views of the architectural and artistic gems that Athens city has to offer.
The best time of year to visit the Acropolis is in late winter or early spring, when there are fewer visitors. During the summer, sweltering mid-day heat and large crowds can make for an exhausting and uninspiring visit. If you do going during a peak time your best bet is to go in the morning or late afternoon.
Odds n' Ends
From April to October, opening hours are 8am to 7pm Tuesday through Sunday and 11am to 7pm on Monday. From October to March, opening hours are 830am to 230pm Tuesday through Sunday and 11am to 230pm on Monday. Buy your entrance tickets on site and bring along your International Student Identity Card if you have one for a discount on the 12 Euro entrance fee. Once you pay the entrance fee, the ticket is valid for the Acropolis site and museum as well as the Ancient Agora, the Theatre of Dionysos, Kerameikos, Olympieion, and the Roman Agora. The New Acropolis Museum, which houses the permanent exhibition of ancient artifacts excavated at the site, is set to open in early 2009 but in the mean time the ground floor of the museum is open for visitors from 10am to 6pm.
Explore the Peloponnese region of Greece where the ancient world meets the modern. Enjoy the fantastic scenery and friendly people while visiting ancient ruins, bursting with mythology and history. Visit the birthplace of the Olympic Games and lose yourself in the wonders of Classic Greece.
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Architecture and Meaning on the Athenian Acropolis focuses on the architectural complex that is generally considered to be one of the outstanding achievements of Western civilization. Though the buildings and sculpture of the Acropolis, erected over the course of the fifth century B.C., have been scrutinized by scholars for more than a century, Robin Rhodes' sensitive analysis is the first to consider the ensemble as a whole and to explain how the monuments communicate meaningfully with one another to form an iconographic narrative. His study also examines the sculpture and decoration, which were conceived together with the abstract features, while relating both to the larger issues in Greek architecture and aesthetics.
'... a magisterial study ... [Hurwit] displays immense erudition and command of the scholarly literature ... Yet far from producing a dryly academic treatise, Hurwit constructs a vivid picture of this multipurpose hub of urban life and details just how the Acropolis was used, when and by whom.' New York Times Book Review
No one knows the world like National Geographic—and in this lavish volume, we reveal our picks for the world's most fabulous journeys, along with helpful information for readers who want to try them out.
The Acropolis Hill (or “Sacred Rock”) is the most important site in Greece’s Capital, Athens and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Acropolis to experience Greek history, mythology and culture while enjoying the best views in town.
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. Its 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 best known acropolis (high city, The "Sacred Rock") in the world. Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as The Acropolis without qualification. The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the pre-eminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on 26 March 2007. The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock which rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level in the city of Athens. It was also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Kekrops or Cecrops, the first Athenian king.
Begun in the mid-1970s, the ongoing project has involved painstaking repairs on major monuments, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and Athena Nike temples, and the Acropolis walls. The architectural masterpieces suffered from both pollution and a flawed reparation attempt in the 1930s, when workers used iron clamps in their repairs that eventually rusted and cracked the marble.
“No sane architect,” Nicolai Ouroussoff writes, “would want to invite comparisons between his building and the Parthenon. So it comes as little surprise that the New Acropolis Museum, which stands at the foot of one of the great achievements of human history, is a quiet work, especially by the standards of its flamboyant Swiss-born architect, Bernard Tschumi. But in mastering his ego, Mr. Tschumi pulled off an impressive accomplishment: a building that is both an enlightening meditation on the Parthenon and a mesmerizing work in its own right. I can’t remember seeing a design that is so eloquent about another work of architecture.”
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