Byron, the British romantic poet, said: “Greece is the only place that can satisfy me.” The country faces the sea and more than three-quarters of the land is mountainous. Greece is also a famous ancient country who has already a written history 2700 years ago. The various temples built by the people of the year to sacrifice the gods remain only the wreckage, which can still shock the hearts of every visitor. Athens is the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of history, drama and philosophy. When the world is still asleep in the darkness of ancient times, the dawn of civilization rises in the Aegean Sea.
The Acropolis is the most outstanding ancient architectural complex in Greece. It is a comprehensive public building and the center of religion and politics. The Acropolis is about 4 square kilometers and was built on the hills of the Acropolis in the center of Athens. It was built in 580 BC. The earliest buildings in the Acropolis were the Temple of Athena and other religious buildings. The main existing buildings include the gate of the hill, the Parthenon, the Temple of Eric Tion, and the Temple of Errech. These ancient buildings are unquestionable as human heritage and architectural excellence, and have an important status in the history of architecture. The large number of precious relics preserved so far have shown the ancient civilizations of Greece.
You will see the famous Parthenon at the right when enter the entrance to the Acropolis through the mountain gate. The temple is built of white marble. It’s 31 meters wide, 70 meters deep and 10 meters high. The roof and walls are decorated with beautiful carvings based on Greek mythology. It’s said that the statue of the guardian goddess Athena was enshrined inside the temple in ancient times. The statue was made of gold and ivory, but now we have to imagine the exquisiteness of the statue. In addition to the magnificent appearance of the temple, another great thing is its golden ratio, which is a model of classical architecture. It is a pity that such a great building has become ruined after historical changes. Many fine carvings have been stolen.
3. Temple of Eric Tion
The temple of Eric Tion is located on a rugged highland on the south side of the Temple of Errech, which was built between 421 BC and 405 BC. It is one of the famous buildings of the Acropolis. It’s said that it’s the place where the goddess Athena and Poseidon fight for protecting Athens. There are three shrines in the temple of Eric Tion dedicated to the Greek god Zeus, Poseidon, the goddess of the blacksmith Hephaestus. There are square holes in the ceiling and floor of the northern colonnade, which are said to have been pierced by Poseidon’s trident.
4. Acropolis Museum
Opened in 2007, the New Acropolis Museum is an extremely modern building that is 10 times larger than the old Acropolis Museum. The museum’s transparent floor provides a clear view of the ancient city ruins buried underground and reduces energy consumption. The museum houses all collections of the old museums and collections from all over Greece including the reliefs of the goddess Athena and the Caryatids of the Temple of Eric Tion. The most important thing is that the new museum has modern facilities to protect marble sculptures, and it’s the reason to retrieve the looted artifacts from the British Museum.
5. Temple of Olympian Zeus
The Temple of Zeus was built from 470 to 456 and it’s a Doric Temple. The base is 64 meters long and 28 meters wide with six columns on the wide side and 13 columns on the long side. It is one of the most important buildings in ancient Europe in the early days. In the inner hall is the statue of Zeus, which is more than 12 meters high. It is supported by the seven great pillars of the world covering an area of 41.1 meters x 107.75 meters. The stone statues behind or in front of the temple are carved from the marble of the island of Paros. Many statues on the western side of the temple are decorated in a Athens style.
6. Temple of Athena Victory
The Temple of Athena Victory is a shrine in the Acropolis. The English name “Nike” is a Greek translation of victory. The ancient Greek people worshipped the god of victory and wisdom here – Athena. In the long war between Athens and Sparta, the people of Athens often came here to pray for victory.
7. Atticus Theater
The Atticus Theater was built in 161 AD and was built by the philosopher Tiberius Claudius Atticus Herodes of the Roman era to commemorate his wife. It is one of the most ancient buildings in the world and one of the most outstanding buildings of the same period. The theater is 35 meters long and wide. There are 32 floors for audience that can accommodate 5000 people. You can clearly regard and hear the performances on the stage at any point. The stage background is a Roman-style window-shaped high wall decorated with statues at the niches.
8. Temple of Hephaestus
This is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in Greece and it is dedicated to the god of fire and casting, Hephaestus. There are 34 columns in the shrine, and the nine stories in the “12 Hercules feats” are engraved around the roof.
9. Bacchus Theater
The Bacchus Theater, also known as the Dionysos Theater, is built on a hill and naturally forms a semi-circle slightly larger than 180 degrees. It is surrounded by three sides of the hillside and has an open-air stage. The ladder-shaped strip seat was built in the light of the hill, which makes the theater a huge open-air amphitheater. Around the third century AD, the theater was last constructed with waterproof devices. At the time, the Bacchus Theater was not just for performing the drama, but many major ceremonies and competitions were also held here. A large number of marble reliefs and statues in the theater are of high archaeological values.
10. National Archaeological Museum
This old-fashioned museum with a simply decorated interior is one of the top ten museums in the world. The collection is of large value! The National Archaeological Museum is the largest that has the most collectible among more than 20 museums in Athens. It is also the largest museum of ancient artifacts in Greece. It houses nearly 20000 pieces of high-value cultural relics. The museum is divided into two exhibition halls with a total of 50 exhibition rooms. The famous collections include “Gama Mask of Agamemnon”, bronze statues of Poseidon, statues of teenagers and horses, and the mural of boxing teenagers and so on.