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Old August 7th, 2004, 03:27 AM   #1
gm2263
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Athens Acropolis: The Definitive Thread!!!

ALSO AVAILABLE: In the Greek Architecture Forum (click HERE) ___________________________________________

Warning: Small parts of text here are in Greek. Please switch to the Greek character set in your browzers to be able to see and read the Greek text. Also, if you see red crosses, just right click on them and choose "swow picture"

And good luck and thanks for your patience, this is a (yet another) long one, but please read it, I believe you won't regret it

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Introduction: What’s so Special About the Athens Acropolis?

As the Olympics games are just a few days away at the time of this writing, It seems that the time has come for me to attempt a project that was in my mind long ago. What has triggered the thought to make such a presentation and which eventually led to what you are now seeing on your screens, was a simple thought: What would be the answer if a foreigner asked me (or any other Greek in that matter) “What’s so special about the Acropolis of Athens? OK, the Acropolis is spectacular, it is clearly visible from all over Athens (and that’s the silly cause that Athens doesn’t have skyscrapers, even at distances of 10-15km away from this monument, where medium height skyscrapers simply would not hide it from anybody’s eyes), but besides its age What’s so special about it?

Or, as people here will be posting tons of pictures of the marvellous Olympic Stadium of Athens, I believe that we should never forget what the roots were, both for the Olympic games, as well as a big part of what heritage modern Athens has, which goes long, so long ago...

I strongly believe that if many Greeks were asked this simple question, they will have nothing to offer in reply besides the commonly heard generalities about age or world-class artistic beauty, blah, blah, blah. The point still remains though: What’s so special (if anything) about this monument? Is it overrated and why?

In order to make a preliminary approach in answering this question, I started digging into the many books I have, and soon I was confronted with a monumental amount of information which was difficult to be categorised, let alone be presented in this forum without invoking a great deal of boredom on the part of the reader.

So, I ended up in using a selective approach as we say in the academic language, meaning that what I will try to offer here is food for thought and not a full recount of the significance of the Acropolis, something that can be found in nay textbook about the ancient world.

So then, what’s so special about the Athens Acropolis?

To cut a long story short, there are three main attributes related to the significance of the Acropolis as a world-class monument, some of them not even referred to in the mainstream literature (let alone tourist guides like the ones that have been printed to serve the Olympic games visitors)

1. The Acropolis possesses a tremendous artistic value, since it contains some of the greatest architectural and sculpture works of all time that have been an inspiration for most of the significant artists from the Roman times to the present day. For this reason, the kind of art present in the Acropolis is defined with the term “Classical” and the semantics of this word also refer to something that remains unchanged by time and enjoys eternal recognition, undiminished though time, in terms of the artistic value it contains. But that's what everybody knows and says. Now read on:
2. The Acropolis and its monuments (the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaia, etc) were built with stunning accuracy, following exact geometrical rules and, the level of precision as well as the complexity of their design and construction are considered unrivalled even by today’s standards. Furthermore, these monuments contain mathematical and arithmetic information embedded in their architecture as well as the layout of the structures and their relative positions with each other. This is referred only in some textbooks for weirdoes like me
3. The Acropolis forms part of a bigger so called “geodetic” network, which includes ALL the ancient Greek temples, oracles, places of worshipping and pilgrimage as well as other significant venues (including ancient Olympia, place of the ancient Olympic games). This network expands also to the boundaries of the then known world, including places like Egypt, and even the British Isles!!!

It is for the above three reasons that the Acropolis is special and has its distinct place amongst the masterpieces of the ancient world, like the Egyptian Pyramids (although Greeks built their own pyramids too, not as big but as ancient as the Egyptian ones but that’s another story ), the Mesopotamian Ziggurats, the 7 wonders of the Ancient world, or many other wonders of the Orient that are equally old.


I. A Brief Overview on the History of the Acropolis

The Acropolis (the word meaning “Akron Poleos” where “akron” means the “edge” or the “highest point” of the “polis” which means “city”. True, the Acropolis of Athens is located on a flat top limestone hill, which has a height of some 150m (500ft). Athens has seven hills (like Rome and Istanbul) with the tallest being the Lycabettus (250m in height). So although not the tallest, the Acropolis is the most famous of all Athenian hills and the most visited, both by Greeks and foreigners alike.

On the history side, although evidence suggests that the Acropolis was inhabited as early as the Neolithic times (7000BC), it started witnessing serious construction work as early as 1400BC, during period of the Mycenaean civilisation. In short, before the construction of the structures that compose what we now know as “the Acropolis monuments” there have been various attempts to build temples on the hill. However, what was the cause for the construction of the latest structures on the hill was first the destruction of the former structures in 480 by the Persians along with the rest of the city of Athens. After the victory of the Greeks against the Persians in the battles of Marathon and Salamis, Athens emerged as the new “world” power at the time.

This image was further enhanced by a long series of public works undertaken first by Themistocles who built the city’s walls and Pericles who succeeded him and made Athens the centre of the Delian League of Greek city-states. It was at the time that Athens established its imperium and its absolute dominance in the cultural, political and military field. For a period of 30 years, also known as Pericles Golden Age, from 461 to 431 (when the Peloponnesian war began which ended in the defeat of Athens by Sparta) the city has seen works unprecedented in scale and glamour, thanks to the amounts of money that were pouring from the subject states into the Athenian treasury. It was at the time the Parthenon took its final shape that it maintained until now, despite any temporary and occasional works that did not change the layout of its monuments or had any other permanent structures added since then. Thus, no significant changes occurred during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods of the city.

Perhaps, the a significant moment for the fate of the Acropolis monuments was in 1687 when a bombardment from the Venetians under the command of Admiral Morozini (if I remember correctly) ignited the gunpowder which at the time was stored inside the Parthenon, seriously damaging the monument. Also, in 1806, the British diplomat Thomas Bruce, 7th earl of Elgin (1766-1841), bought a number of sculptures of the Acropolis from the Ottomans and brought them to London. Later in 1816, he sold them to the British museum. According to him, he purchased the marbles to prevent their being pulverized to make building materials. However, on the other hand Elgin was criticized for depriving Greece of some of its most precious national treasures for the sake of trading. In any case, the exposure of the marbles in the British Museum gave rise to a wave of sympathy and awareness on the heritage of Greece and Athens in particular. Many years have passed and recently, the Greek state started a campaign for their return to Greece, a demand that may stand the chance of being granted in the near future, especially after the completion of the new Acropolis museum, currently under construction next to the new “Acropolis” metro station. Needless to say that this controversy further aroused the interest about the Ancient Hellenic Art in modern times and the British museum appears to be rather reluctant to give away one of its biggest attractions.

Meanwhile, the biggest operation to restore as much as possible the ancient marbles of the Acropolis is now nearing completion after 30 years or silent, slow, yet delicate work characterised by precision of surgical quality. In two years it is believed that the works will be fully completed, revealing this marvel of the ancient world in much of its former shining glory, along with the completion of the new museum which will beat the signature of Bernard Tshumi, a prominent contemporary architect.


2. A Tour on the Acropolis

After making plans for a long time, I visited the Acropolis on July 18, 2004, ecquipped with a videocamera, my HP 495 digican and my Olympus AZ-4 anaolg camera. It was the perfect day for such a visit, since, despite being in the middle of the summer, the temperature was around 30 degrees and a light wind prevented the formation of haze which is a characteristic of the Athenian skies during the summer. On the contrary, the sky had this Mediterranean blue tone (as you will see in the pictures) that Athens is famous for, and thank God. According to the Hellenic Meteorological Agency, the weather during the games will not be that hot, although it’s mid-summer Greece, don’t forget. So, what you are going to see now is just a fraction of what I have taken, mostly relating to the topic of this thread.

I took the metro from the Ethniki Amyna station (line 3-blue – now leading to the airport) and after having changed train in the Syntagma station, I landed in the Acropolis station, next to the site where the new Acropolis museum is already founded.

In order to go to the Acropolis, one must walk on the Dionyssiou Areopagitou street. Once a 4-lane road, it is now turned, as part of the Olympic Acrcaheological sites unification programme, into a very nice pedestrian walkway that leads to the entrance of the Acropolis. But I believe it’s time to see some pictures, to better illustrate what I describe here.

So, as always, my description precedes pictures. Pics © Gregory Maloucos unless otherwise indicated.

-Dionisiou Areopagitou street looking towards the Amalias Avenue. The subway station is right around the corner.




Dionysiou Areopagitou street as seen from a nearby rooftop.


© The Hellenic Ministry of Culture


-The Acropolis seen from Dionnisiou Areopagitou street while approaching the entrance (2 pictures)







-View of the Parthenon and the Arches of the Herod Atticus theatre (built by the Roman Emperor Herod of Attica who loved Athens)




This is the first picture where we see a close-up of the Parthenon’s front part and I simply want to put emphasis on the contrast between the white marble and the blue sky, a contradicting characteristic that still leaves its signature in most Athenian landscapes.




-Close up: White and Blue, it’s always about white and blue




Ok, now let’s look at the entrance of the Acropolis. We will go through the entrance of the Athens festival that takes place in the Herod Atticus Theatre:



Before we go in, however, it would be useful to see how Acropolis looked in the past, and how it looks today, in order to determine the size of the citadel, as well as its layout.


First picture: The Acropolis during the Golden Age. On top of everything else, look at the statue of Goddess Pallas Athena (that was Goddess Minerva for the Romans). On a clear day, the shining from the reflection of the sun rays on the tip of the spear of the statue could be seen from Piraeus and the ships approaching to dock in the Athenian coasts.


© Peter Connolly and Hazel Dodge (1998)

A copy of this statue can be seen in the picture below: It is located on top of the Athens Academy on Panepistimiou (that’s University’s) street, in central Athens:




And, the second picture which depicts an aerial view of the Acropolis


© The Hellenic Ministry of Culture


As we go up, we can see the top arches of the Herod Atticus theatre closely from below, with the Parthenon in the background:




Looking to the south, we can see the Philopappos monument and the edge of the H.A. Theatre:




…while the theatre itself is right at our footsteps. In fact, you can see the stands for that night’s performance, probably a classical piece of music. I remember when I was young, my grandfather used to take me to watch opera there…




OK, we follow the path to reach a plateau where we need to take the tickets and we go on. In a few metres walk we reach the entrance of the Acropolis the famous “Front Gates” (Propylaia). Below is a view of the Propylaia as we continue to go up:




…and the side:




Looking to the south we can see:


-The area of the Thyssion Archaeological park to the South west




-The first Athens Observatory (they have a new one in the Parnitha Mountain) on the Pnyx Hill:





The Propylaia (built after the Parthenon by the great architect Mnisicles) really looks like a gate to another dimension, much reminding me of the “Puerta del Sol” of the Ancient Incas or, another “gate” that exists in the Greek island of Paros. But it’s Athens Greece, in the very heart of a city of 4.5 mn. As we pass along the Propylaia, it is then that I felt the vibes of the place, since I came confronted (and utterly unprepared as to the intensity of the feelings accompanying its sight) with the following picture:




The name “Parthenon” actually means “the temple of the virginity” or, “the temple that houses (or fosters) the virginity” and is dedicated to the Pallas Athena who was thought to be virgin (some philosophers and historians make associations with Holy Mary in Christianity, and during the Byzantine years the temple has been turned into a Christian Church to honour Virgin Mary) in Doric style. Although it is not huge in dimensions, yet it looks like that due to the mastery of its architects, Ictinus and Callicrates. With a base of dimensions of 69,51 X 30,86 and at a height of 11m this structure is is by no means offensive to the eye. However, the architects managed some very interesting visual tricks in order to make the Parthenon the marvel that it is. We will return to this later on after we finish our tour.

In any case, although before passing through the Propylaia, one feels fine amongst “the ruins”, it the time that one sees the Parthenon that becomes the moment of truth. There are few places in the world that I felt something similar, Florence, Istanbul and the remains of Celtic constructions in Dartmoor, Devonshire, England, being some of them.
Even by looking at this picture, one understands what I’m talking about:



Of course, looking at the drawings below we can also visualise how the building looked like at the time of its prime glory:

-First pic depicts the Parthenon in full, while the second is a cutaway drawing showing its interior, which was used to house the huge Statue of “Athena Parthenos” or “Athena Virgin”. Notice that back then, the “metopes”of the Parthenon were in fact painted and not just sculpted, adding to the overall beauty of the final impression f the monument.




Looking at the Parthenon from the west, one sees again the Doric austerity of the monument and the grandeur of its lines…



Next in Significance comes the famous “Erechtheion” which started in 420BC during the first truce of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta. It was built in honour of Erechtheus, the mythical first king of Athens, son of Gaia and raised by Athena herself.

Among the many characteristics that make the Erechtheion unique is the fact that the south side of it contains a number of marble pillars in the shape of young women, the famous “Caryatides”.







Views of the Caryatides







With those views above we finish with what lies on the Acropolis and we move towards the stargate called "Propylaia". Once again, one is impressed on how Mnisicles managed to instill this notion of "passage" in his work, the Propylaia. Here,s the view one sees when going for the exit:




Of course we are not done yet. What remains to be seen is what one can see from the Acropolis, before we go on to the hocus-pocus and sci-fi stuff


3. Characteristic Skylines from the Acropolis

Well, at an earlier time I have presented you with the skylines of Athens from the Lycabettus Hill. Now, we will see some pics from the Acropolis. If you want my opinion, the views of the other antiquities of Athens from the Acropolis, especially to the south and the east of the “rock” are a poem. Other than that, the views towards the north and the west are as dry as they can be, since the area has been densely built, so no Maroussi with the Olympic complexes, glass office buildings and ultra-modern transportation systems and, no coastline and beaches and the tram languidly going along its seaside itinerary, here we are confronted with Athenian concrete but with many touches of green here and there.

-The north of the Acropolis is a skyline seen in many books, postcards and tourist guides. The characteristic shape of the Lycabettus hill, the building of Parliament in the front, as well as the one of the Athens Tower in the background, and the Hilton Hotel (not visible in the picture) are some notable landmarks.




Looking to the South east, we see the Philopappos Hill with the Herod Atticus Theatre in a breathtaking combination.




Looking to the east, we see Panathenean Marble Stadium which hosted the first modern Olympic games in 1896, and the Temple of Olympic Zeus, which was completed during the Roman period.




Close-up on the Panathenean Stadium, next to the Ardittos Hill




Close-up on the Zeus Temple




Pictures of the Zeus Temple from the ground that I took during a walk that I had on a different day from the one of my Acropolis visit.







4. The Mystical Side of the Acropolis

Up to now, we have seen pictures of the Acropolis and its surroundings that simply testify to the beauty of the setting as well as the historical value of the monuments depicted in the pics or otherwise mentioned here. The point however remains: What’s so special about the Acropolis besides some nice sculptures and fine lines on these buildings?

OK then.

Let’s take the Parthenon as our starting point into the mystical side of the monuments we have just seen. You think that the Parthenon is a symmetrical, orthogonal structure, following the principles of Euclidean geometry with pinpoint accuracy?

Well, not quite.

First of all, the design of the temple is… out if any concept of linearity. There is not a straight, parallel or or vertical line, in the Parthenon an this was done deliberately since the intentions of Callicrates and Ictinus were that the temple looks perfect to the eye, and that means that they had to counter the visual distortions and tricks of the light made by the perspective view of their work from various angles. So the Parthenon is virtually perfect . But not in the sense of a modern engineer. That’s the reason that various attempts to replicate the monument have been proved futile The Parthenon cannot be replicated because it’s the… perfect geometric anomaly.

Also, very few know that the monument’s pillars and columns are not… parallel but converge and the funny thing is that the columns of the smaller dimensions converge on a different height that the ones of the larger dimension of its base. Just look at the following sketch which was designed by Mr Korres who is the manager of the restoration works on the Acropolis:

According to this drawing the Parthenon’s columns converge at 2200m (long side) and 4930m (short side) respectively. Just what the significance of these numbers is, (especially if translated in ancient Greek feet) we don’t know yet. But then again this convergence and who talked about pyramids ah… yes, the pyramids, like Chufu’s great pyramid in Egypt which has a height of… 150m, almost as tall as the Acropolis .




And since the above may appear to be simply conjectures, let’s thicken the plot a little.

Have you ever heard of Numerology? It’s a science that explores the quantifiable relationships between measurable quantities if any type of quantification can be applied to them. In addition, numerology uses number systems and numerical attributions as a means of philosophical interpretation of various events or outcomes of events that can be expressed mathematically or assume mathematical properties in their interpretation (the definition is mine, I don’t cheat )

The father of the axiomatic statements of this particular science is the ancient Greek Mathematician and Philosopher Pythagoras, although nowadays, there are serious studies from scholars and academics from all over the world that followed his work. Over the centuries. A large part of numerology deals with replacing the letters of an alphabets with numbers and in fact, before the decimal numbering system which was introduced by the Arabs, the numbers were represented by letters, so conversion was much easier .

Another aspect of numerology had to do with the metric relationships of various temples and their relative distances, as well as their exact locations on a map. We can actually refer to this type of research with the term "semantic geometry" when it applies to information being encrypted in a building in the form of mathematical relations, especially if these correspond to phrases or words when converted from their numerical equivalents.

Before we proceed further, I need to point out that much of the research in the field has been conducted by a Greek Airforce officer, Dr Theophanis Manias who had studied topography in the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). (BTW: Theophania in the greek language is “Epiphany” ). The work of this special person has been mentioned by many researchers including even Erich Von Daniken, a controversial writer from Switzerland who, in one of his books (In the name of Zeus, German title – Im Namen von Jeus, - 1999) makes an extensive reference on the work of Dr Manias.

The work of Mr Manias is actually strictly scientific and he proves that the Pythagorean mathematics were used in the construction of ALL structures of the Ancient world, both in terms of their dimensions, as well as the geometric and geodetic relationships they had with the other structures near them, or located in distances very far away. His method is called “Geodetic Triangulation” although I doubt that he even took the pain for finding a name for it…

Well, despite the fact that the Encarta Encyclopaedia considers numerology as a “pseudo-science”, it seems that the study of the Bible, the Jewish “Tora” and the Ancient Greek architecture involves his type of “pseudo” science, which finds applications from the Ley lines to the locations of the Medieval temples and Churches in France.

So, read on:

-As mentioned above, all the dimensions of the Parthenon are inter-related and constitute mathematical expressions based on the numeric system that converts the ancient Greek alphabet letters into numbers, and the Pythagorian mathematical principles. I don’t want to infringe on your patience (I already did too much and accept my apologies) but there seems to be a strong relationship between the Parthenon which belongs to the Owl-eyed Athena (ΓΛΑΥΚΩΠΙΣ ΑΘΗΝΗ=92 according to the Pythagorean numerology), with the owl being the symbol of wisdom, and having a direct relationship with 10 (which is a number of deity) times 92 = 920 which is also the number that corresponds to the sum of the numbers of the letters of the words KΛΙΜΑΞ ΘΕΟΥ “Divine Stairway” (or stairway to heaven), which is inscripted with hieroglyphs on the front of Chufu’s Pyramid.

Funny thing that the volumes of Parthenon’s virtual Pyramid and Chufu’s Puramid have a relationship 1:2 which means that the Chufu’s Pyramid works as a diapason of the energy and vibrations of the Parthenon. I mean, I knew that Greeks and Egyptians were close but not that close.

In addition, there are relationships between the dimensions of Parthenon and various names or sentences. The interesting thing however (since I believe that you got the idea) are the geometric relationships between the Acropolis and many of the other holy places of Ancient Greece. Take as an example the next sketch which I devised using a map from the Greek translation of the book of Peter Connolly and Hazel Dodge, The Ancient city:

What is seen here is a diamond consisting of two isosceles triangles formed if we connect the sites of the Ancient Greek temples in Athens (Parthenon), Cape Sounion (Poseidon’s temple), Afaia Aigina temple in the island of Aigina (Athena) and Megara.



The truth is that Dr Manias’s maps are far more complex. Let’s see some of them:

One of the dozens of Dr Manias maps on Attica’s holy places. I used this one because the names are in French so that you can better understand what’s going on




Next comes a map with some of the geodetic relationships of the Parthenon with the rest of the Greek holy places (oracles, temples etc)



And finally, part of a map made by another Author, Mr Alexiou, based on Mr Manias’s notes, depicting Chufu’s pyramid and some od its “geodetic” relations with holy places in Greece and Turkey




Especially with regards to the case of maps, the question is: How could people that did not have access to satellites and/or other similar means, to pinpoint locations with such accuracy and create these “geodetic” or however else they are called, relations? What is the relationship of Chufu’s (or Cheops in Greek) puramid with the Parthenon?

What also is astounding is how the Greeks made these miracles with the technology available at their times. And allow me to say with all the awareness that the Hellenes in this forum may call me nuts, that I believe that the time for skyscrapers in Athens has come. Maybe it’s time to create a new “geodetic” scheme of great, yet tall buildings even if they don’t have to surpass the height of the Acropolis, although that now that we’ve found that the Acropolis has a projected height of some 4400 metres… well, it will be difficult to reach this one isn’t it?

Anyway I am waiting for your (civil) replies, on this one.
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Old August 7th, 2004, 10:37 PM   #2
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gm... Allow me to be the first to comment on your thread.

Well, suffice it to say that you have knocked my socks off and blown my mind with this stunning thread!!! While the pictures are beautiful and grand, I particularly enjoyed the narrative and the opportunity to educate myself about the Acropolis and its local structures.

This business about the Parthenon not strictly following Euclidean geometry's straight, parallel line principles but rather converging at a point above the structure itself is mind-boggling. Mr. Korres' diagram of this is fascinating.

Thanks for all your hard work in producing this. Your efforts at enlightening and entertaining are much appreciated!
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Old August 12th, 2004, 10:56 PM   #3
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Update!!! Acropolis by Night: 2 Additional Shots

The first one is an evening shot, that was circulating in the web for quite some time.



The second one, I took it almost 1 1/2 hour ago from the terrace of my house, moments after the flame from the Olympic torch relay arrives in the hands of the Gold medallist short distance runner Carl Lewis (today is the eve of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony):

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Old August 12th, 2004, 11:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the nice pics, Gregory. Will you be attending any of the Olympic games? Is photography allowed inside the sports venues? If yes on both of these, can we be expecting any pictures of the games??
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Old August 13th, 2004, 10:45 AM   #5
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@ M&P

I didn't buy any tickets and thus, I will be taking pictures in the "periphery" of the games venues. On the other hand, you will the the inside of the stadiums from so many pictures taken by professionals that I don't believe you need mine.

On the other hand, (and I developed a "twisted" specialty on this ), expect to see unusual pictures or telephotos taken from unusual angles, spots and perspactives that only an Athenian knows about

OK, then, sorry I gotta go, the torch relay is expected to pass on the main street in my suburb, some 50 yards from my house
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Old August 13th, 2004, 02:19 PM   #6
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THANKS!!!

I am counting the hours for the Opening ceremony, since Barcelona 1992 I had not been so happy for the Olympics

Have a wonderfull games!
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Old September 6th, 2004, 03:18 AM   #7
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Very Beautiful!I really miss the place.
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Old September 6th, 2004, 08:35 AM   #8
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Yes, the Acropolis is very beautiful. A unseparable part of Athens skyline.
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Old October 14th, 2004, 10:25 AM   #9
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Two more pictures of Hadrian's arch which I forgot to include in the original thread.





Unfortunately, the one depicting the full view of the monument was taken during a weekday and there was no way I cold avoid cars or other vehicles. This one comes with a cyclist like the cherry on the top of a cake.

Notably, the Athens tram was supposed to pass in front of this monument but there has been an uproar by environmentalists which made the ministry of public works to change their plans since the tremors from the tram (which is more like a long two-car minitrain in reality) might endanger the stability of this monument...
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Old November 27th, 2004, 09:05 AM   #10
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just to remind you of the existence of this thread...
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Old March 30th, 2005, 12:23 AM   #11
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Old March 31st, 2005, 03:33 PM   #12
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Hadrians arch is from wish century?
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Old March 31st, 2005, 03:39 PM   #13
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amazing!

i dont know why people are still allowed to walk all over these amazing testiments of time and the stregth of ancient Greek building techniques, cant believe people are allowed anywhere near this!
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Old May 18th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #14
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18/05/2005
www.ekathimerini.gr


An extra 5 million euros will be provided for the Acropolis conservation works, bringing the total of European Union and national funding for the mammoth project up to 12 million euros over the next two years, the government said yesterday.

While announcing the extra funding, a Culture Ministry release urged state archaeologists and conservators handling the works — which started in 1975 and are not expected to finish before 2020 — to step up their pace and improve the project’s organization.

“Works on the monuments, and on the new Acropolis Museum, must be speeded up so that our country can present credible arguments both in seeking extra [EU] funds for culture and in demanding the return of the Parthenon sculptures,” the ministry said.

Greece has linked its lagging efforts to build the new museum under the ancient citadel to its campaign for the return of the British Museum’s Elgin Collection of sculptures from the fifth-century BC. temple. The museum was supposed to have been ready last summer. But, so far, only the foundations have been laid.

Citing tight budgetary constraints and a need to “rationalize” and render “credible” the schedule for the Acropolis works, in December the Culture Ministry cut 4.5 million euros from the 10-million-euro budget for 2005 of the project’s supervisory body, the Service for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments (YSMA). Last month, Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis indicated that the government might break a 30-year taboo by seeking private sponsorship for the works.

“The ministry and YSMA still wish to attract private sponsorship, but time will be required to draft the regulations on the terms and preconditions for such deals,” the ministry said yesterday. Out of YSMA’s 12-million budget for 2005 and 2006, only 1.5 million will be provided by Greece. The rest will come from the EU coffers.

On Monday, YSMA chief Maria Iordanidou said the current work under way on the Parthenon, the Propylaea and the Temple of Athena Nike should be finished by the end of 2006.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #15
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thys beauty deservs that investiment!!
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Old January 30th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #16
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Nice reproduction I found from a postcard. Observe the large Athena statue above the other structures



Today:

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Old January 30th, 2006, 11:02 PM   #17
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It would be a great gesture if the British Museum gave back the Parthenon Marbles right before the 2004 Olympic Games. An important historical chance was missed.

I think the BM feared that other countries (like Egypt) would ask the same.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 04:27 AM   #18
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Amazing
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Old January 31st, 2006, 10:08 AM   #19
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@ Asim:

Actually the Brits said that this may be a possibility provided that the ezxgibits will be placed on an appropriate area. Well, the new Acropolis Museum will be ready soon, I reckon by mid - 2007 although a large section may be open for the public by the end of 2006. As for the exhibits, rumour has it that many will not be transported to the museum after its completion but before and they will be "cast" inside the building during the construction process.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 05:30 PM   #20
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is it ever gonna be cleaned up? I've seen it covered in scaffolding so many times and yet the stone is still black...
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