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The Acropolis (Greece)

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The Acropolis, {CATEGORY}

A splendid religious complex, the Acropolis consists of several temples, which were built by the world's first democracy during the 5th century BC. The most majestic building of all is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The Parthenon became the paragon of classical Greek architecture, and has suffered serious damage over the years. A small museum features an outstanding collection of ancient Greek sculptures.

Practical Information

Address: Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, Athens 105 58

City: Athens

Country: Greece

Phone 1: +30 210 321 4172

Opening hours: Summer daily 8am-7pm. winter daily 8:30am-6pm

Entrance fee: Admission 12€ ($16) adults. Free Sun. Ticket, valid for 1 week, includes admission to the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, Ancient Agora, Theater of Dionysos, Karameikos Cemetery, Roman Forum, Tower of the Winds, and Temple of Olympian Zeus. Individual tickets may be bought (6€/$7.80) at the other sites

Access by subway: Metro Acropolis

Hotels nearby

346 yd - Acropolis View Hotel

Discover all that Athens has to offer with Acropolis View Hotel as a base.All hotel's guestrooms have all the conveniences expected in a hotel in its class to suit guests' utmost comforts.In-room faciRead morelities include non smoking rooms, air conditioning, hair dryer, shower, mini bar, balcony/terrace, satellite/cable TV.To suit guests' convenience, this Athens accommodation offers 24hr room service, bar/pub, laundry service/dry cleaning, business center.Being one of the good quality hotels in Athens, guests staying at this hotel will find its convenient location and tranquil atmosphere pleasurable. Make your reservation at the Acropolis View Hotel Athens now by selecting your chosen dates of stay and submitting our secure online booking form.Hide

348 yd - Herodion Hotel

Discover all that Athens has to offer with Herodion Hotel as a base. All 86 guestrooms at the hotel provide all the comforts and conveniences guests would expect in a hotel in this class. This hotel iRead mores characterized by a combination of modern comfort and traditional element of Athens, making it a distinct accommodation. For your reservation at the Herodion Hotel, simply submit your dates and complete our secure online booking form.Hide

353 yd - Hotel Byron

Discover all that Athens has to offer with Hotel Byron as a base.All hotel's guestrooms have all the conveniences expected in a hotel in its class to suit guests' utmost comforts.Each guestroom featurRead morees amenities such as air conditioning, television, bathtub, shower, separate shower and tub, mini bar.Services and amenities available for guests at this Athens accommodation consist of 24hr room service, elevator, bar/pub, tours, business center, pets allowed.The hotel provides a warm and welcoming service of international standard.For your reservation at the Hotel Byron Athens, please choose your period of stay and fill out our secure online booking form.Hide

393 yd - Nefeli Hotel

Located in Plaka / Monastiraki / Thissio, Nefeli Hotel is a perfect starting point from which to explore Athens. Both business travelers and tourists can enjoy the hotel's facilities and services. To Read morebe found at the hotel are laundry service/dry cleaning, business center, car park, concierge, 24hr room service. The well-appointed guestrooms feature hair dryer, air conditioning, television. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. No matter what your reasons are for visiting Athens, Nefeli Hotel will make you feel instantly at home.Hide

396 yd - Acropolis View

It is situated at 10 Wemster - Filopapou in the south-west section of Athens, at only 4 minutes by car distance from the center. The Acropolis View is a two star Budget establishment has all the comfoRead morerts such as : Bar, Front Desk 24hr, Laundry, Television, AirCon, Satellite Television.The Acropolis View has 32 rooms. Prices start at 103 US Dollars for the average room although all room categories are represented from Single to the Triple rooms.This hotel offers high speed internet.You will be able to visit nearby the hotel: Acropolis, Roman Agora, Horologion of Andronikos, Ancient Agora, Olympeion, Hadrian's Arch, Hadrian's Arch, Academy of Athens, City Hall.The Elefthérios Venizélos airport is about 40 minutes by car from the hotel (12 miles ).Hide

Customer reviews

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The Acropolis, {CATEGORY}

The Acropolis is one of a handful of places in the world that is so well known, you may be anxious when you finally get here. Will it be as beautiful as its photographs? Will it be, ever so slightly, a disappointment? Rest assured: The Acropolis does not disappoint - but it is infuriatingly crowded. What you want here is time - time to watch the Parthenon's columns appear first beige, then golden, then rose, then stark white in changing light, time to stand on the Belvedere and take in the view over Athens (and listen to the muted conversations floating up from the Plaka), time to think of all those who have been here before you. Tip: There is no reason to head to the Acropolis during the day in summer when the crowds and the heat will take away some of the magic. The best time to visit during the summer is after 5pm - the brilliant light of the late-afternoon hours will only enhance your experience. When you climb the Acropolis - the heights above the city - you know that you're on your way to see Greece's most famous temple, the Parthenon. What you may not know is that people lived on the Acropolis as early as 5,000 B.C. The Acropolis's sheer sides made it a superb natural defense, just the place to avoid enemies and to be able to see invaders coming across the sea or the plains of Attica. And it helped that in antiquity there was a spring here. In classical times, when Athens's population had grown to around 250,000, people moved down from the Acropolis, which had become the city's most important religious center. The city's civic and business center - the Agora - and its cultural center, with several theaters and concert halls, bracketed the Acropolis. When you peer over the sides of the Acropolis at the houses in the Plaka, and the remains of the Ancient Agora and the theater of Dionysos, you'll see the layout of the ancient city. Syntagma and Omonia squares, the heart of today's Athens, were well out of the ancient city center. Even the Acropolis's superb heights couldn't protect it from the Persian assault of 480 B.C., when invaders burned and destroyed most of its monuments. Look for the immense column drums built into the Acropolis's walls. They are from the destroyed Parthenon. When the Athenian statesman Pericles ordered the Acropolis rebuilt, he had these drums built into the walls lest Athenians forget what had happened, and so that they would remember that they had rebuilt what they had lost. Pericles's rebuilding program began about 448 B.C., the new Parthenon was dedicated 10 years later, but work on other monuments continued for a century. You'll enter the Acropolis through Beulé Gate, built by the Romans and named for the French archaeologist who discovered it in 1852. You'll then pass through the Propylaia, the monumental 5th-century-B.C. entrance. It's characteristic of the Roman mania for building that they found it necessary to build an entrance to an entrance! Just above the Propylaia is the elegant little Temple of Athena Nike (Athena of Victory), this beautifully proportioned Ionic temple was built in 424 B.C. and heavily restored in the 1930s. To the left of the Parthenon is the Erechtheion, which the Athenians honored as the tomb of Erechtheus, a legendary king of Athens. A hole in the ceiling and floor of the northern porch indicates where Poseidon's trident struck to make a spring gush forth during his contest with Athena to have the city named in his or her honor. Athena countered with an olive tree, the olive tree planted beside the Erechtheion reminds visitors of her victory - as, of course, does Athens's name. Give yourself time to enjoy the delicate carving on the Erechtheion, and be sure to see the original Caryatids in the New Acropolis Museum. The Caryatids presently holding up the porch of the Erechtheion are the casts put there when the originals were moved to prevent further erosion by Athens's acid nefos (smog). The Parthenon is dedicated to Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin, patron goddess of Athens) and is, of course, the most important religious shrine here. Visitors are not allowed inside, both to protect the monument and to allow restoration work to proceed safely. If you're disappointed, keep in mind that in antiquity only priests and honored visitors were allowed in to see the monumental - about 11m-tall (36-ft). - statue of Athena designed by the great Phidias, who supervised Pericles's building program. Nothing of the huge gold-and-ivory statue remains, but there's a small Roman copy in the National Archaeological Museum - and horrific renditions on souvenirs ranging from T-shirts to ouzo bottles. Admittedly, the gold-and-ivory statue was not understated, the 2nd-century-A.D. traveler Pausanias, one of the first guidebook writers, recorded that the statue stood "upright in an ankle-length tunic with a head of Medusa carved in ivory on her breast. She has a Victory about 2.5m (8 ft). high, and a spear in her hand and a shield at her feet, with a snake beside the shield, possibly representing Erechtheus". Look over the edge of the Acropolis toward the Temple of Hephaistos (now called the Theseion) in the Ancient Agora, and then at the Parthenon, and notice how much lighter and more graceful the Parthenon appears. Scholars tell us that this is because Ictinus, the Parthenon's architect, was something of a magician of optical illusions. The columns and stairs - the very floor - of the Parthenon all appear straight, because all are minutely curved. Each exterior column is slightly thicker in the middle (a device known as entasis), which makes the entire column appear straight. That's why the Parthenon, with 17 columns on each side and eight at each end (creating an exterior colonnade of 46 relatively slender columns), looks so graceful, while the Temple of Hephaistos, with only 6 columns at each end and 13 along each side, seems squat and stolid. The other reason the Parthenon looks so airy is that it is, quite literally, open to the elements. In 1687, the Venetians, in an attempt to capture the Acropolis from the Turks, blew the Parthenon's entire roof (and much of its interior) to smithereens. A shell fired from nearby Mouseion Hill struck the Parthenon - where the Turks were storing gunpowder and munitions - and caused appalling damage to the building and its sculptures. A Britisher, Lord Elgin, carted off most of the remaining sculptures to London in the early 19th century. Those surviving sculptures - known as the Elgin Marbles - are on display in the British Museum, causing ongoing pain to generations of Greeks, who continue to press for their return. Things heated up again in the summer of 1988, when English historian William St. Clair's book Lord Elgin and the Marbles received a fair amount of publicity. According to St. Clair, the British Museum "over-cleaned" the marbles in the 1930s, removing not only the outer patina, but many sculptural details. The museum countered that the damage wasn't that bad - and that the marbles would remain in London. The Parthenon originally had sculptures on both of its pediments, as well as a frieze running around the entire temple. The frieze was made of alternating triglyphs (panels with three incised grooves) and metopes (sculptured panels). The east pediment showed scenes from the birth of Athena, while the west pediment showed Athena and Poseidon's contest for possession of Athens. The long frieze showed the battle of the Athenians against the Amazons, scenes from the Trojan War, and struggles of the Olympian gods against giants and centaurs. The message of most of this sculpture was the triumph of knowledge and civilization - that is, Athens - over the forces of darkness and barbarians. An interior frieze showed scenes from the Panathenaic Festival held each August, when citizens paraded through the streets with a new tunic for the statue of Athena. Only a few fragments of these sculptures remain in place, and you will have to decide for yourself whether it's a good or a bad thing that Lord Elgin removed so much before the smog became endemic in Athens and ate away much of what he left here. If you're lucky enough to visit the Acropolis on a smog-free and sunny day, you'll see the gold and cream tones of the Parthenon's handsome Pentelic marble at their most subtle. It may come as something of a shock to realize that in antiquity, the Parthenon - like most other monuments here - was painted gay colors that have since faded, revealing the natural marble. If the day is a clear one, you'll get a superb view of Athens from the Belvedere at the Acropolis's east end. Almost all of what you see comes from Athens's heyday in the mid-5th century B.C., when Pericles rebuilt what the Persians destroyed. In the following centuries, every invader who came built monuments, most of which were resolutely destroyed by the next wave of invaders. If you had been here a century ago, you would have seen the remains of mosques and churches, plus a Frankish bell tower. The great archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, discoverer of Troy and excavator of Mycenae, was so offended by the bell tower that he paid to have it torn down. If you'd like to know more about the Acropolis and its history, as well as the Elgin Marbles controversy, you can check the Center for Acropolis Studies, on Makrigianni just southeast of the Acropolis (tel. 210/923-9381, 9am-2:30pm, free admission). The center closes intermittently. It houses artifacts, reconstructions, photographs, drawings, and plaster casts of the Elgin Marbles - and hopes, one day, to house the "Parthenon" marbles. If you find the Acropolis too crowded, you can usually get a peaceful view of its monuments from one of three nearby hills (all signposted from the Acropolis): the Hill of the Pnyx, where the Athenian Assembly met, Hill of the Areopagus, where the Athenian Upper House met, and Hill of Filopappos (also known as the Hill of the Muses), named after the 2nd-century-A.D. philhellene Filopappos, whose funeral monument tops the hill.

The Acropolis, {CATEGORY}

The Acropolis is one of a handful of places in the world that is so well known, you may be anxious when you finally get here. Will it be as beautiful as its photographs? Will it be, ever so slightly, a disappointment? Rest assured: The Acropolis does not disappoint - but it is infuriatingly crowded. What you want here is time - time to watch the Parthenon's columns appear first beige, then golden, then rose, then stark white in changing light, time to stand on the Belvedere and take in the view over Athens (and listen to the muted conversations floating up from the Plaka), time to think of all those who have been here before you. Tip: There is no reason to head to the Acropolis during the day in summer when the crowds and the heat will take away some of the magic. The best time to visit during the summer is after 5pm - the brilliant light of the late-afternoon hours will only enhance your experience. When you climb the Acropolis - the heights above the city - you know that you're on your way to see Greece's most famous temple, the Parthenon. What you may not know is that people lived on the Acropolis as early as 5,000 B.C. The Acropolis's sheer sides made it a superb natural defense, just the place to avoid enemies and to be able to see invaders coming across the sea or the plains of Attica. And it helped that in antiquity there was a spring here. In classical times, when Athens's population had grown to around 250,000, people moved down from the Acropolis, which had become the city's most important religious center. The city's civic and business center - the Agora - and its cultural center, with several theaters and concert halls, bracketed the Acropolis. When you peer over the sides of the Acropolis at the houses in the Plaka, and the remains of the Ancient Agora and the theater of Dionysos, you'll see the layout of the ancient city. Syntagma and Omonia squares, the heart of today's Athens, were well out of the ancient city center. Even the Acropolis's superb heights couldn't protect it from the Persian assault of 480 B.C., when invaders burned and destroyed most of its monuments. Look for the immense column drums built into the Acropolis's walls. They are from the destroyed Parthenon. When the Athenian statesman Pericles ordered the Acropolis rebuilt, he had these drums built into the walls lest Athenians forget what had happened, and so that they would remember that they had rebuilt what they had lost. Pericles's rebuilding program began about 448 B.C., the new Parthenon was dedicated 10 years later, but work on other monuments continued for a century. You'll enter the Acropolis through Beulé Gate, built by the Romans and named for the French archaeologist who discovered it in 1852. You'll then pass through the Propylaia, the monumental 5th-century-B.C. entrance. It's characteristic of the Roman mania for building that they found it necessary to build an entrance to an entrance! Just above the Propylaia is the elegant little Temple of Athena Nike (Athena of Victory), this beautifully proportioned Ionic temple was built in 424 B.C. and heavily restored in the 1930s. To the left of the Parthenon is the Erechtheion, which the Athenians honored as the tomb of Erechtheus, a legendary king of Athens. A hole in the ceiling and floor of the northern porch indicates where Poseidon's trident struck to make a spring gush forth during his contest with Athena to have the city named in his or her honor. Athena countered with an olive tree, the olive tree planted beside the Erechtheion reminds visitors of her victory - as, of course, does Athens's name. Give yourself time to enjoy the delicate carving on the Erechtheion, and be sure to see the original Caryatids in the New Acropolis Museum. The Caryatids presently holding up the porch of the Erechtheion are the casts put there when the originals were moved to prevent further erosion by Athens's acid nefos (smog). The Parthenon is dedicated to Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin, patron goddess of Athens) and is, of course, the most important religious shrine here. Visitors are not allowed inside, both to protect the monument and to allow restoration work to proceed safely. If you're disappointed, keep in mind that in antiquity only priests and honored visitors were allowed in to see the monumental - about 11m-tall (36-ft). - statue of Athena designed by the great Phidias, who supervised Pericles's building program. Nothing of the huge gold-and-ivory statue remains, but there's a small Roman copy in the National Archaeological Museum - and horrific renditions on souvenirs ranging from T-shirts to ouzo bottles. Admittedly, the gold-and-ivory statue was not understated, the 2nd-century-A.D. traveler Pausanias, one of the first guidebook writers, recorded that the statue stood "upright in an ankle-length tunic with a head of Medusa carved in ivory on her breast. She has a Victory about 2.5m (8 ft). high, and a spear in her hand and a shield at her feet, with a snake beside the shield, possibly representing Erechtheus". Look over the edge of the Acropolis toward the Temple of Hephaistos (now called the Theseion) in the Ancient Agora, and then at the Parthenon, and notice how much lighter and more graceful the Parthenon appears. Scholars tell us that this is because Ictinus, the Parthenon's architect, was something of a magician of optical illusions. The columns and stairs - the very floor - of the Parthenon all appear straight, because all are minutely curved. Each exterior column is slightly thicker in the middle (a device known as entasis), which makes the entire column appear straight. That's why the Parthenon, with 17 columns on each side and eight at each end (creating an exterior colonnade of 46 relatively slender columns), looks so graceful, while the Temple of Hephaistos, with only 6 columns at each end and 13 along each side, seems squat and stolid. The other reason the Parthenon looks so airy is that it is, quite literally, open to the elements. In 1687, the Venetians, in an attempt to capture the Acropolis from the Turks, blew the Parthenon's entire roof (and much of its interior) to smithereens. A shell fired from nearby Mouseion Hill struck the Parthenon - where the Turks were storing gunpowder and munitions - and caused appalling damage to the building and its sculptures. A Britisher, Lord Elgin, carted off most of the remaining sculptures to London in the early 19th century. Those surviving sculptures - known as the Elgin Marbles - are on display in the British Museum, causing ongoing pain to generations of Greeks, who continue to press for their return. Things heated up again in the summer of 1988, when English historian William St. Clair's book Lord Elgin and the Marbles received a fair amount of publicity. According to St. Clair, the British Museum "over-cleaned" the marbles in the 1930s, removing not only the outer patina, but many sculptural details. The museum countered that the damage wasn't that bad - and that the marbles would remain in London. The Parthenon originally had sculptures on both of its pediments, as well as a frieze running around the entire temple. The frieze was made of alternating triglyphs (panels with three incised grooves) and metopes (sculptured panels). The east pediment showed scenes from the birth of Athena, while the west pediment showed Athena and Poseidon's contest for possession of Athens. The long frieze showed the battle of the Athenians against the Amazons, scenes from the Trojan War, and struggles of the Olympian gods against giants and centaurs. The message of most of this sculpture was the triumph of knowledge and civilization - that is, Athens - over the forces of darkness and barbarians. An interior frieze showed scenes from the Panathenaic Festival held each August, when citizens paraded through the streets with a new tunic for the statue of Athena. Only a few fragments of these sculptures remain in place, and you will have to decide for yourself whether it's a good or a bad thing that Lord Elgin removed so much before the smog became endemic in Athens and ate away much of what he left here. If you're lucky enough to visit the Acropolis on a smog-free and sunny day, you'll see the gold and cream tones of the Parthenon's handsome Pentelic marble at their most subtle. It may come as something of a shock to realize that in antiquity, the Parthenon - like most other monuments here - was painted gay colors that have since faded, revealing the natural marble. If the day is a clear one, you'll get a superb view of Athens from the Belvedere at the Acropolis's east end. Almost all of what you see comes from Athens's heyday in the mid-5th century B.C., when Pericles rebuilt what the Persians destroyed. In the following centuries, every invader who came built monuments, most of which were resolutely destroyed by the next wave of invaders. If you had been here a century ago, you would have seen the remains of mosques and churches, plus a Frankish bell tower. The great archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, discoverer of Troy and excavator of Mycenae, was so offended by the bell tower that he paid to have it torn down. If you'd like to know more about the Acropolis and its history, as well as the Elgin Marbles controversy, you can check the Center for Acropolis Studies, on Makrigianni just southeast of the Acropolis (tel. 210/923-9381, 9am-2:30pm, free admission). The center closes intermittently. It houses artifacts, reconstructions, photographs, drawings, and plaster casts of the Elgin Marbles - and hopes, one day, to house the "Parthenon" marbles. If you find the Acropolis too crowded, you can usually get a peaceful view of its monuments from one of three nearby hills (all signposted from the Acropolis): the Hill of the Pnyx, where the Athenian Assembly met, Hill of the Areopagus, where the Athenian Upper House met, and Hill of Filopappos (also known as the Hill of the Muses), named after the 2nd-century-A.D. philhellene Filopappos, whose funeral monument tops the hill.

The Acropolis, {CATEGORY}

A splendid religious complex, the Acropolis consists of several temples, which were built by the world's first democracy during the 5th century BC. The most majestic building of all is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The Parthenon became the paragon of classical Greek architecture, and has suffered serious damage over the years. A small museum features an outstanding collection of ancient Greek sculptures.

The Acropolis, {CATEGORY}

A splendid religious complex, the Acropolis consists of several temples, which were built by the world's first democracy during the 5th century BC. The most majestic building of all is the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. The Parthenon became the paragon of classical Greek architecture, and has suffered serious damage over the years. A small museum features an outstanding collection of ancient Greek sculptures.

> > The Acropolis hotels near monument: The Acropolis, Greece The Acropolis, Greece infos >

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