A Museum Unlike Any Other

Built to house every artifact ever discovered on the top and slopes of the Acropolis in Athens, the Acropolis Museum is a modern wonder. Covering a total area of 25,000 square meters, it has over 14,000 square meters of exhibition space. Admission is cheap: 5 Euros in the winter and 10 in the summer.

Beneath the building is a large urban settlement dating from Archaic to Early Christian Athens. The design of the museum allows a visitor to see those ruins by way of a glass ground floor.  The image shown here is from outside the museum–the sidewalks leading up to the entrance are open to show the circular tower-hall of an ancient Athenian building. Image is courtesy The Acropolis Museum.

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This photo, from the Acropolis Museum website, shows how the top floor of the museum is the same orientation as the Parthenon and the same height as the stylobate.
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Artifacts are organized according to where they were located on the rock and from which era (archaic, classical, and end of antiquity). They are also varied, from a jar lid to the original caryatids that graced the porch of the Erechtheion.

jar lid

On the slope of the Acropolis were the sanctuaries of Asclepios, Nymphe, and Dionysos.

Votives from the archaic period include the Korai of the Acropolis (she still has some paint left!) and a male statue.

Other pieces include the three-bodied daemon, Heracles and the Triton, and the Magic Sphere of Helios.

magic sphere of helios

From the classical Parthenon, originals as well as reproductions of the friezes and metopes are mounted according to where they were located–the top floor of the museum is set up to replicate the structure. The largest marbles from the pediments are still located at the British Museum, so those on display here are all reproductions (but the Greeks want their originals back, and this museum was built to house them).

Finally, here is the central akroterion of the Parthenon roof along with a piece of another.

We enjoyed a traditional Greek lunch and Greek coffee at the restaurant located on the roof of the museum, and our view was of the Parthenon.

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This was our last night in Athens as a group. Next stop for just us: Santorini!

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