Europe has been full of beautiful cathedrals and stunning works of Christian art. Although interesting and enjoyable, Greece was a wonderful change of pace with its fascinating culture and mythology. Of course, the Acropolis is the literal pinnacle of city, rich with historical sites and wonders. There is not really anything like what we see at the Acropolis anywhere else.
The Parthenon sits high up on the hill and you might think it’s the only thing up there. It’s not. In fact, the tickets we bought were for access to all the sites on The Acropolis hill and there is a lot to see in this compact area. (If you have a student ID, you get half off all Acropolis sites!)
As you walk past our favorite restaurant, The Acadia, a quick left turn runs along the bottom of the Acropolis and you start a short walk up the hill. Before you get to the Parthenon, you pass through the “Propylaea”, essentially a formal entryway that is massive. The preservation of these structures and ongoing efforts to reconstruct them does a great job of bringing you back in time to admire their full glory.
While exploring the top of The Acropolis, the information plaques have digital renderings of what they think it originally looked like in different eras. Many of the walls and statues would have been painted in bright colors or adorned in gold. This is a very different look than the elegant clean marble and stone work we are accustomed to; we can’t imagine what these sites would have looked like in bright reds and blues!
The Erechtheion was our favorite little side-temple, if you will. Adjacent to the Parthenon itself, it is adorned with the beautiful “Porch of the Maidens” and is dedicated to Athena and Poseidon.
We spent so much time standing in awe of the Parthenon. As you can imagine, we took many photos and videos and just enjoyed standing in the presence of something so incredible. This unbelievable temple to the goddess Athena, patron of the city of Athens, was constructed in 447 BC. Looking at stones and columns and bricks that were placed here by a dedicated population 447 years BEFORE CHRIST is an overwhelming sight to behold. Athens was so unique and powerful in this regard, and the Parthenon really took our breath away.
On our way down, we stop by the “smaller” Odeon of Herodes Atticus (ancient theatre) that was built in 161 A.D. and was originally enclosed by a retractable roof! It was built in honor of his wife and is stunning to this day.
Then we continued on to the “larger” Theater of Dionysus which was from 6th Century B.C. and originally held 15,000 people. It had been covered and forgotten for a long time so there isn’t as much of this one left as Herodes. (Side Note: Dionysus was basically the the party God. He was the Greek God of good times, wine, the arts, “divine ecstasy” and fertility.)
Visiting The Acropolis was always a dream of mine, and it did not disappoint!
Let’s finish up with my favorite collage of all time – recreating Obama’s visit to the Acropolis. He was visiting this historic landmark only THREE DAYS before we were there! We saw these photos on the white house social media and decided to recreate these Obama Moments 🙂