Athens, Greece Landmarks

Acropolis Museum Athens

The Acropolis Museum Athens: 1300 years of fascination

The symbol for the past of Athens and Greece is the Acropolis in Athens. An acropolis in general refers to the fortification or citadel of a Greek city, but none is as well preserved and as impressive as the example in Athens. “Weir system” must not be equated with a fortification. These systems also contain, for example, temples, sacrificial sites and supply systems. The Acropolis in Athens is built in parts from Pentelic marble and consists of over 20 preserved ruins.

Museum superlatives

The Acropolis Museum opened in 2009 and can be found at the foot of the same. Although there have been museums dealing with the Acropolis since 1863, the complex from 2009 can be described as one of the most modern museum concepts in Europe. The museum contains 300 statues and approx. 4000 other, smaller exhibits and is therefore a central point for study trips to Athens and Greece. The museum is spacious and bright, and there is also a panorama of the Acropolis itself. In general, the building of the museum alone is a topic of conversation for any fan of architecture, as it is a post-modern design in the middle of the historical buildings of Athens.

The old with the latest resources

The museum’s communication concepts also rely on videos and acoustic tours. It is advisable to have a guide with you, either in human form or in paper form, otherwise it will be difficult to orientate yourself due to the many impressions. Because the museum is a potential day trip. The objects that can be admired here are by no means “only” from the time of the high civilization of Athens, but range between 700 BC. BC to approx. 600 AD, a period in which the Acropolis also repeatedly went through changes, both in terms of use and construction. Art history and event history are close together here and make the study trip or vacation an educational and aesthetic experience.

The Parthenon of Athens

The Parthenon sits majestically on a rock above the Greek capital Athens. If stones had the gift of telling their story, it would take time. Because this acropolis, which was dedicated to the goddess Athena Parthenos and is today one of the most famous buildings on our globe, had several predecessors in the same place. During excavations, scientists came across smaller temples from archaic times.

Largest temple in mainland Greece

Persians destroyed the original temple of Athena around 480 BC. After the departure of the Persians, Pericles, one of the most important statesmen of antiquity, commissioned the architect and sculptor Pheidias to plan and complete the Acropolis, the outer walls of which withstood all wars and earthquakes. The colossal building, a rectangle in the Doric style framed by mighty columns, was completed in a very short construction period of just nine years. No temple in mainland Greece was bigger than the Acropolis of Athens. It measures 30.86 meters by 69.51 meters and housed the large bronze statue of the goddess Athena in its eastern area. This was transported to Constantinople in 426 AD and smashed there in the early 13th century.

An explosion destroyed the roof and pillars

The history of the Parthenon in Athens is varied. When antiquity lost its luster, the building was used for some time as a Christian church and later also as a mosque. After the invasion of the Ottomans, the holy place of the Greeks became an arsenal. And that is exactly what ended up fatal for the Parthenon. During the siege of the Ottomans by the Venetians in 1687, the ammunition stored in the Acropolis exploded and destroyed not only the roof but also seven pillars. The ancient place of worship was once equipped with numerous statues and reliefs. A few can be seen in the Athens Acropolis Museum, many more in the British Museum in London.

Temple of Hephaestus

The temple of Hephaestus, also called Hephaisteion, was dedicated to Hephaestus, the god of blacksmithing. During the construction period, in the middle of the 5th century BC, many metalworking craftsmen and artists had settled in this area.

Location of the temple

The temple is on the way to the Acropolis, which every visitor to Athens will visit. It is located on a small hill in a beautiful park on the Agora, the former market square, in the center of Athens. Visiting is only possible from the outside, but this piece of living history is still worth a visit.

The Hephaisteion is considered to be the best preserved temple. Here the visitor doesn’t just have to imagine everything, he can also see it. The temple is impressive in size. It is more than 31 meters long and more than 13 meters wide. All the columns are still preserved here and give a particularly clear impression of the ancient temples of Greece. The temple of Hephaestus is built in the Doric style, to a large extent from Pantelic marble. This marble comes from the Pentelikon massif on the outskirts of Athens.

It is interesting that Ionic friezes can be seen in a Doric temple. Unfortunately, they are only partially preserved. Remains of gable figures were found during excavations in the 20th century.

The temple was not always a temple. Around 450 AD, it was converted into St. George’s Church. During the Ottoman rule in Greece, the most important Greek Orthodox church in Athens was here.

The temple of Hephaestus was also called Theseion because it was assumed in Byzantine times that the bones of Theseus were buried here. In Vienna there is a scaled down replica of the temple of Hephaestus, the Theseus temple in the Volksgarten.

Athens, Greece Landmarks

About the author