Updated: Mar 14
THIS COMPLEX OF TEMPLES AND ALTARS, ADORNED WITH STATUES OF MORTAL AND IMMORTAL GREATS, WAS THE BEATING HEART OF ANCIENT GREECE.
It beat the hordes you arrive early. Climbing the path, scaling steps, anticipation mounting, you reach the top. Maybe it’s the ascent that makes you
stop to catch your breath. Or maybe it’s the view that has just opened up in front of you.As you brush past imposing columns, light floods over the plateau of this rocky outcrop that looms over central Athens. Ahead, just off to the right and raised on a plinth is the great temple - the Parthenon. What away to honour a goddess. Tall, strong columns rise up to support great blocks of stone decorated with carvings.
The morning sun gives the stone a honey-coloured hue.On closer inspection, you see that the stone is marble, discolored by time, cracked by abuse from the weather and thousands of years of manhandling. Wandering past the soaring columns, you spot newly restored sections,made obvious by the patchwork of paler marble. Leaving the Parthenon, you pass rows of vast marble stones, remnants of arches, smaller temple ruins, and an olive tree – supposedly produced by the goddess Athena to win the right to guard the city.
As you head down the hill to the birthplace of theater, you feel the past seeping out of every crevice. Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the Acropolis is truly one of the most iconic buildings ever created.
Getting there :
Most major airlines fl y into Athens. The Acropolis rises above the city centre and can be reached via the metro station Akropoli. More than one million people visit the Acropolis every year, so avoid the crowds by arriving early in the morning or late in the day