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Monday 8 October 2007

Athens – The Homeland of the Gods: Acropolis

Acropolis, literally means the 'high city,' is the origin of the Athens city that we know of today. Standing high above the hill in the centre of Athens, it is visible from almost anywhere.

Acropolis standing sentinel over Athens.

There are two entrances to Acropolis. The main entrance is on the west side of this ancient city. The other entrance is on the south near to the Theatre of Dionysos. Just a few steps through the main entrance, the Beulé Gate dedicated to the French archaeologist Ernest Beulé leads all the visitors inside the Acropolis.

CK being framed in The Beulé Gate!

Getting through Propylaia, the towering entrance of Acropolis, the Parthenon is immediately in sight.

The 'virgin's apartment,' that's the meaning of Parthenon.

The Parthenon is still under reconstruction to restore its glory.

A mandatory self-portrait. Do I look like I'm standing in front of a poster?

The restoration will take years before we can see Parthenon shines as it had been in the ancient Greek civilisation.

Another main highlight inside the Acropolis is the Erechtheion. This sanctuary is made prominent by the Porch of the Caryatids with the six maidens supporting the southern portico.

The overview of the Erechtheion.

Zooming in to the Porch of the Caryatids.

The over-photographed Caryatids.

They are called the Caryatids because they were modelled after the women from Karyai.

These are the gigantic columns on the eastern side of the Erechtheion.

There are two theatres inside the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysos and the Theatre of Herodus Atticus. The Theatre of Dionysos is the larger theatre being restored, whereas the fully restored Theatre of Herodus Atticus is ready for a live concert anytime.

The Theatre of Herodus Atticus overseeing the sprawling Athens city below.

The best time to visit the Acropolis is in the afternoon as the Parthenon is facing west, so you'll get front-lighting for taking your photos. The place is very dusty and dry. There are very few trees around that provide shade. Bring lotsa drinking water. If you don't mind about the water quality from a water dispenser, there's one up there. I drank from there, and I'm still here in one piece.

If you would like to read more of my travelogues on Greece, here are the links:-

1. Athens – The Homeland of the Gods

2. The White Dream in Mykonos

3. Santorini – Almost Heaven

4. Miscellaneous


WoMbOk™♂ said...

Sifu, your pics have convinced me that i need to invest in a wide angled lens man.

Again, very nice pics. Liked the last one best.

CK Ng said...

Hey Gordon, don't rush in getting the wide-angle lens. Practice with your kit lens first. The 18 mm end is wide enough most of the time. :)

Anonymous said...

Acropolis has been restored quite extensively compare to my last visit in 2002. Quite different. Cyn

CK Ng said...

In fact they are going to restore and reconstruct the Parthenon to its old time glory. The Theatre of Dionysos is under major restoration and reconstruction too. The museum is also closed for major restoration. Acropolis will look different again in 5 years time.

khengsiong said...

Ehh... guess you didn't go there at the right time. The construction works spoils the otherwise excellent pictures.
(Well, this is not to say that the photos are not good. But they should have been better.)

CK Ng said...

Hi khengsiong, welcome to my blog. :) In fact I take it positively when a sight that I'm visiting is under restoration. I regard it as a chance of a life time to record the process of the rehabilitation work. What I shoot is different from the picture postcards, and the other people who go at a different time won't get the pictures as what I've shot. :) An example to illustrate this is the shot with the forklift at the foreground of the Parthenon. You won't be able to get this shot when the whole place is fully restored, and the next restoration work is probably in another hundred years time. :D

Anonymous said...

Hi there, one comment to say: Acropolis DOES NOT mean High City. :D :D :D Who told you that????? Acropolis means "Edge of the City" !!! Please correct it. Good post!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Hana. Actually it can either mean "Edge of the City" or "End of the City" ! But definitely not ... High City! HAHAHA :) I haven't laughed like this for a while! I like your photos though!

CK Ng said...

Hana & Olympian:> I obtained this information from Wikipedia on Acropolis. The first sentence reads: "Acropolis (Gr. acro, high + polis, city, pl. acropoleis) literally means a high city."

Unknown said...

CK-II, Wikipedia is obviously wrong. It's unfortunate that anyone can write anything in that site as well as others, because it ends up showing absolutely incorrect information.
Acropolis comes from the words "Acro--> Acri" which in ancient and modern Greek literally means EDGE, and "Polis" which means CITY. Simple as that.
Please do amend it, because at least 20-30 million Greeks speaking people that could potentially visit your otherwise quite ok website, will find this really funny.
Besides, as you know Acropolis is part of Athens which IS the city. Acropolis was the (mostly) religious place for the ancient greeks and was located at the... EDGE of the CITY OF ATHENS... Hence, Acropolis was NOT another city, i.e. the High City which you refer to.
The word for High in Greek is "Psilo", so it would have been called Psilopolis or something if it meant High City... Hope it makes more sense to you know!Trust me on this! :)
Let me know if you have more questions

Unknown said...

Here is the link from Greek Ministry of Culture in English, written by archaeologists. It explains what Acropolis was about i.e. a sanctuary, a sacred place for the ancient Athenians and Greeks and PART of the city. Not THE city.

CK Ng said...

Hana:> I have double checked on MSN Encarta for Acropolis and the first sentence still reads: "Acropolis (Greek akros, 'highest'; polis, 'city'), fortified natural stronghold or citadel in ancient Greece." So, I guess "high city" is still literally correct.

Unknown said...

And another comment. You say "Acropolis ... is the origin of the Athens city that we know of today". As I said before, Acropolis is not the origin of the city. It is not THE city. It is part of the city.

About what Acropolis means, I explained , so suit yourself. Acri means Edge. Literally. Metaphorically it can mean high/far/further/furthest but literally it means Edge. So, it could METAPHORICALLY mean Highest OF the city. Not high city. And definitely not literally! :D Ask any Greek you want... Anyway, can't do anything about it. It's your blog!

Unknown said...

and here is from your beloved wikipedia of what Akros means.ἄκρος

Edge/Extreme, Beginning, End

And for the last word End: it further explains it by saying it means that the end/limit is essentially "Outermost" (i.e. eeedgeeee) (especially on heights i.e. top). But literally it means edge.
Hope you can now accept it... If not, I rest my case!

CK Ng said...

Well Hana, I don't understand why you initially insisted on 'acro' as in acropolis comes from acri as opposed to akros in all the encyclopedias and dictionaries I have referred to. In your last comment, you finally admitted that it comes from akros but you were still trying to twist and turn the meaning of it. If you still think that you are right, please write to MSN Encarta and Britannica as they have a million times more readership than my blog. Cheers.

Unknown said...

You see, you don't speak Greek and you tell me that I am the one twisting my comments!

Akri or Acri or Acre or write it how you want is the SAME word with ACROS or AKROS or ACKROS. Acri is simple the Female version. Akros is the Neutral version of this noun. That's how Greek Language works. Most nouns have three versions. Male, Female and Neutral. You didn't know that and I don't blame you but I hope you understand I'm not trying to twist things. The funny thing is that you are keep on insisting on something so ridiculously obvious. It's as if I tell you that the capital of Italy is Milan, while of course it is Rome. It is easy for websites to copy each other even if information is wrong. Encarta don't explain what the word literally means, but they make a general explanation. The link I sent you from wikipedia-dictionary explaining the word should have made you understand it.But you for some weird reason you don't. What you fail to understand is that my problem is that you said that Acropolis means LITERALLY "High City". No! LITERALLY it means "Edge of the City". Metaphorically as per the link I showed you and as per myself native greek (and a teacher...) it can "High" if you consider the word "edge" as the limit or end of something. In this case if you consider it as the stretched limit of a height, then it could mean metaphorically "highest part of the city". But as I said again, my concern from the very beginning is that you use the word "literally". It's not right.
And on a second comment as I said before, Ancient Athens existed long before Acropolis was built and what you also say as "Acropolis being the origin of the Athens city that we know of today" is also wrong as you imply that Acropolis IS the city. Which again is wrong my friend... Acropolis is part of the city... I hope you don't think of that when you visited the place and that you simply wrote it by mistake...

Olympian said...

Hi guys, sorry to interrupt your convo, but just to clarify what Hana said, most adjectives and nouns in greek language can either become masculine, feminine or neutral. German language has actually borrowed the same style in their grammar as well... So, yeah I totally agree with Hana, Ακρη/Ακρος --> Acri/Acros means Edge. Dude, no offense, but I don't see why you don't amend this. You're clearly wrong. I'm from Greece too! (Although living in Cyprus). There shouldn't even be a discussion on this... Peace...

CK Ng said...

Hana & Olympian:> I think I just have to rest my case here and let the other readers to find out for themselves through this lengthy discussion. I was just writing with reference to reliable sources. That's all. I am not guaranteeing what I wrote is 100% correct. Peace!

Olympian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CK Ng said...

Hi Olympian, thanks for your input here but please do not use the bad four-letter word in making any comments. I have very young readers here and I don't want them to have bad influence reading your recent comment. Please do amend it or I'll just have to remove it. Peace!

Olympian said...

resent: that's fine with me dude. i know it ain't easy when you see & take a million fotos 2 always write totally accurate things. Its just that 4 some reason ur blog appeared quite at the top on google search & thats why I clicked on it... & the first thing i read was about the "high" illiterate and unhistorical fallacy of yours which hit str8 2 my eyes! lol! :) No worries. Continue taking good fotos! & if you are not sure about what is rite or rong, just only put a link reference & nada else! Peace...

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