Holiday Accommodation Greece - Amazing Greece
The Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Spiritual centre of Athens

The Acropolis with its ancient temples rises up 100 metres over Athens.  Built on limestone rock hill, the area retains a peculiar majesty. It's first known purpose was a citadel for the kings of Athens, and later became a centre of worship. According to Greek mythology, the city of Athens was founded on the crag of rock of the Acropolis by the Phoenician Kekrops but named after the goddess Athena because she won a dispute by her gift of the olive tree which was considered useful and of value.  Patron of Athens, many temples bore tribute to Athena.  

Parthenon - Acropolis Athens

The Parthenon at the highest point of the Acropolis,  Athens

If you are coming to Athens for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games you cannot miss an opportunity to see one of the world's most famous sites. The rocky outcrop, which rises majestically above the city, has always been a sacred place, revered with mystic rites and rituals. Around 650BC there emerged a cult of devotion to the goddess Athena as protector of the young city. Early temples were built on the Acropolis hill, which were later replaced (450-330BC) by the wonders that can still be seen today.

The Temples

The most famous temple is the Parthenon. The massive structure is made of marble from Penteli mountain (found at the edge of the modern city). The structure is supported by large columns and is decorated with friezes showing classical scenes. One bone of contention with the Greeks is that certain works of art, namely the 'Elgin Marbles' were plundered or 'removed' by Lord Elgin in the 19th century and now adorn the British Museum in London. You may wish to add your name to the petition for their return to their rightful place. Other structures include: The Erechtheion, The Temple of Athena Nike and ThePropylaea.  Detailed guide books about the Acropolis, its temples andassociated buildings areavailable for sale on arrival.

The statuesque Karyatides supporting the east porch of this temple Another of numerous awe inspiring temples
The Karyatides supporting the south east porch of the Erechtheion Temple ruins 

Entry Fee

Tickets are 12 euros (in 2003) for adults. This also buys access to several other sites including the Agora.  EU students can get in free (but you must have a valid international student card - students from outside the EU pay half price). The ticket office is to the left of the main entrance. There is also a snack shop and toilets.

Restoration Programme

There is a restoration programme in place that began in 1983. The ancient ruins are somewhat marred by scaffolding,a railway line, cranes and other heavy machinery. Progress appears to be fairly slow, certain sections are being carved before replacement. How ancient peoples managed to build the ornate majestic temples and to elevate heavy marble sections into place without modern machinery is a mystery. White rocks litter the ground like pieces from a giant 3D jigsaw. The marble temples and columns are grey in colour because of age and pollution, but would have originally shone lightning white, and must have been the most amazing sight.

Parthenon Athens.  Imagine how this would have looked when newly built and pristine white marble shining in the sun, surrounded by equally magnificent temples and associated buildings. Lifting the marble vlocks into place using heavy machinery.  How did they manage it centuries ago>
The Parthenon surrounded by scaffolding in 2003 Cranes and heavy machinery used in the Restoration Project

Walking across the Acropolis is hazardous in places because of the marble stones worn to a glassy finish. 

TheAcropolis Museum