The Acropolis

12:36:00 PM Brooke Neal 0 Comments

I read somewhere the Eiffel Tower is the most photographed attraction in the world. I have to believe the Parthenon on the acropolis is in the top 10; it’s why we all come to Athens, right?  Despite its decrepit state there is something alluring in all that pentellic marble.  In preparation for the trip we watched a lecture from the Teaching Company that describes the annual temple ceremony for the goddess Athena.  In general, the public did not go up to the Acropolis except on the special feast day.  The rest of the year priests administered the regular duties. 

Cost: €12 Acropolis Ticket gives you access to 6 sites.  Children under 18 free. 
Time: It really depends on you.  We lingered for about 1 hour, however another family on the city tour with us stayed only 15 minutes.  
Hours: 8am-7pm. According to the website these are the hours from April 1 on.  However, that was not the case when we were there.  The site closed at 3:00pm, so I would go early or at least check with the ticket office so that you don't miss out.  
Tip: Wear shoes with rubber soles.  The marble can be slippery, so however unfashionable it may look, tennis or trekking shoes are best.
We are standing with our backs to the main entrance of the Acropolis. Notice the white bits of  marble in the frieze, it's reconstruction marble.  The restorers use it so that you can tell what is original and what's not. 


Aside from graffiti, the second thing you will see all over Athens are dogs.  They have been vaccinated and tagged by the city then are allowed to roam the streets freely.  Volunteers go around feeding these homeless animals with newspaper plates and plastic bowls.  The dogs seem content and unaffected by the tourists.  
Eliza and I are studying the New Testament this year in seminary.  We've been reading about Paul's missionary journeys and recently discussed his sermon on Mars Hill regarding the unknown God.  It was really cool to put it all in context. Mars Hill stands adjacent to the acropolis.  Can you imagine him delivering his disapproving message with Athens' most sacred sanctuary in the background?  Talk about courage!  Bob and Eliza are climbing the ancient stairs to the top of the hill.
At the base of the acropolis is the partially excavated Theater of Dionysus.  A few things we haven't seen before are the high relief sculpture at the base of the stage and the VIP seating.  The front row was reserved for dignitaries (things haven't changed much). Their seats had high backs and a little bit more room, but the feature I loved the most was the hole in the center.  

Being a master of improv explanations, I told my daughters that the VIP's (men only) didn't even need to leave their seats to "relieve" themselves. They only need adjust their toga and aim for the hole.  I even pointed to the discolored marble.  They bought my explanation hook, line and sinker, that is until Bob said I was full of it and the hole served to drain water that would have collected after a rainstorm.  Party pooper! 


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