The word Acropolis means the edge of the city, and there are many citadels all over Greece. They were always built on a high point, and were often used as a refuge and a place of defense against various enemies. The Acropolis of Athens is the best known of all, and is therefore often referred to as the Acropolis. Acropolis is the most important ancient monument in the Western world. The oldest findings date back to the Neolithic period (3500 BC). Originally it was the base of the local lord with all the palaces and houses of the nobles built there. Gradually it becomes a religious place and the palaces were replaced by temples and sanctuaries. Around 570 BC. erect the most sacred temple dedicated to Athena Poliada. Unfortunately, only the foundations and a few sculptures from this temple have been found and are housed in the Acropolis Museum. A number of findings indicate that a large temple, the first Parthenon, was originally built on the site of the Parthenon, the central temple of the Acropolis. The rock of the Acropolis was decorated with new sanctuaries, temples and dedications until September 480 BC, when the Persians invaded Athens and completely destroyed the sacred site and plundered anything valuable. The Athenians returned after the victory of Salamis in the same year and rebuilt the rock of the Acropolis in the form we see today between 450 – 420 BC. according to Pericles’ vision and Pheidia’s plans.The Parthenon, dedicated to the virgin goddess Athena (hence the name), was built in 447 BC. by Iktinos and Kallikratis and under the supervision of Pheidias. The latter designed and constructed the amazing temple along with the huge statue of Athena made of gold and ivory which was kept in the temple.The temple is huge combining Ionic and Doric elements, but the striking architectural achievement is that it creates an impression of lightness as if hovering a few inches above the ground. This is achieved by the fact that it has neither a straight line (even if it appears to be a straight line) nor a single vertical line.The columns protrude slightly in the middle and bend inward as they rise. If we could extend them upwards they would form a triangle.
The Museum of the Acropolis, one of the most important in the world, contains unique masterpieces, mainly original works of archaic and classical Greek art, directly linked to the sacred rock of the Athenian Acropolis. These are free votive sculptures, as well as sets of architectural sculptures that adorn the buildings erected in various historical periods on the Acropolis.Its exhibits also include votive and figurative reliefs, clay objects such as vessels, figurines and reliefs, as well as other types of crafts such as bronze figurines and utensils. Part of the bronze sculptures and vessels were taken from the National Archaeological Museum where they were kept. The inscribed works (votive bases, honorary resolutions, catalogs of the goddess Athena, Erechtheion building inscriptions) were transferred from the Epigraphic Museum and coins (‘treasures’) from the Athens Monetary Museum. Significant is the gap in the Acropolis Museum of the original Parthenon sculptures, found in European Museums and University collections (British Museum, Louvre, etc.). The Acropolis Museum and its activities are inextricably linked to the archaeological site and restoration works performed at the Acropolis rock and slope monuments.
For more information, please visit the Acropolis Museum website – www.theacropolismuseum.gr
ONASSIS STEGI FOUNDATION
The Onassis stegi is the place where modern civilization meets aesthetics and science. Where courageous, anxious and adventurous Greek and international artists find the means to promote their work, but also a place where discussions about the important are not self-evident. A place where stereotypes are challenged, questions are raised about the spirit of enlargement, democracy, freedom and justice in order to produce actions, interventions and ideas aimed at shaping a better society. The Roof is the site where international collaborations are cultivated, in a scene in which the boundaries between science, art, society, education and politics are redefined.The Roof building hosts theatrical, dance, music, cinematic, visual and digital performances, but its action and central idea come to Athens, descending downtown, beyond the building boundaries of Syngrou Avenue.
The Benaki Museum of Greek Culture is housed in one of the most beautiful neoclassical buildings in Athens near the National Garden and the Greek Parliament. The building was offered to the Nation for the creation of a museum that would house the collections of Antonis Benakis himself and his three sisters, Alexandra, Penelope and Arginis. After its most recent refurbishment (1989–2000) it houses a unique timeless exhibition on the course of Greek culture from prehistory to the 20th century.