Acropolis of Athens – UNESCO Heritage in Greece

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The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world. In the second half of the fifth century bc, Athens, following the victory against the Persians and the establishment of democracy, took a leading position amongst the other city-states of the ancient world. In the age that followed, as thought and art flourished, an exceptional group of artists put into effect the ambitious plans of Athenian statesman Pericles and, under the inspired guidance of the sculptor Pheidias, transformed the rocky hill into a unique monument of thought and the arts. The most important monuments were built during that time: the Parthenon, built by Ictinus, the Erechtheon, the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis, designed by Mnesicles and the small temple Athena Nike. In 1987, listed in UNESCO Heritage list.

Location

Situated on a hill of average height (156m) that rises in the basin of Athens.

About Acropolis of Athens

1. The Acropolis of Athens is the most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex still existing. Its overall dimensions are approximately 170 by 350m. Strong fortification walls have surrounded the summit of the Acropolis for more than 3,300 years. The first fortification wall was built during the 13th century BC, and surrounded the residence of the local Mycenaean ruler.

2. In the 8th century BC, the Acropolis gradually acquired a religious character with the establishment of the cult of Athena, the city’s patron goddess. The sanctuary reached its peak in the archaic period (mid-6th century to early 5th century BC). In the 5th century BC, the Athenians, empowered from their victory over the Persians, carried out an ambitious building programme under the leadership of the great statesman Perikles, comprising a large number of monuments including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia and the temple of Athena Nike.

3. The Acropolis’ monuments, having survived for almost twenty-five centuries through wars, explosions, bombardments, fires, earthquakes, sackings, interventions and alterations, have adapted to different uses and the civilizations, myths and religions that flourished in Greece through time.

4. The Athenian Acropolis is the supreme expression of the adaptation of architecture to a natural site. This grand composition of perfectly balanced massive structures creates a monumental landscape of unique beauty, consisting of a complete series of architectural masterpieces of the 5th century BC

5. The monuments of the Athenian Acropolis have exerted an exceptional influence, not only in Greco-Roman antiquity, during which they were considered exemplary models, but also in contemporary times. Throughout the world, Neo-Classical monuments have been inspired by all the Acropolis monuments.

6. The Acropolis of Athens contains within its boundaries all the key attributes that convey the property’s Outstanding Universal Value, as an ensemble of unique splendor in excellent condition. The perfection of ancient building techniques ensured the resistance of the monuments to natural forces through time. Despite the unavoidable damage of time, they still display their beauty and convey their inestimable artistic and historic value, preserving all the features that directly and tangibly associate them with the events and ideas of Democracy and Philosophy.

7. The authenticity of the Acropolis hill, crowned with the masterpieces of Greek Classical art and architecture, is well preserved. In order to maintain the authenticity and structural integrity of the monuments, an integrated intervention begun in 1975 and continues today.

Best Time to Visit

If you are planning a Travel to Greece then the best time to visit Athens are between March and May and from September to November. Weather during these spring and fall months is agreeable and sunshine is pretty much a guarantee.

 

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