1 October 2020
Athens, often refered as the craddle to Western civilisation, is a heady mix of ancient history and contemporary cool. The Acropolis, visible from almost every part of the city, reminds us of the Greek heritage and drive us into a frenzy search and discovery of the past civilisation that have inhabited this land. As we are hoping from prehistorique sites, where one find himself surrounded by cats and turtles; to archeological museums instructing us the way of living from earliest settlements; we find ourselves in an imaginary land set some thousands of years in the past on a mission to understand…
Contest for Athens
The founding of Athens is enshrined in myth. Phoenician king Kekrops founded a city on a huge rock near the sea. The gods of Olympus proclaimed that it should be named for the deity who could provide the most valuable legacy for mortals. Athena (godess of wisdom) produced an olive tree, symbol of peace and prosperity. Poseidon (god of the sea) struck a rock with his strident, creating a saltwater spring, to signify great maritime power. It was a close contest, but the gods judges that Athena’s gift, which would provide food, oil and fuel, would better serve the citizens.
[sources: LonelyPlanet. Best of Greece & The Greek Islands]
Remnants of the city of Pericles, dedicated to the cult of Athena.
It was first inhabited in Neolithics times (4000-3000 BC). The earliest buidlings were constructed during the Mycenaean era. People lived here until 510 BC when the Delphic oracle declared it the sole province of the gods.
After all the buildings on the Acropolis were reduced to ashes by the Persians on the eve of the Battle of Salamis (480 BC), Pericles set about his ambitious rebuilding program. He transformed the Acropolis in a city of temples, which has come to be regarded as the zenith of Classical Greece.
Since then, ravages inflicted during the years of foreign occupaction, pilfering by archeologists, inept renovations, footsteps of millions of visitors, earthquake, acid rain, pollution have all taken thier toll on the surviving monuments. The worst blow was in 1687, when the Venitians attacked the Turks, opening fire on the Acropolis and causing an explosion in the Partheon, where the Turks were storing gunpowder, and damaging all the buildings.
There are currently restoration works carried out on the Acropolis since 1999 to preserve this site for future generation.
Acropolis of Athens
Timelapse of the sunset lightshow on the Acropolis of Athens. Very dramatic 😮