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Athens - Acropolis

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Athens is capital and largest city in Greece, dominates the Attica periphery: as one of the world's oldest cities, its recorded history spans at least 3,000 years! The Greek capital has a population of 0,75 million (01) within its administrative limits.  The urban area of Athens extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3.37 million (05). A bustling and cosmopolitan metropolis, Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life in Greece. It is rapidly becoming a leading business centre in the European Union.

 

Classical Athens was a powerful city-state. A center for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Akademia and Aristotle's Lyceum. Athens was also the birthplace of Socrates and its many other prominent philosophers, writers and politicians of the ancient world. It is widely referred to as the cradle of Western Civilization, and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC on the rest of the then known European continent.

 

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by a number of ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all the Parthenon on the Acropolis, widely considered an important landmark of early Western civilization. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, with great success. More information here, here and here.

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Acropolis - View toward Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens is the best known acropolis (high city, The "Sacred Rock") in the world. Although there are many other acropolises 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.

Acropolis - View toward Acropolis

The Parthenon's position on the Acropolis allows it to dominate the city skyline of Athens.

Acropolis of Athens

Acropolis of Athens

A Propylaea - Acropolis of Athens

A Propylaea is any monumental gateway based on the original Propylaea that serves as the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. The monumental gateway to the Acropolis, the Propylaea was built under the general direction of the Athenian leader Pericles, but Phidias was given the responsibility for planning the rebuilding the Acropolis as a whole at the conclusion of the Persian Wars. Construction began in 437 BC and was terminated in 432, when the building was still unfinished.

The Parthenon - Athens

The Parthenon is a temple built for the Greek goddess Athena who was known as the godess of wisdom in the 5th century BC on the Acropolis of Athens. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece. Its decorative sculptures are considered one of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of ancient Greece and of Athenian democracy, and is one of the world's greatest cultural monuments...

The Parthenon - Athens

The Parthenon replaced an older temple of Athena, called the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, that was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. The first endeavour to build a sanctuary for Athena Parthenos on the site of the present Parthenon was begun shortly after the battle of Marathon (c. 490-88 BC) upon a massive limestone foundation that extended and leveled the southern part of the Acropolis summit.

The Erechtheum temple - Acropolis

The Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece, notable for a design that is both elegant and unusual. The temple as seen today was built between 421 and 407 BCE.

The Porch of the Caryatids - Acropolis

On the south side, you see the famous "Porch of the Maidens", with six draped female figures (caryatids) as supporting columns, each sculpted in a manner different from the rest and engineered in such a way that their slenderest part, the neck, is capable of supporting the weight of the porch roof whilst remaining graceful and feminine.

The Theatre of Dionysus - Acropolis

The Theatre of Dionysus was a major open air theatre in ancient Greece, built at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis. Dedicated to Dionysus the theatre could seat as many as 17,000 people, making it an ideal location for ancient Athens' biggest theatrical celebration, the Dionysia. It became the prototype for all theatres of ancient Greece. It was the first stone theatre ever built — cut into the southern cliff face of the Acropolis — and the birthplace of Greek tragedy. The remains of a restored and redesigned Roman version can still be seen at the site today.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the south slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped amphitheater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof, and was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. The audience stands and the 'orchestra' (stage) were restored using marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been hosting the theatrical, musical, and dance components of the Athens Festival.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Acropolis and Parthenon at night

An immediate problem facing the Parthenon is the environmental impact of the growth of Athens since the 1960s. Corrosion of its marble by acid rain and car pollutants has already caused irreparable damage to some sculptures and threatens the remaining sculptures and the temple itself. Over the past 20 years, the Greek government and the city of Athens have made some progress on these issues, but the future survival of the Parthenon does not seem to be assured.

View from Acropolis

View from Acropolis

View toward Mount Lycabettus - Lycabettos.

View from Acropolis

View from Acropolis

View toward The Temple of Olympian Zeus.

Plaka - Old town in Athens

Pláka is the picturesque old historical neighbourhood of Athens, just under the Acropolis, with labyrinthine streets and neo-classical architecture. It is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists around the year. Adrianou Street is the oldest street in Athens still in use.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Temple of Olympian Zeus, also known as the Olympieion, is a colossal ruined temple in the centre of the Greek capital that was formerly dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrants, who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world, but it was not completed until the 2nd century AD some 650 years after the project had begun. During the Roman periods it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus

View from Mount Lycabettus

View toward Ackropolis. Mount Lycabettus is a Cretaceous limestone hill in Athens, Greece. At 277 meters above sea level, the hill is the highest point in the city that surrounds it. Pine trees cover its base, and at its peak are the 19th century Chapel of St. George, a theatre, and a restaurant. The hill is a popular tourist destination and can be ascended by the Lycabettus Funicular.

Chapel of St. George

Chapel of St. George at the top of Mount Lycabettus.

Turtle

The Tower of the Winds

The Tower of the Winds, also called horologion (timepiece), is an octagonal Pentelic marble tower on the Roman agora in Athens. It was supposedly built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC, but according to other sources might have been constructed in the 2nd century BC before the rest of the forum.

Monument of Philopappos

Sunset view from Acropolis

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