Despite the bustling of the modern metropolis, after only a few minutes in Athens one learns why the powerful ancient society of the Athenian city state took root here. The Acropolis offers such an excellent safe haven and towering presence, it is no wonder that the Athenians chose this spot to create their history-shaping city.
During this three-hour focused walk we'll look closely at the Acropolis and its fundamental role in the city. We'll break down its archaeological history, from construction, to ruin, to rediscovery, to reconstruction, thereby giving us the tools to help "read" the monuments. We'll learn the differences between the different orders of architecture (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian), and how the ancient Greeks planned, designed, and executed these amazing structures.
Our visit will cover the main buildings on the Acropolis, including the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaia, and, of course, the Parthenon. We'll spend considerable time discussing the role of religion in Athenian culture and cover, in broad gestures, the sweep of ancient Greek history. With the wonderful views of the rest of the city, we'll look at how the rock of the Acropolis itself serves as a kind of anchor to the modern development of Athens.
This walk will also include a visit to the stunning new Acropolis Museum, designed by Bernard Tschumi and opened in 2009. With the layout of the ruins on the Acropolis fresh in our minds, we'll look at some of the museums treasures, including the wonderful re-creation of the frieze of the Parthenon, with empty spaces for the Elgin Marbles now housed in the British Museum.
We'll emerge with a deeper understanding of Athenian society and the central position of the Acropolis in it.