The Acropolis


The legend says that Athena, the goddess of the wisdom and her uncle Poseidon, God of the seas, had to compete to gain the city that extends on the feet of the rock of the Acropolis. The same legend wants that Athena, the goddess of the Virginity, has offered to the city the olive tree, while Poseidon’s offer was limited in salt water, event that crowned with the victory and the awarding of the name of Athens, to Athena, the one that fight together with the Athenians, first line of the battle, the always victorious goddess (Nike), the one that is citizen of the Athenian democracy (Polias), the ingenious goddess (Ergane).

The Athenians in gratefulness to the favors received by the Gods, prepared this rock to be the point of the adoration most important and the place respected by all the Greeks. The rock rises to 156 meters on the level of the sea and barely has a surface of 3 hectares, in the center of the plain and the city grew around. The rock with its monuments represents the major and more important religious center of the Greek history. The monuments date since the 5th century, the Golden Age of Athens and were supervised by Pericles, the Olympian, while the same divine Phidias sculptor left its ineffaceable stamp, on the constructions of Iktinos and Kalicrates, both famous architects responsible for the miracle of Parthenon. The architectonic geometry obeys to divine secret prescriptions and the majesty of the measures imposes the respect to the faithful pilgrims and the fear to the disrespectful ones. The monuments are made of white marble of the neighboring Pentelicon Mountain.

The Propylaea defines the entrance in the sacred place. Right after the entrance it was the statue of Athena Promachos, towards the South part we can see the majestic temple dedicated to Athena and in the North side is the Erecteión whose ceiling is held by the Caryatids, beautiful statues of the maids of Kariés, instead of columns. To the right of Propylaea, Mnesicles the architect erected on 437 the temple dedicated to the Athena Victory (Nike). Through the centuries the monuments have undergone the inclemencies of the time and the religious fanaticisms. The hill in its apogee was the most elegant sample of the respect of the Athenians to their Gods, but simultaneously it was the maximum expression of the architectonic and sculptural art. The plain was decorated of statues and of offerings and throughout their history its use was exclusively religious. Within the architectonic jewel of the Parthenon Phidias carved the enormous chryselephantine statue of Athena (ivory statue, with thousand kilos of gold). The statue disappeared at the time of the religious fanaticism, while… it was transported to Istanbul. The beautiful temple has been transformed through centuries, according to the religious tastes or the conqueror, into Orthodox Church or mosque.

Today, the Parthenon universal miracle, is under a very careful restoration, reason for which is prohibited the entrance in its interior.

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