"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition, it does not exist in nature." -Helen Keller

Monday, December 19, 2011

a·crop·o·lis/əˈkräpəlis/ (noun)
1.      1. A citadel or fortified part of an ancient Greek city, typically built on a hill.
2.    2.  The ancient citadel at Athens, containing the Parthenon and other notable buildings.

Today I’m going to spend some time writing about the Acropolis, which is probably the most important archaeological site in Greece.

Greece has many acropolises, but the Athenian one is the most famous. It reflects the culture and traditions of 5th century Athens, and is dedicated to the goddess Athena.

The word “acropolis” comes from the meaning of the two Greek words “acros” (“upper” )and “polis” (“city”). It is situated on a plateau and is eighty feet high and fifty feet wide. It was used partly for defense purposes during war -- as a way for the Athenians to study their enemies from above. It is home to some of the most recognized buildings in history.

The Parthenon is one of those buildings. Although often mistaken as a temple to Athena, it is more of a treasury. The statue of Athena inside the building had gold clothing on it that could be taken off in time of need. The architecture of the building is extremely unique; there are no straight lines. The floor is convex and bulges up in the middle of the building and the columns around it are wider in the middle and closer together at the corners.

The Erechtheion is another famous building on the Acropolis and is also renowned for its architecture. On the south side of the building there is a porch called the Porch of the Maidens (or caryatids), which uses six statues of women as columns supporting the roof. Each statue is slightly different. The style of using human figures as columns is copied after the Erechtheion. When visiting the porch, the maidens that you will see are not the originals. They are replacements, because the originals were being destroyed by pollution. They are currently safe inside the Acropolis Museum, which is newly remodeled home to many artifacts found on the acropolis. And also on the itinerary for our trip.


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