Blog on Life Travel Greece Acropolis museum in Athens

Greece: Acropolis Museum in Athens

Ticket price for adult 5 Euros

The construction of the Acropolis Museum in Athens was completed in 2007 and was designed by Bernard Tschumi and Michael Photiadis. The museum is located right below The Acropolis and has a modern design and stands out in comparison to the surrounding buildings in the Plaka region, which is also one of the regions that have barely been touched by modern buildings and construction. The total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis. The museum is built over ancient remains, so the first thing you notice is the use of glass flooring both outside the building as well as inside. This allows visitors to view the remains during their visit. The museum mainly exhibits artifacts that were found at the Acropolis. Some pieces are originals, whilst others are replicas, as the originals are located in museums abroad.

Blog on Life Athens Acropolis museum entrance

Collections at Acropolis Museum in Athens

The Caryatids of the Erechtheion

A Caryatid is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support column or pillar. Although very similar, the six Caryatids are not the same: their faces, draping, and hair are carved separately. The three on the right stand on their left foot and the three on the left stand on their right foot. Their hairstyles are crucial in providing support to their necks, otherwise, the structures would become weak. The earliest known examples dating to about the 6th century BC were found in the Treasury of Athenians in Delphi. The best-known examples however are those six figures of the Caryatids on the porch of the Erechtheion. Currently, the caryatids found on site are replicas, with the 5 originals to be seen at the Acropolis Museum. The sixth caryatid was removed by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century and is now at the British Museum in London. The Romans had made copies of the Caryatids of Erechtheion, installing them in The Pantheon and The Forum of Augustus in Rome, as well as at Hadrian’s Villa at Trivoli.

Blog on Life Acropolis Museum Caryatids from the Erechtheion at museum
Blog on Life Acropolis Museum Caryatids from the Erechtheion
Close up of 1 of the Caryatids

Metopes of the Parthenon

A metope is a rectangular architectural element that fills a space between two triglyphs (vertically channeled tablets), which act as a decorative band above a building. Metopes had sculptured or painted decorative scenes. The most famous metopes are the ones of the Parthenon marbles. The metopes were created by several artists and the master builder was Phidias. They have created around 447 BC and the probable date of completion was 442 BC.

There were a total of 92 metopes, depicting the battle between the Centaurs (mythological creatures with the upper body of a human and the lower body and legs of a horse) and the Lapiths (legendary people from Thessaly, in the valley of the Peneus and on the mountain Pelion).

Blog on Life Acropolis Museum The Metopes remains from the Parthenon
Blog on Life Acropolis Museum Metopes Lapith fighting Centaur
Blog on Life Acropolis Museum Metopes A Lapith fighting Centaur

Unfortunately, most were badly damaged. Many were destroyed by the Christians when transforming the Parthenon into a church around the 6th or 7th century AD. Others were destroyed during the Parthenon explosion by the Venetians in 1687, during Ottoman rule. The southern metopes were best preserved and 14 of them are currently at the British Museum in London and 1 at the Louvre in Paris. The remaining metopes which were on the other sides of the Parthenon are badly damaged and are in the city of Athens. You can view and admire a mix of the original metopes, as well as the cast copies of originals at the Acropolis Museum.

Blog on Life Acropolis Museum Metopes Centaur overcoming a Lapith
Blog on Life Acropolis Museum Metopes A Centaur seizing a Lapith woman

Magic Sphere

The Magic Sphere is most definitely one of the pieces I simply couldn’t take my eyes off. It is a perfect stone sphere and has several different engraved drawings and symbols on it. It dates back to 2nd – 3rd AD and researchers say that the drawings are of the god Helios, a serpent, a dragon, and what looks to be astronomical calculations are as some say, magical symbols or symbols of alchemy.

Blog on Life Acropolis Museum the Magic Sphere

There isn’t too much information found on this piece as archaeologists are still puzzled as to what it all means. It certainly carried a certain mystery and hopefully, we will have more information about it. Similar spheres have been found in other parts of the world, specifically in Costa Rica.

Accounts of the treasurers of the goddess Athens for 377 – 375 BC

A relief from part of the temple of the Parthenon, depicting Erechtheus, the mythical king of Athens, and the goddess Athena clasping hands.

Blog on Life Acropolis Museum Accounts of Treasurers of the goddess Athena

This piece, in particular, made me wonder why would people in the past bother to depict such art on beings which today’s history teaches were just a myth? How is it that there are so many references to the Greek gods and goddesses if they weren’t really real? Maybe we still have a lot more to learn about our past.

Blog on Life Accounts of the Treasurers goddess Athena for the years 377 to 375 BC

The Decree of the Boule (Parliament) and the Demos of the Athenians, regulating the relations of Athens and Chalkis 446/5 BC

This is just one of the many reliefs of Athenian decrees that you can see for yourself at the museum.

Blog on Life Decree of the Boule and the Demos 446 to 445 BC

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