Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Ancient Agora and the new Acropolis museum

For legend has it that Poseidon, God of the sea, plunged his trident
 into the rock on the hill of the city, dramatically producing 
a spring of water,while Athena, Goddess of wisdom created 
a simple olive tree, whose produce remains a main staple 
of Greek society. A panel of judges declared the Goddess 
the winner, and the city was named Athena. 

Strolling up and down the foothills of the Parthenon along 
the pedestrian cobblestone lanes of the ancient Agora and 
exploring the charming old districts in the heart of Athena
always gives us  great pleasure. 

The Greek term Acropolis means "High City," and whoever climbs 
the hill is paying tribute to the prime source of Western civilization. 
Visiting the Acropolis evokes the spirit of the ancient heroes 
and Gods who were once worshiped there. 

At the loftiest point of the Acropolis stands the Parthenon, 
the architectural masterpiece conceived by Pericles and executed 
between 447 and 438 BC. It not only raised the bar in terms 
of sheer size, but also in the perfection of its proportions. 
Dedicated to the Goddess Athena Parthenos, or the virgin Athena, 
the Parthenon was built as much to honor the city's power as to 
venerate Athena.

It was a lovely autumn Saturday and after having fully enjoyed 

our visit to the old neighbourhoods, we visited the Acropolis 

museum late in the evening to avoid tourists and to best 

capture the sunlight. It was a good idea!

The Acropolis Museum is located in this historical area, southeast 
of the Rock of the Acropolis, at the beginning of the pedestrian 
walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, which constitutes 
the central route for the unified network of the city’s 
archaeological sites. 

Designed by architects Bernard Tschumi and  Michael Photiadis , 

the museum revolves around light and movement. It was  inaugurated 

in the summer of 2009 and  was founded to exhibit all the significant 

finds from the Sacred Rock and its foothills. 

The collections are hosted across three levels, as well as in the 

archaeological excavation that lies at its foundations. (photo above)

Archaeologist-Hosts are available to answer your questions about 

Museum exhibits but unfortunately, we didn’t find 

anybody as we were  late visitors.

One of the six original maidens (Caryatids) wearing delicately 

draped Ionian garnments is on display.

Their heads supported the Caryatid Porch in

the Erechtheion, Athena's holiest shrine on the Acropolis hill. 
(photo below)

All the museum is transparent as there are glass walls 

all around and glass floors as well. 

The view of the Parthenon from the interior of the museum is 


The sight of the Parthenon has the power to stir the heart 
as few other ancient relics do, I have to admit.

 “The Parthenon without the marbles is like a smile with a tooth missing.”
Neil Kinnock

Hope you enjoyed this little tour. Sending you sweet thoughts…

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