It is one of the jewels of Western civilization. A place with thousands of years of history and some secrets yet to be discovered. We travel to Athens to tell you some curiosities of the Acropolis. Surely some of them will surprise you. You are ready?
Curiosities of the Acropolis of Athens
First of all, it is important to clarify what an acropolis is, since the one in Athens is not the only one that you may have heard of. As well, it is the upper part of the ancient greek cities. Originally they had a defensive character.
Over time these acropolises became the starting point for the expansion of cities. And they were also the place where religious, political or military events were held. Now yes, we are going to tell you curiosities of the Acropolis of Athens, the most famous of all.
fall and rebirth
The origins of the Acropolis of Athens date back to the 6th century BC. However, Persian armies razed it to the ground when they took Athens a century later.
Despite this, in the time of Pericles, in the 4th century BC it would begin to rise again on the remains of the old buildings. This is the Acropolis whose remains have survived to this day.
Its most famous building
If there is a jewel that stands out in the Acropolis, it is, without a doubt, the Parthenon. Its architects were Ictinus and Calícrates, who worked under the orders of the great Phidias.
A fabulous temple built in white marble dedicated to Athena. Thus, inside there was a statue of the goddess. It was twelve meters high and 1,200 kilos of gold were used to make it. She disappeared under strange circumstances in one of the assaults that the city suffered.
“The statue itself is made of ivory and gold. In the center of his helmet is a figure resembling the Sphinx… and on each side of the helmet are griffins in relief. … The statue of Athena is standing, with a robe down to her feet, and on her chest the head of Medusa is carved in ivory.”
The Parthenon would suffer all kinds of vicissitudes throughout the centuries. For example, in the sixth century of our era the Christians converted it into a church in which to worship the Virgin Mary. Later, in the 15th century, the Ottomans tried to transform it into a mosque.
The passing of the years and other types of circumstances have caused serious damage to the Acropolis. It has been subjected to landslides, sieges, fires, wars and bombings. And it has managed to reach our days.
Nevertheless, contamination has only aggravated its delicate state. For this reason, measures have had to be implemented to preserve the great jewel of Greek historical heritage.
The Acropolis of Athens is much more than the aforementioned Parthenon. Here too is the Erechtheion, with its fabulous tribune supported by columns in the shape of a woman, the famous Caryatids.
Along with them we must mention the temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaea or the temple of Dionysus. In its heyday, the Acropolis was a spectacular set of buildings of different uses.
The Acropolis and Lord Elgin
We finish this review of the curiosities of the Acropolis with the figure of the former English diplomat Lord Elgin. Why? Because He was in charge of stripping the Parthenon of much of the marble that decorated it. Marbles that can now be seen in the British Museum in London.
The collection arrived in Britain between 1801 and 1805. Elgin obtained permission to remove the friezes, although it is claimed that he did so by falsifying a permit from the then Ottoman sultan. Three hundred and fifty men were necessary to be able to carry out the plan of the English ambassador.
Undoubtedly, These curiosities of the Acropolis of Athens help us to better understand what its history has been. A convulsive history that, despite everything, has not prevented us from seeing today the greatest treasure of Greece, the cradle of Western civilization.