Visiting the Acropolis, Athens to see Parthenon

The most fabulous sight in Athens is the Acropolis! It is a symbol of perfection achieved by mankind several centuries back, BC! You don’t really have to be a history addict to appreciate the monumental remains there. Climb to Parthenon, top of Acropolis Athens is by itself an enjoyable one! We did it in the afternoon, temperature was at single digits but tolerable. Ruins, remains of several sites, marbles, columns, and statue, all around, each explained well and displayed on boards there. Whole trip there was a very good on site learning experience!

Tickets to Acropolis Athens

Combined ticket to Acropolis Athens and other sites is so cheap. It costs just 20euros and during winters when we visited it was just 10euros. (rates of 2015) The tickets to the six sites are valid for three days, which enables you to visit the sites at your pace. 25th Dec being a national holiday and all sites closed to tourists we had to cover the sites in one and half days. After Temple of Zeus we targeted the Acropolis.

Before we reached Parthenon we crossed several other sites.

The slopes of Acropolis has several must pause and see sights. Though they are crumbling they seem to be well taken care of too. There are churches, sacred caves, theaters and sanctuaries. It will easily take 4 hours and more if you pause at every sight as you go up to Parthenon.

Theater of Dionysus

First the Theater of Dionysus. It is impressive with good seating arrangements existing the same way for several centuries. The fence around didn’t stop tourists from sitting in those seats. This dates back to 4th century BC when it was used for festivals in honor of God Dionysus, the god of wine and the patron of drama. In its heydays could seat 17000 spectators. Something interesting was going on in the far background if you noticed, but I thought of including the sleeping dog in the picture.

Acropolis Athens

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Theater of Herod Atticus

Next we saw the Theater of Herod Atticus, younger and smaller of the two theaters of Acropolis. It was built in 161AD by Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. Hmmm… ‘lucky lady’ I thought! This has been restored well and is used for hosting concerts since 1950s, I have read. But that day it seemed out of bounds for tourists and was fenced nice and proper. Imagine! Seating for 5000!

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Caryatids of Erechtheion

(A caryatid is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head.) None of those are original! The story of it in modern times is worth a read. Wiki reads.

In 1801 one of the caryatids and the north column of the east porch together with the overlying section of the entablature were removed by Lord Elgin in order to decorate his Scottish mansion, and were later sold to the British Museum (along with the pedimental and frieze sculpture taken from the Parthenon). Athenian legend had it that at night the remaining five Caryatids could be heard wailing for their lost sister.

Elgin attempted to remove a second Caryatid; when technical difficulties arose, he tried to have it sawn to pieces. The statue was smashed, and its fragments were left behind. It was later reconstructed haphazardly with cement and iron rods. During the Greek War of Independence the building was bombarded by the Ottomans and severely damaged,the ceiling of the north porch was blown up and a large section of the lateral walls of the cella was dismantled.

Erechtheion

The Erechtheion went through a period of restoration from 1977 to 1988. Previous attempted restorations by Greece damaged the roof of the Caryatids’ porch with concrete patches, along with major damage caused by pollution in Athens. In 1979, the five original Caryatids were moved to the Old Acropolis Museum and replaced in situ by exact replicas. Scientists were working in 2005 to repair the damage using laser cleaning. Restoration of Erechtheion received the Europa Nostra award.

Propylaea

This is the monumental gateway to Acropolis. Tourists lingered here for long, their dream of visiting Acropolis finally materialized! Greece has grand plans to recreate the magic of Parthenon, as similar as possible to that which existed centuries back, work too is in full swing. I hope it is a grand success and my future generations can see the full splendor of this monument!
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Olive Tree of Greece
Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens

37 Responses to “Visiting the Acropolis, Athens to see Parthenon

  • just amazing ruins. i liked the dog in your first shot. 🙂

  • Oh wow, what a great post and wonderful images. I only wish I could be there seeing the ruins in Greece too. I had to go back and look for the dog that Theresa mentioned.. Cute shot.. Have a happy week!

  • Ah, such wonderful memories your captures have brought me this morning, Indrani!! I do love Greece and the Acropolis is awesome!! My husband and I had such a fantastic trip there many years ago!! Fun seeing the dog!! You did indeed have a great trip! Thanks for sharing it with us! Hope you have a great week!!

  • Wow! Splendid! This truly looks like the city of ancient Gods and Goddesses. 🙂 So beautiful.

    And I am very glad to inform you that I have nominated your very popular and loved blog for Very Inspiring Blog Award. 🙂

  • What a great post!
    I'm so glad you like my counrty,my city,and Acropolis!The dog looks so cute!Lovely images!
    Dimi…

  • Great shots from the acropolis.

  • I have never before appreciated this site as richly! You have really taken us there! Thank you so much

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    <3

  • What a great experience to see this ancient place! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • So much history and beauty!

  • Wow those are some amazing shots Indrani, better than any travel show!

  • what a great trip. 5 years ago, there were doing some work on the Propylaea, I see they are not yet done.

  • Superb Athens games, so historic.

  • I was very disappointed, the whole site is constantly under renovation, it's dangerous and the Greek people are very unfriendly ! It looks far better on photos !

  • Beautiful places. What a scenery. Just loved it. Thank u for the share.

  • Nice pictures from the past. Wish one could actually hop on to a time machine & go back into history.

  • Ah – there are those gorgeous Athenian skies offsetting the creamy gold of the monuments.

  • Wonderful memories of the glorious psst. Thank you.

  • I must visit this place because of my love for Architecture photography. Thanks for lovely post and inspiring photographs !

  • Greece figures prominently on my bucket list and your post reminds me exactly why it does 🙂 !

  • An absolutely amazing place. Your photos are fantastic and I enjoyed the history also. Great post Indrani, thank you!

  • Wow! These images are fantastic, I liked the info too , thank you for such a beautiful post 🙂

  • Wow…. I remember Gladiator movie after seeing these pics!

  • Gr8! I love d caryatids! Mysterious!

  • Awesome! Thanks for the tour!

  • My next tour for sure is Greece.. loved the pictures 🙂

  • Such an exciting place! But what happened to the doggy. He seems to have lost all interest in worldly pleasure …Lol. Beautiful post. Love the details.

  • wow! those structures!
    Thank you for the pictures.

  • Thanks for the information about the
    Caryatids! I didn't know all the damage that this building suffered.Lord Elgin was a true culture barbarian.
    I hope you have a peaceful and happy week.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  • Informative post and beautiful pics. The symmetry, the pattern of the stadium is wonderful. How these structures have weathered centuries and are still continue to attract people.

  • Looking at these ancient monuments, I simply wonder how they achieved such perfect during those days. There were no machines, no automation, no electric equipments – all construction work is being done manually (specially if we think about stone cutting and giving it perfect shape through fine edges). Simply perfect to watch. Adorable.

    Greece indeed offers a lot particularly if you are a history buff.

  • I´ve been to Athens once but at that time this place was closed so we could not see it 🙁

  • How man stories these ruins could tell if they could speak! How amazing to read about the legends and the history behind them.Thanks for this amazing post Indrani.

  • Incredible creations! Loved those graceful ladies in chitons, which are among my favourite costumes of the ancient times!
    Indrani, thanks a ton for your enthusiasm about culture and architecture because of which we could enjoy reading your Greece experience thought these lovely pictures.

  • Wow! It’s a really a magnificent sight. And to think that this was down ages ago. This post is really informative. Noted that I have to set aside 3 days to fully tour this at a leisurely pace. By the way, I hope those tourist violators merely just sit and don’t vandalize the site.

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