The oldest part of Athens: history, description and interesting facts

Athens is a city named after the ancient Greek goddess. On its territory there are monuments belonging to the times of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato. In the capital of Greece is one of the most famous open-air museums in the world. It is located in the most ancient part of Athens.

the capital of greece is athens

What is the acropolis?

Athens in ancient Greece was a city in which the most important political and cultural events took place. Here worked great artists and poets of antiquity.

What is the name of the oldest part of Athens and where is it located? Located one of the greatest monuments of architectural art on a rocky hill. Includes the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the temple of Nicky Apteros and several other interesting objects. Acropolis - the so-called ancient part of Athens. What does this word mean?

Translated "acropolis" - a city located at the top. In ancient Greece, it was the heart of the city, a fortified fortress located on a hill, in which there were main temples, an arsenal. The city treasury was kept here.

There are several acropolis in the world. The best known is that located in the ancient part of Athens. What area does this complex have, what temples are located on its territory?

Ancient Greece

First buildings

Archaeological finds indicate that people settled in this place already in the fourth millennium BC. Preserved remains of ancient walls up to five meters thick, belonging to the Mycenaean period. The construction of these structures the inhabitants of ancient Greece attributed to the mythical Cyclops. However, they associated everything that happened around with deities, which are described in detail in ancient legends.

Acropolis was the residence of the ruler. But since the end of the II millennium BC. er he basically played the role of a cult center. The name of the oldest part of Athens knows most of the tourists. Interesting facts from the history of these places are known to few. But the Acropolis, as the most ancient part of Athens, is visited annually by thousands of travelers from all over the world.

acropolis athens

The golden age of athens

The previously existing sanctuary was repeatedly rebuilt and even destroyed. In 480 BC. er temples, which were located in the most ancient part of Athens, were destroyed by the Persians.Restoration began in 447 BC. e., when at the head of Athens was Periklos. With this ruler, a talented orator and commander, the city reached its highest power. This time, historians call the "golden age of Athens." Brilliant artists, philosophers, poets, sculptors and politicians — all of them turned out to be assembled at the same time and in one place.

acropolis of athens


The management of the reconstruction of the temples was entrusted to the famous sculptor Phidias. He created a plan for a single ensemble built. Thanks to this master, a part of the buildings in the oldest part of Athens has survived to this day.

So, the main buildings were erected in the second half of the V century BC. er according to the plan created by Phidias. Initially, in that part of the city, which today is the oldest part of Athens, led a simple path. In the era of Roman rule, a wide staircase was built instead.

On both sides of the entrance, porticos were set up, decorated with Doric columns, which were distinguished by simplicity, power of form, and were decorated with flutes — semicircular grooves that covered the entire column from top to bottom. The ceilings of the porticoes depicted a blue sky and were strewn with golden stars. The main entrance to the ancient Greeks was called Propylaea.

acropolis of athens greece

Temple of Niki Apteros

The building is located next to the acropolis, which was of particular importance in the politics and culture of Athens in ancient Greece. An interesting fact: the goddess of victory by ancient artists has always been depicted winged, but here she is wingless. This is not an error of the master who has forgotten to add such an important element to the image of the deity. The Athenians decided to rid Nick of the wings so that she, capable of mere mortals to bring victory in battles, could not fly away and always remained in the city.

Statue of athena

The work of sculpture was installed behind the Propylaea, on a high pedestal. The nine-meter bronze statue of Athena Promachos is one of the earliest sculptural works of Phidias. It was erected around the year 465 BC. Athena the great ancient Greek sculptor presented in the helmet, with a shield and a spear. These parts were made of pure gold.

The sun shone brightly on the weapon of Athena. The patroness of the city proudly towered over the acropolis, and the locals believed: under her watchful eyes no evil would penetrate their homes.

In the V century, the statue of Athena was transported to the capital of Byzantium, Constantinople, where its traces are lost.However, according to one of the historians, the curator of the British Museum - Jenkins, it was destroyed by residents of the city, who believed that the statue of the pagan goddess attracts enemies in the person of the Crusaders.

olive tree greece


A little further from the place where the statue of Athena was erected, there is a temple complex dedicated to three deities at once: Athena, Poseidon and the legendary king Erechtheus. According to legend, it was here that the famous dispute between the gods for power over Attica took place. Poseidon, in order to prove his case, hit the trident on the ground, and at the site of the impact, he scored a source of salt water. This foreshadowed the glories of Athens sea power.

Athena did not act so spectacularly - she gave the city an olive tree. Yet the gift of the goddess of wisdom became a symbol of the fertility of the lands of Attica. The Athenians chose her favor. However, people were cautious, diplomatic, and therefore prudently did not neglect the gifts of Poseidon.

The Erechtheion was a kind of museum of the acropolis, in which the most important relics were kept. The temple consisted of two parts - the eastern, dedicated to Athena, in which was kept a wooden statue, as if falling from the sky, and the western,dedicated to Poseidon and Erechtheus. It was believed that on the floor in this part of the temple traces of the impact by a trident were preserved. There was a well with a salt water key, allegedly knocked out by Poseidon.

The statue of Hermes, brought by the son of Erichthey ​​Kekrops, and the golden lamp of the work of Callimachus, which burned continuously, were kept in the Erechtheion. And the oil was poured into it only once a year. Near the temple invariably one could see the olive tree, presented to the city by the goddess. It, along with many buildings burned by the Persians in 480 BC. er The Greeks, of course, later restored the buildings and planted a new tree.

The southern part of the temple is decorated with the famous portico of caryatids (statues depicting women). Six marble statues two meters high support the archivrav gallery. It is noteworthy that the caryatids relatively successfully survived the dark Middle Ages when the great monuments of the ancient masters were destroyed. One of them is kept in the British Museum. The rest are in the Acropolis Museum. Instead, the portico is supported by their copies, which protect the originals from annoying tourists.

Mount Olympus


This is the most magnificent structure of the Acropolis.Parthenon - the temple of Athena Parthenos, erected in 448 BC. er The famous Phidias created the Parthenon frieze, which depicts a procession on the day of Panathinae - this was the name of the festival, during which crowds of Athenians flocked to the service. Inside the temple was a twelve-meter figure of Athena in military armament. Part of the details of the ancient masters made of gold.

The face and hands of the statue were made of ivory, and the eyes of gems. The length of the Parthenon - 70 meters, width - 30 meters. Along the long walls there are seventeen columns on each side, along the short - eight. The facade is also decorated with visas depicting characters from ancient Greek myths. On the east gable of the Parthenon is the scene of the birth of Athena, and on the west - an illustration to the story of the dispute between Athena and Poseidon.

Time has dealt with the works of ancient architects and sculptors. Part of the buildings of the Acropolis was completely destroyed. Dismantled temple Nicky had to recover from the debris lying on the ground. Donated to the Parthenon. The statue of Athena exported to Constantinople perished in a fire, and the pagan church itself became Orthodox, then Catholic, and after the mosque.

In 1687 during the siege of Athens by the Venetians, one of the nuclei fell into the central part of the Parthenon, where the Turks staged a powder warehouse. As a result, the entire central part of the temple was destroyed. And yet the Athenian Acropolis adequately stood the test of time. Created in the era of the greatest flourishing of ancient Greece, it still breathes the freedom, beauty and strength of those ancient times.

the oldest part of athens

Zeus Olympic

In 407 BC. er the Athenians decided to organize a collection of donations for the construction of the temple in honor of the main inhabitants of Olympus. Zeus was worshiped by the Greeks like no other god. He was considered the patron saint of the whole world. In honor of the god of thunder and lightning in Olympia, by that time more than three hundred years were held competitions, named in his honor. The ancient Greeks believed that he was watching games from Olympus, and believed that it was not very convenient for him to do it from the mountain. They decided to arrange for him a "residence" on the ground.

In 466 BC. er construction began, which lasted ten years. The temple stood seven centuries, but, unfortunately, was destroyed by an earthquake. Of the buildings dedicated to Zeus, preserved building, built in the VI century BC. erOther ancient monuments are located in the Greek capital, - the Tower of the Winds, Likavit, the theater of Dionysus, the Athenian agora, standing Attala, Areolag, the temple of Hephaestus.

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