Both the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens are pretty remarkable, well-known museums worldwide with important exhibits. However, which one will be the winner of this crash test?
Designed by the architect Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis, the museum was completed in 2009 after many years of planning. It covers a total area of 25.000 square meters with 14.000 square meters of exhibition space. The big window walls allow natural light to enter, ‘’embracing’’ the sculptures and creating a warm, airy atmosphere. The floors are mainly transparent, starting from the entrance, where you can marvel at the archaeological excavation beneath your feet.
The Museum’s collections are exhibited on three floors. Beginning from the ground floor you will find exhibits from the sanctuaries, built on the slopes of Acropolis and everyday-life objects of the Athenians, from all the time periods of antiquity.
On the first floor, you will have the chance to observe famous sculptures, displayed on open spaces, from great temples of the Acropolis and the offerings of the Athenians, such as the Caryatids, the Horsemen, the Sculptors and the statues of Goddess Athina.
At the north side of the first-floor gallery, you will find on display findings from the Propylaia, Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. Also, there are Roman copies of classical masterpieces and depictions of philosophers and historical figures, which are the exhibits covering the period from the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD.
On the third level, the Parthenon Hall is waiting for you! The video presentation about the Parthenon and its sculptural decoration is a must-see. The panoramic view of Athens is also breathtaking, so take some moments to enjoy it!
Speaking of the amazing view, the cafe-restaurant on the second floor guarantees you not only delicious food but also some time of relaxation. Gaze around the beautiful surroundings and of course, Parthenon itself.
Interesting facts and information about the Acropolis Museum:
1. The British Newspaper, Sunday Times ranked it in the 3rd place on the list of the ‘’50 best Museums in the World’’, in May 2013
2. It is regularly included on lists of the world’s top museums, not only for its contents but also for its design
3. 14.5 million visitors have admired the over 4000 exhibits, since 2009
4. Ramps and elevators facilitate access to all visitors
5. You may take photos for personal use only in all exhibition areas, except for the Archaic Gallery
Dive in and enjoy at your own pace the dazzling Acropolis Museum with an e-ticket combined with a self-guided audio tour on your smartphone.
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens was founded in 1829 and its original headquarters were in Aegina. Its initial name was Central Museum. In 1866 Eleni Tositsa donated a neoclassical building at Patission street, where the Museum is housed until today. The first plan was conceived by Ludwig Langer, while Ernst Ziller modified the façade.
Three of the most important civilizations of prehistoric times, Neolithic, Cycladic and Mycenaean are exhibited on its two floors, along with some really amazing finds from the Hellenistic and Roman periods!
On the first level, you have the chance to explore the collection of Mycenaean, Neolithic, Cycladic and Egyptian Antiquities. On the second floor, you will travel back in time, admiring the Jewelry Collection, but also one of the Museum’s highlights, the Antiquities of Thera, which will remind you of a forever lost civilization.
Take an early taste of some of the marvelous finds exhibited on the National Archaeological Museum:
The Golden Mask of Agamemnon
The Bronze Statue of Zeus or Poseidon
The Horse Rider
Check here for more breathtaking artworks!
In the Atrium of the National Archaeological Museum, you can enjoy your coffee while observing the works of artists and the 700 new kinds of beautiful plants.
A fascinating insight is that during World War 2, the exhibits were placed in wooden boxes and buries to protect them from being looted or destroyed. The Museum reopened in 1945.
Interesting facts and information about the National Archaeological Museum:
1. The Museum is accessible to visitors with disabilities, from a separate entrance on the side of Vas. Herakleiou Street
2. Photos are allowed as long as they are for personal use only
3. There are more than 11.000 exhibits
4. 2017 was a record year for the Museum, as the number of visitors exceeded half a million (545,565), showing an annual increase of 18.4%
If you haven’t visited the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum, then you should do it as soon as possible. Put on your headphones and get lost into history and art with a self-guided tour on your phone. Then, let us know which one is the winner of this crash test!