Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo and Artemis – we have all heard of them! Not accidentally, the Greek capital is named after the goddess of wisdom, crafts and military strategies.
Athens, like most оf the Gods in the Greek pantheon, has many names. Usually they were associated with some particular characteristic of the goddess herself. Athena Paladas is one of the most famous soubriquets. The Parthenon is named after Athena Parthenos, that is, the Virgin.
The history of Athens (both the one of the Goddess and the one of the City) is as ancient as my desire to visit this city and especially the Acropolis! My mother’s stories about how she walked there as a girl have always impressed me , almost all my acquaintances and friends have been there, and only I haven’t visited it! That’s why one weekend my best friends and I made an on the spot decision and visited Athens.
We rented an apartment that had a great view of the Acropolis and one day we visitied it. It is relatively easy to get there, as long as you are staying nearby. But even if you don’t there is a metro station which stops next to it and you can easily reach it from anywhere in the city.
It was mid-October and the weather was quite changeable. At the time of leaving the apartment it was sunny and but by the time we arrived at the Panthenon it was raining lightly. Despite the rain and the long queue for tickets, we did not give up climbing this magnificent hill! It struck me that there was no place to buy tickets online or by credit card machine, but it was quite fun to wait for about 30 minutes to get your ticket. It turned out a nice thing that the ticket was valid not only for the Acropolis, but also for other archeological sites in Athens. Personally, I recommend you to buy combined ticket as we did because it is worth it!
The Acropolis of Athens is the most famous and preserved one. Acropolis is a term used to denote a fortress of an elevated city. Due to its importance in the Greek history, this one is briefly called the Acropolis, despite that there are many other different acropolises in Greece.
The Acropolis is a flat, rocky hill that rises 150 meters above sea level and is situated on an area of 30,000 square meters. On it is stands one of the most impressive masterpieces from the ancient Greek culture. The climb is not very difficult, as long as it is not very hot. At the end of our climb it turned out that we were very lucky as the rain had stopped, it was sunny once again and there was a light breeze blowing.
The Acropolis dates back to the Mycenaean era (XIII-XII centuries BC). It is said to have housed the palace of King Kekrop, founder and first king of Athens. From the end of the 10th century BC. the highest plateau was turned into a sacred city and many temples of the goddess Athena were built. In the western part of the hill are the majestic gates, which bear the soubriquet Propylaea. They are the monumental entrance to the Acropolis and lead to the square where the bronze statue of Athena Promahos used to stand. Once you get to this point, I advise you to go down the stairs very carefully, because they are quite slippery and the chance to slip and fall is very high! 🙂
To the left of the Propylaea used to be the Pinakothek, the world’s first art gallery. On the right side there is the Ionian-style temple which is dedicated to the goddess of victory – Nike Apteros.
The Parthenon, which is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Athena Parthenos, is located in the main temple on the highest part of the hill. The Parthenon is the largest temple in Greece and in it’s the central part the twelve-meter statue of Athena Patenos, made of gold and ivor used to stand.
At the northern end, opposite of the Parthenon is the Erechtheion. This temple is in Ionian style and is also dedicated to three divinity – Athena, Poseidon and Hephaestus, as well as the mythical heroes Erechtheus and his brother Butes. One of a kind, this temple has three gates, which are placed on different levels.
In 1987, the Acropolis was included in the lists of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The feeling of being in this place is strange – all this ancient grandeur, it’s exquisite architecture and incredible views, obscured in mysticism make you feel divine! It was definitely worth the wait to come to this place. Usually when I travel somewhereI fall into some thoughts and fervor which I’ve shared with you in my previous posts. However there was no such feelings here. Why? Because I was at the home of the Olympic Gods and I felt like one of them!
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