Amongst the greatest treasures of the ancient world is the Acropolis of Athens. This “high city” (Greek for acropolis) is one of the few remaining building complexes of ancient Greece to still be standing in such good condition. Not bad for buildings that were constructed during the Bronze Age, though the history shows us that there were inhabitants in this area dating back almost 12,000 years.
Today the Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the crown jewel of Athens with the Parthenon perched proudly upon her apex. The buildings found here are a testament to the classical Greek style along with the founding of democracy and the growth of free thought and artistic endeavours. It was in the 5th century BCE that these remaining monuments had their start. It was the influence of Pericles that saw the beginnings of these ancient constructions. The history of them is very long and varied. The changes of past centuries have been witness to additional buildings, damages of wars, changes in religions and belief systems, repair and repurposing of structures, and the toll of time itself; all affecting story of this famous site.
I was lucky enough to visit the Acropolis in May 2015 during my “Big Trip”, when I travelled for over 7 months. I will admit that even though I did not like Athens at all (not one bit) I was glad I visited the Acropolis (as well as the Acropolis Museum) to see these age-old buildings. There is something to be said for viewing the relics of the past. It was cool to walk beside the towering Parthenon, see the statues that make up the Porch of Maidens on The Erechtheion (my personal favourite), walk the sprawling grounds to take in the Temple of Athena Nike, and to gaze over the Theatre of Dionysus and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. I had never realized how large of a complex it truly is. I did not visit with a tour guide and did not learn too much about the area, something which in hindsight I would have enjoyed. Nevertheless it was still enjoyable and one of the few things I enjoyed about Athens.
If you are considering visiting Athens (once it is safe to travel), I would suggest going up the hill to wander the Acropolis and see what it holds. Keep in mind that if it is a warm day that early morning or evening may be an option if you don’t care for the heat. Additionally, I recommend stopping in at the Acropolis Museum. I thoroughly enjoyed it there and learned a bit about what I had encountered in my wanderings about Acropolis.
All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World
Many sites and attractions may be closed due to Covid-19 related restrictions.