Overview of the chapters.

"You must yourselves realise the power of Athens, and feed your eyes upon her from day to day, till love from her fills your hearts you must reflect that it was by courage, sense of duty, and a keen felling of hour in action that men were enabled to win all this..."

-- Pericles

Just the sight of the Acropolis is already breathtaking for the average tourist, but once you have read the previous chapters you might discover things which remain hidden for the untrained viewer. Hopefully this final chapter of the site will visualize the previous chapters some more, and hopefully will you now realise that the Greek civilization truly has been one of the greatest civilizations known to mankind. Enjoy your visit to this sacred place!

History.
The Acropolis was at first a stronghold, but later on it became the political center of Athens. Finally it evolved into one of the major religious centers of Hellas. Whatever its function was, the Acropolis has always been the heart of Athens and is seen by many as the crown on the Greek civilisation. The Acropolis witnessed the destruction of Athens by invading Persians, but on the same place the best architects and builders constructed buildings which came close to the perfection of Greek ideals.

The Propylaea.
Before you can enter the sacred precincts of the Acropolis you have to go through the Propylaea. An impressive flight of stairs takes you to this building which was also an exhibition of sculptures and paintings in earlier days. Here the Atheneans gathered and discussed politics, philosophy and other matters in their loved city.

The temple of Nike.
The diminutive temple of Athena Nike, the winged goddess of Victory, stands southwest of the Propylaea, on a rebuilt Mycenaean fortification. The temple is small compared to the other buildings, but that does not decrease its refinement. It is the only wholly Ionic building on the Acropolis which accentuates the beauty of a triumph in war.

The statue of Pallas Athena.
The immense and axtravagantly rich statue of the goddess Pallas Athena stood in the centre of the Acropolis and immedeatly showed to who this sacred rock was dedicated. Tradition has it that sailers focused on the gold on the statue, which was flickering like Helios in the sunlight, when their destination was Athens.

The Erechteum.
The Erechteum looks complicated and traditional at first, but striking innovations were added by its unknown architect. One can not miss the porch of Caryatids which is a highlight in Greek construction. Female figures replace the more traditional columns and give the building a refinement and subtlety which is very rare in antiquity.

The Parthenon.
The most impressive and characteristic building on the Acropolis is dedicated to the patron goddess of Athens: Pallas Athena. The Persians destroyed the first Parthenon while it was being constructed, but under Pericles it was rebuild and became the jewel of the Acropolis. With both Doric and Ionic aspects it is a perfect balace of power and refinement.

 

 

 


The Acropolis from the SW - The Acropolis from the SE

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Last Modified: Friday, 23-Jan-1998 13:40:42 CET
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© Copyright 1997 by Martijn Moerbeek, a member of the Monolith Community
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